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As you explore the Library's website, you are likely to run across old favorites and unexpected treasures. You will encounter historical mindsets and perspectives that may be both illuminating and uncomfortable. Feel free to Ask a Librarian for help when you have questions.
The Library's digital collections contain a variety of primary source materials related to historical children's books, including scanned books, articles from historical newspapers, and prints and photographs. We have provided links below to some relevant collections, as well as tips and strategies for searching the Library's website more broadly, to find additional resources on this topic.
Browse the Library's digital collections to find examples of scanned books throughout the site. Use the navigation facets along the left side of the page to narrow your results. While searching an individual collection can sometimes provide more focused and streamlined results, searching across the collections by format accesses a greater range of materials (and introduces an element of surprise!).
Catalog records for older children's books in the online collections do not generally indicate the age of the intended audience. A subset of records may contain juvenile subject headings, but the majority do not. You may find it helpful to experiment. Try searching or browsing the collections for the name of a particular author or illustrator. Consider naming patterns or keyword phrases that publishers or authors may have used to signal that their books were intended for children. We have provided some examples of each of these approaches below.
These are some examples of headings associated with children's materials on the Library's website:
Keyword phrases like these may also be useful when searching for historical children's books in the digital collections:
Children of the...
|First book of...
For young people
Use the facets (narrowing strategies) along the left side of the search screen to navigate your search results. Facets are particularly useful for quickly narrowing down a large set of results to the most relevant materials. Some useful facets include: