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Children's Books

The Children's Collection of some 10,000 books was formed with the aim of preserving children's books for study and research.

Here you will discover books as period pieces reflecting contemporary social attitudes to children, as well as fine examples of book illustration, design and original bindings.

Currently viewing:
L Child, Who's afraid of the big bad book? (1988)

© Lauren Child, Hodder & Stoughton

The chronological strength of the collection is the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (See W.H. Shercliff's Morality to adventure: Manchester Polytechnic's collection of children's books, 1988). A collection of a thousand picture books of the 1970s and 1980s was added at the end of the twentieth century. Picture books can also be studied in Book Design, a collection strong on imaginative book illustration (see separate entry for the Book Design Collection).

Prize winning books such as the Caldecott, Carnegie, Mother Goose, Smarties and Victoria and Albert Museum Illustration Awards are regularly added.

The Children's Collection includes comics and magazines such as Eagle Annual, Blackie's Girls' Annual, Chatterbox, Boys' Own Annual and Girls' Own Annual. Edwardian boys' adventure stories by G.A. Henty, Captain F.S. Brereton, Manvell Fenn, Herbert Strang and Percy Westerman are complemented by stories for girls by Angela Brazil and L.T. Meade.

Favourite classics and fairy stories are featured. The work of people associated with Manchester School of Art includes Walter Crane, Randolph Caldecott, Leslie Wood, Tony Ross and Lauren Child.

The current cults for Harry Potter and Lemony Snicket are also reflected.

The collection can be found on the Library's web catalogue: entries are available under author, title and illustrator.

Contact the Children's Books Collection

Access to the collection is on a weekday basis, Monday - Friday 10.00 - 16.00

It is open for private research by staff, students and external visitors

Phone +44 (0)161 247 6107


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Current Exhibition

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A Feast for the Eyes - A journey around Special Collections

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Where are we?

Maps of our locations and contact details for Staff in the Special Collections.