Children's Books

Job and Georges Montorgueil. Louis XI. 1905. Wing folio ZP 939.J625.
Job and Georges Montorgueil. Louis XI. 1905. Wing folio ZP 939.J625.

The Newberry has an extraordinary and wide-ranging children’s book collection dating from the Middle Ages to the present day. The collection includes fiction, folklore, classical literature, music, poetry, children’s textbooks, primers, and geographies, as well as secondary literature such as literary criticism, bibliographies, and biographical resources. 

The Newberry’s Online Catalog is the best place to check for works related to children’s literature. If you are searching for a particular author or title, search under these headings first. Checklists, bibliographies, and other reference works (see below) may help you identify likely authors, titles, publishers, and series.

In order to use the Newberry’s collections, you must be at least 16 years old or a junior in high school. Learn about Obtaining a Reader’s Card. If you have questions about the Newberry, please Contact a Librarian.

Please note: The Newberry does not present the John Newbery Medal. This award is given by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association.

Newberry Checklists

Newberry Library. A Check List of Courtesy Books in the Newberry Library. Compiled by Virgil B. Heltzel. Chicago: The Newberry Library, 1942. Call Number: Ref Z 5873 .N5.

———. Provisional list of Uncatalogued Books in the Jane Gilmartin Gilchrist Collection at the Newberry Library. [Chicago], 2003. “The Jane Gilmartin Gilchrist Collection…consists of some 3,000 alphabet books, literacy teaching books, and related books for children and adults.” Call Number: Ref Z 7004 .A45 N48 2003.

Schwartzberg, Jenny. A Catalogue of Children’s Literature at the Newberry Library. Chicago, 2005. In six volumes, divided by subject and alphabetical within subject. Shelved in the checklist area (third floor).

General History

Avery, Gillian. Behold the Child: American Children and Their Books, 1621-1922. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994. Call Number: Wing PS 490 .A99 1994.

Bader, Barbara. American Picturebooks from Noah’s Ark to The Beast Within. New York: Macmillan 1976. Call Number: Wing folio Z 1023 .B3.

The Cambridge Guide to Children’s Books in English. Cambridge & New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001. Call Number: Ref PR 990 .C36 2001.

Carpenter, Humphrey. The Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 1984. Call Number: Ref PN 1008.5 .C37 1984.

Darton, Frederick Joseph Harvey. Children’s Books in England: Five Centuries of Social Life, 3rd edition. Cambridge & New York: Cambridge University Press, 1982. Call Number: PR 990 .D3 1982.

Franchi, Pietro. Apriti Libro!: Meccanismi, Figure, Tridimensionalità in Libri Animati dal XVI al XX Secolo. Ravenna: Essegi, 1998. The subject is the history of toy and movable books. Call Number: Wing Z 1033 .T68 F73 1998.

Garcia Padrino, Jaime. Libros y Literatura para Niños en la España Contemporanea. Madrid: Fundación German Sanchez Ruiperez: Ediciones Piramide, [1992]. Call Number: Wing PQ 6168 .G37 1992.

Handbuch zur Kinder- [und] Jugendliteratur: von 1750 bis 1800. Stuttgart: J.B. Metzlerschen verlagsbuchhandlung, 1982. Call Number: PT 1021 .H363 1982.

Jackson, Mary V. Engines of Instruction, Mischief, and Magic: Children’s Literature in England from Its Beginnings to 1839. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1989. Call Number: Wing PR 990 .J33 1989.

Klotz, Aiga. Kinder- und Jugendliteratur in Deutschland 1840-1950. Stuttgart: Metzler, 1990-1999. 5 volumes. Call Number: Wing folio Z 2234.5 .K55 1990.

Le Livre d’Enfance et de Jeunesse en France. Bordeaux: Société des bibliophiles de Guyenne, 1994. Call Number: Wing PQ 845 .L58 1994.

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Children’s Literature. Edited by Jack Zipes. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. Call Number: Ref PN 1008.5 .O94 2006.

Bibliographies

Amtmann, Bernard. A Bibliography of Canadian Children’s Books, and Books for Young People, 1841-1867. Montréal: Amtmann, 1977. Call Number: Z 1378 .A47.

Amtmann, Bernard. Early Canadian Children’s Books, 1763-1840. Montreal: Amtmann, 1976. Call Number: Z 1037.9 .A55.

Bingham, Jane. Fifteen Centuries of Children’s Literature: An Annotated Chronology of British and American Works in Historical Context. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1980. Call Number: Z 1037 .A1 B582.

Blanck, Jacob. Peter Parley to Penrod: A Bibliographical Description of the Best-Loved American Juvenile Books. New York: R.R. Bowker Co., 1938. Call Number: Wing ZB 2783 .09.

