Early children's books

  1. We have gathered a great number of children's books including non-fiction, story books and picture books, including some from the 17th century. A list of these was compiled by the former librarian of the reference library, Hilda McGill (also a published author).

  2. What's available

    The collection contains around 1000 items, 650 of which are pre-1850, the rest from 1850 to 1899. The earliest item is: A short dictionary for children, Latin and English from 1602.

    The materials show the many changes that have taken place in the education and amusement of children over time.

    This is not strictly a collection, but a record of the books we own. 

  3. How to access

    Ask a member of staff in the Central Library search room for a printed catalogue.

    You can also look at items from the collection in the search room, please make an appointment (with at least one day notice).

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