Children's Collection

The collection currently comprises over 6,000 books and journals written for children. Most are 19th and early 20th century English works with around 900 pre-1851 titles. There are good collections of Mrs Hofland and Mrs Sherwood, G.A. Henty, unbroken runs of Aunt Judy's magazine and the Monthly packet.

The collection originated in the 1950s in a gift of early 19th century children's books from Sir Frank and Lady Stenton. It was established by the University Library as a separate special collection with the addition of miscellaneous children's books distributed throughout the University Library in the 1960s. Donations remained a significant factor in its early growth, and included a bequest from the author Elinor Brent Dyer. Additions are made.

Children's literature is one of our key collection strengths. The Children's Collection is complemented by several other collections of children's literature : the Crusoe Collection, the Wizard of Oz Collection and the Brock Collection. There are also substantial holdings of modern children's books, fiction and non-fiction, in the Teaching Practice Collection at the University Library. Material relevant to research in children's literature will also be found in the Special Collections' archive collections

The following items from the collection have appeared as our featured item:

More information

  • About two-thirds of the collection appears on Enterprise
  • Catalogue of the collection of children's books 1617-1939 in the Library of the University of Reading / compiled by Edith M. Cairns. The Library, University of Reading, 1988
  • Edith M Cairns, 'The Elinor Brent-Dyer Collection in Reading University Library' in Souvenir: the journal of the Violet Needham Society, 6 (Winter 1987), p13-14
children’s literature printed books (pre-1850), printed books (post-1850) Y children's collection

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