At the Southampton Children’s Literature Conference earlier this month, librarian/storyteller Connie Rockman and historian Leonard Marcus schooled me on the world of children’s literature archives, museums, and other historical collections.
I knew about some of these already — I got to visit the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at Southern Miss this past spring — but others were completely new to me.
Here are the ones we discussed. Are there any you would add to the list?
Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature
The University of Florida
“[C]ontains more than 100,000 volumes published in Great Britain and the United States from the mid-1600s through 2007. Its holdings of more than 800 early American imprints is the second largest such collection in the United States. The product of Ruth Baldwin’s 40-year collection development efforts, this vast assemblage of literature printed primarily for children offers an equally vast territory of topics for the researcher to explore: education and upbringing, family and gender roles, civic values, racial, religious, and moral attitudes, literary style and format, and the arts of illustration and book design.”
de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection
University of Southern Mississippi
“The de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection is one of North America’s leading research centers in the field of children’s literature. Although the Collection has many strengths, the main focus is on American and British children’s literature, historical and contemporary. Founded in 1966 by Dr. Lena Y. de Grummond, the Collection holds the original manuscripts and illustrations of more than 1200 authors and illustrators, as well as 120,000+ published books dating from 1530 to the present.”
International Youth Library
“The International Youth Library is the largest library for international children’s and youth literature in the world. Ever since it was opened in 1949 by Jella Lepman, it has been continuously expanded to an internationally recognised centre for the world’s children’s and youth literature.”
The University of Minnesota
“[O]ne of the world’s great children’s literature research collections. The Collection includes books, original manuscripts and illustrations, and many related materials. The materials in the Collection are studied by teachers, librarians, students, authors, illustrators, translators, and critics who come from Minnesota and other states as well as from many foreign countries.”
The University of Findlay
“The Mazza Museum: International Art from Picture Books is the world’s largest museum devoted to literacy and the art of children’s picture books. Founded in 1982, the Mazza Museum now contains nearly 5,000 original artworks.”
Weston Woods Institute
“As of this writing, after visiting 210 museums for this “quest,” the unknown and not-even-really-a-real-museum-yet Weston Woods hidden away deep within the Weston woods (seriously) is exactly that: My personal favorite museum in Connecticut.”