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Rare Books and Manuscripts

Children's Literature

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.

Children's Pop-up Books

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


RBM houses six hornbooks and a set of alphabet discs dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. Hornbooks were educational tools that originated in England in the mid-15th century. Comprised of a wooden paddle that had a handwritten lesson (such as the alphabet, numbers, or Lord's Prayer) tacked to it, a hornbook derives its name from the thin sheet of translucent horn that covered lesson to protect it from being soiled.

Young Adult Fiction

RBM holds a large collection of young adult literature published between the mid 19th and late 20th century. Gifted to the Library by Kenneth Donelson (ASU Professor emeritus, English), this collection features works by Ralph Henry Barbour, William Heyliger, Harry Castlemon, Kirk Munroe, John Tunis, among many other authors. Also strongly represented are the Stratemeyer Literary Syndicate heroes, Tom Swift and Nancy Drew. The collection is augmented by a nearly full run of The Dime Novel Round-Up (1931-2000) and an extensive run of The Mystery and Adventure Series Review (1980-1995). 

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