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Rare Books and Manuscripts: Children's Literature

Children's Literature in Rare Books and Manuscripts

Rare Books and Manuscripts contains books that document the history of children's literature and award-winning publications. Included are alphabet and picture books, young adult fiction, poetry books, pop-ups, biographies and unique formats.


The princess and the pea: a pop-up book by Hans Christian Andersen; retold by Charlie Katze; illustrated by Bradley H. Clark, 1994.

Children's Pop-up Books

The Eugene D. Valentine Pop-Up Book (SPEC VAL) Collection contains examples of numerous movable book formats on a large variety of subjects for children and adults.

How Many Bugs in a Box

How many bugs in a box? A pop-up counting book, by David A. Carter

To Find Pop-up Books

All the pop-up books in Rare Books and Manuscripts are cataloged using the subject heading toy and movable books. To find books about pop-up, toy or movable books, do a Subject search using for Toy and Movable. You can also do a Local Call Number search using SPEC VAL. For more instructions on this search strategy see the Quick Search Tab.

toy movable


A hornbook is a children's primer consisting of a sheet of parchment, paper or cloth with the alphabet, numbers or religious text. The print was protected by a sheet of transparent horn or mica, which was encased in a frame with a handle. Rare Books and Manuscripts houses five horn books, found by the call number SPEC OBJ S-3 to SPEC OBJ S-8, and one set of Alphabet Discs (SPEC OBJ S-9). Below are two samples of hornbooks viewable in Rare Books and Manuscripts. 

horn book  horn book

Young Adult Fiction

An extensive collection of young adult fiction written for boys from the late 1880s through the 1940s was donated by Kenneth Donelson, and contains more than 300 volumes. To locate the books, do a local call number search for SPEC DO.


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