Children’s Periodicals of the United States. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1984. Call Number: Ref PN 4878 .C48 1984.

Cohn, Don. Virtue by Design: Illustrated Chinese Children’s Books from the Cotsen Children’s Library. Los Angeles: Cotsen Occasional Press, 2000. Call Number: Wing folio Z 1037.8.C4 C64 2000.

Embs, Jean-Marie. Le Siècle d’Or du Livre d’Enfants et de Jeunesse: 1840-1940. Paris: Amateur, 2000. Call Number: Wing folio Z 1037.2 .E43 2000.

Faxon, Frederick Winthrop. Literary Annuals and Gift Books: A Bibliography, 1823-1903. Pinner (Ravelston, Southview Road, Pinner, Middlesex): Private Libraries Association, 1973. Call Number: Z 6520 .G4 F3 1973.

Felmingham, Michael. The Illustrated Gift Book, 1880-1930: with a Checklist of 2500 Titles. Aldershot, Hampshire, England: Wildwood House, 1989. Call Number: Wing Z 1023 .F45 1989.

Fenn, Patricia. Rewards of Merit: Tokens of a Child’s Progress and a Teacher’s Esteem as an Enduring Aspect of American Religious and Secular Education. [Schoharie, N.Y.]: Ephemera Society of America; Charlottesville [Va.]: Distributed by Howell Press, Inc., 1994. Call Number: folio LA 230 .F46 1994.

Fränkische Kinderbücher aus fünf Jahrhunderten: eine Ausstellung der Universitätsbibliothek 19 (Oktober-November 2001): Katalog Erlangen: Universitätsbibliothek, 2001. Call Number: folio Z 1037.3 .F73 2001.

Geschichtsbilder: historische Jugendbücher aus vier Jahrhunderten: Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin–Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Haus unter den Linden 15, nos. 6 and 7(2000). [Berlin]: Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin–Preussischer Kulturbesitz, 2000. Call Number: Wing PT 1021 .G474 2000.

Gumuchian & cie. Les Livres de l’Enfance du XVe au XIXe Siècle. Paris: Gumuchian & cie., [1931?]. Two volumes. Call Number: Wing folio ZB 26 .37a.

Herring, Anne King. The Dawn of Wisdom: Selections from the Japanese Collection of the Cotsen Children’s Library. Los Angeles: Cotsen Occasional Press, 2000. Call Number: Wing folio Z 1037.8 .J3 H47 2000.

Haining, Peter. Movable Books: An Illustrated History. London: New English Library, 1979. Call Number: Wing folio Z 1033 .M73 H35.

Herzog August Bibliothek. Fabula docet, illustrierte Fabelbücher aus sechs Jahrhunderten: Ausstellung aus Bestanden der Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel und der Sammlung Dr. Ulrich von Kritter. Wolfenbüttel: Herzog August Bibliothek, 1983. Call Number: Wing NC 981 .H47 1983

Le Men, Ségolène. Les Abécédaires Français Illustrés du XIXe Siècle. Paris: Promodis, 1984. Call Number: Wing folio Z 1037.2 .L45 1984.

Lévèque, Françoise. Livres d’Enfants Russes et Soviétiques, 1917-1945: Dans les Collections de l’Heure Joyeuse et dans les Bibliothèques Françaises: Catalogue en Forme de Dictionnaire des Illustrateurs. Paris: Agence culturelle de Paris: Bibliothèques de la ville de Paris, 1997. Call Number: Wing folio NC 985 .L48 1997.

Newton, Sarah E. Learning to Behave: A Guide to American Conduct Books Before 1900. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1994. Call Number: Ref BJ 1547 .N48 1994.

Nuremberg. Stadtbibliothek. Bibliographie der Nürnberger Kinder- und Jugendbücher, 1522- 1914. Bamberg: Meisenbach, [1961]. Call Number: Wing Z 319847 .N974.

Princeton University. Library. Dept. of Rare Books and Special Collections. A Catalogue of the Cotsen Children’s Library. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Library, 2000. Two volumes (two more to be published). Call Number: Wing folio Z 1037 .P75 2000.

Rosenbach, Abraham Simon Wolf. Early American Children’s Books. Portland, ME: The Southworth Press, 1933. Call Number: Case Wing ZB 2783 .761.

Wegehaupt, Heinz. Alte deutsche Kinderbücher: Bibliographie 1507-1850: zugleich bestandsverzeichnis der Kinder- u. Jugendbuchabteilung der Deutschen Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin. Hamburg: Hauswedell, 1979. Call Number: folio Z 1037.3 .W36 1979.

Wegehaupt, Heinz. Alte deutsche Kinderbücher: Bibliographie 1851-1900: zugleich bestandsverzeichnis der Kinder- und Jugendbuchabteilung der Deutschen Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin. Stuttgart: Hauswedell, 1985. Call Number: Wing folio Z 1037.3 .W37 1985.

———. Alte deutsche Kinderbücher III: Bibliographie 1524-1900: zugleich bestandsverzeichnis der in Bibliotheken und einigen Privatsammlungen in Berlin, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg, Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt und Thuringen befindlichen Kinder- und Jugendbücher. Stuttgart: Hauswedell, 2000. Call Number: folio Z 1037.3 .W373 2000.

Welch, D’Alté Aldridge. A Bibliography of American Children’s Books Printed Prior to 1821. [Barre, MA]: American Antiquarian Society and Barre Publishers, 1972. Call Number: y 259 .96.

Authors and Illustrators

American Writers for Children before 1900. Detroit, Mich.: Gale Research Co., 1985. Call Number: Ref PN 451 .D5 v. 42.

American Writers for Children, 1900-1960. Detroit, Mich.: Gale Research Co., 1983. Call Number: Ref PN 451 .D5 v. 22.

Fraser, James Howard. Children’s Authors and Illustrators: A Guide to Manuscript Collections in U.S. Research Libraries. New York: K.G. Saur,1980. Call Number: Z 6611 .L7 F73.

Kingman, Lee. Illustrators of Children’s Books, 1957-1966. Boston: The Horn Book, 1968. Call Number: Wing ZB 26 .5461.

———. Illustrators of Children’s Books, 1967-1976. Boston: Horn Book, 1978. Call Number: Wing ZB 26 .5462.

La Beau, Denis. Children’s Authors and Illustrators: An Index to Biographical Dictionaries. Detroit: Gale Research Co., 1976. Call Number: Z 1037 .A1 C463.

Meyer, Susan E. A Treasury of the Great Children’s Book Illustrators. New York: Abrams, 1983. Call Number: Wing folio NC 965 .M49 1983.

Miller, Bertha E. Mahony. Contemporary Illustrators of Children’s Books. Detroit: Gale Research Co., 1978, ©1930. Call Number: Wing NC 965 M58 1978.

———. Illustrators of Children’s Books, 1744-1945. Boston: Horn Book, 1947. Call Number: Wing folio ZB 26 .546.

Ries, Hans. Illustration und Illustratoren des Kinder- und Jugendbuchs im deutschsprachigen Raum 1871-1914. Osnabrück: H.Th. Wenner, 1992. Call Number: Wing Z 1037.3 R54 1992.

Schreiben und Illustrieren für Kinder: das aktuelle Kinderbuchschaffen in der Schweiz. Zurich: Chronos, 1998. Call Number: Wing Z 1037.8 .S9 S35 1998.

Schweizer Bilderbuch-illustratoren, 1900-1980: Lexikon [von] Schweizerisches Jugendbuch-institut. Disentis: Desertina Verlag, 1983. Call Number: Wing NC 988 .S38 1983.

Twentieth-Century Children’s Writers, 3rd edition. Chicago: St. James Press, 1989. Call Number: Wing folio PN 1009 .A1 T9 1989.

Viguers, Ruth Hill. Illustrators of Children’s Books, 1946-1956. Boston: Horn Book, 1958. Call Number: Wing folio ZB 26 .546 Suppl.

Writers for Children: Critical Studies of Major Authors Since the Seventeenth Century. New York: Scribner’s, 1988. Call Number: PN 1009 .A1 W73 1988.

Specialized Areas

Chapbooks

Neuburg, Victor E. The Penny Histories: A Study of Chapbooks for Young Readers Over Two Centuries. London: Oxford University Press, 1968. Call Number: PR 972 .N4.

Dime Novels

See Dime Novels.

Drama

Wilson, Albert Edward. Penny Plain, Two Pence Coloured: A History of the Juvenile Drama. London: G.G. Harrap & Co., Ltd., 1932. Call Number: folio V 1964 .97.

Education

Carpenter, Charles H. History of American Schoolbooks. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, [1963]. Call Number: I 6111 .149.

Chervel, André. Histoire de la Grammaire Scolaire: –et il fallut apprendre à écrire à tous les petits Français. Paris: Payot, ©1977 (1981 printing). Call Number: PC 2108 .C5 1977a.

Choppin, Alain. Les Manuels Scolaires: Histoire et Actualité. Paris: Hachette Éducation, 1992. Call Number: LB 3048 .F7 C46 1992.

Crain, Patricia. The Story of A: The Alphabetization of America from The New England Primer to The Scarlet Letter. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000. Call Number: Wing PE 2818 .C73 2000.

Graves, Norman John. School Textbook Research: The Case of Geography 1800-2000. London: Institute of Education, University of London, 2001. Call Number: G 76.5 .G7 G73 2001.

Il Libro per la Scuola tra Sette e Ottocento. Brescia: La scuola, 2000. Call number: Wing LA 791.5 .L53 2000.

La littérature dès l’alphabet: pour une première culture littéraire et artistique à l’école primaire. Paris: Gallimard Jeunesse, 2002. Call Number: Wing LB 1527 .L67 2002.

Speeckaert, Georges Patrick. Livres scolaires d’autrefois: de 1840 à 1940. Bruxelles: De Boeck, 1996. Call Number: Wing folio LB 3048 .F7 S64 1996.

Westerhoff, John H. McGuffey and His Readers: Piety, Morality and Education in Nineteenth-Century America. Nashville: Abingdon, 1977. Call Number: PE 1117 .M23 W4.

Illustration

Gourévitch, Jean Paul. Images d’enfance: quatre siècles d’illustration du livre pour enfants. Paris: Editions Alternatives, 1994. Call Number: Wing NC 965 .G68 1994.

Muir, Marcie. A History of Australian Childrens Book Illustration. Melbourne & New York: Oxford University Press, 1982. Call Number: Wing folio NC 994 .M8 1982.

Moral Behavior

Arresty, Esther B. The Best Behavior: The Course of Good Manners. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1970. Call Number: 4A 12119.

Mason, John Edward. Gentlefolk in the Making: Studies in the History of English Courtesy Literature and Related Topics from 1531 to 1774. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press; London: H. Milford, Oxford University Press, 1935. Call Number: B 692 .553.

Nursery Rhymes

Abrahams, Roger D. Jump-Rope Rhymes: A Dictionary. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1969. Call Number: PE 1519 .A2.

The Annotated Mother Goose, Nursery Rhymes Old and New. New York: C.N. Potter, 1962. Call Number: folio PN 6109 .97 .M67 1962.

Delamar, Gloria T. Children’s Counting-Out Rhymes, Finger-Plays, Jump-Rope, and Bounce-Ball Chants and Other Rhymes: A Comprehensive English-Language Reference. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1983. Call Number: GR 485 .D44 1983.

The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes. Edited by Iona and Peter Opie. Second edition. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 1997. Call Number: Ref PN 6110.C4 O94 1997.

Periodicals

Drotner, Kirsten. English Children and Their Magazines, 1751-1945. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988. Call Number: Wing PN 5124 .J8 D72 1988.

Kelly, R. Gordon. Mother Was a Lady: Self and Society in Selected American Children’s Periodicals, 1865-1890. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1974. Call Number: 4A 19355.

Religion

Bottigheimer, Ruth B. The Bible for Children: From the Age of Gutenberg to the Present. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996. Call Number: Wing BS 546 .B57 1996.

Green, Ian M. The Christian’s ABC: Catechisms and Catechizing in England c. 1530-1730. Oxford: Clarendon Press; New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. Call Number: Wing BT 1031.2 .G74 1996.

Digital Resources

Other Collections

  • Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature (University of Florida). This is a 93,000 volume collection of English and American children’s books from the early 1700s through the 1990s.
  • British Library Children’s Literature Collection. This page has a historical survey of the history of the children’s books in this enormous collection that ranges from the seventeenth century to the present day. Its greatest strength of course is English and American books, but there are books in various European languages.
  • CHILDE: Children’s Historical Literature Disseminated throughout Europe. This is an European project with various national libraries providing bibliographic information on books from their collections, along with a selected image from each book, so it is a bibliography, not a collection of full texts.
  • Children’s Literature Center (Library of Congress). The Center serves people who want to research children’s literature at the Library of Congress, which holds more than 200,000 children’s books, scattered throughout the collections in various languages and from various periods.
  • Cotsen Children’s Library (Princeton University). This collection has children’s books in many languages from the ffteenth century to the present day.
  • de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection (University of Southern Mississippi). This collection, while its primary focus is English and American children’s literature, has books from 1530 to the present day in many languages. There are more than 70,000 printed volumes and many manuscript collections of authors and illustrators.
  • Miriam Snow Mathes Historical Children’s Literature Collection (SUNY at Albany). This collection focuses on nineteenth and twentieth century American children’s literature and has more than 10,000 volumes.
  • Opie Collection of Children’s Literature (Bodleian Library, Oxford). This is a wide-ranging collection of English and American children’s literature from the eighteenth to the twentieth century that covers many non-fiction subject areas as well. 
  • Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books (Toronto Public Library). This collection covers English children’s literature from the fourteenth century to 1910 and has been supplemented by other collections at the library that cover the twentieth century and Canadiana.