Children's Literature Collection

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

A collection of published books and resources relating to children's literature.

The collection includes:

  • Runs of around 40 children's literature journals
  • Reference works such as "Children's Literature Review"
  • Books on the history of children’s literature
  • Biography and autobiography of children’s authors and illustrators
  • Children's books of historical interest and significance, mainly from the 19th and early-20th Centuries.
  • A number of newly published children’s books, usually prize winners, are added to the collection each year.
  • Foreign books including contemporary picture books in Japanese and French as well as international translations into English
  • Adaptations of children's books: film, TV and audio

The collection of children's books also contains several smaller collections, with some of the largest of these being:

  • The Bratton Collection: A collection of 900 books, dating 19th Century-20th Century, deposited by Professor Jacqueline Bratton, a previous member of staff at Roehampton Institute London (now known as the University of Roehampton).
  • The Sharpe Collection: A collection of books dating 18th Century-20th Century, previously held at Whitelands College within the Univeristy of Roehampton.
  • The Streatfeild Collection: A collection of works by author Noel Streatfeild, dating 20th Century, which have been deposited by a private collector.
  • The Street Children Collection: A collection of fiction books about street children, dating late-19th Century to early-20th Century, and deposited by a private collector.
  • Hammersmith and Fulham Early Children’s Books Collection: A collection of books dated 18th Century to early-20th Century, deposited by Hammersmith and Fulham Libraries.

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1991 the Children's Literature Centre was established at Roehampton Institute London (later known as University of Surrey, Roehampton; Roehampton University; and University of Roehampton). The Children's Literature Centre then later changed its name to become the National Centre for Research in Children's Literature.

In order to build a resource for the use of the Centre and for the teaching of literature studies, Roehampton Institute London began to collect books and publications relating to children's literature. The first books in the collection appear to have been acquired in 1996, with frequent acquisitions made thereafter from several sources. The Children's Literature Collection is held at the library of the University of Roehampton and as of 2015 is still being added to.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for access, and can be viewed without an appointment at any time during the archive opening hours.

Opening times: In term time, the Archives and Special Collections are open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – 10am - 4pm. Outside term time the Archives and Special Collections are open by appointment only.

Appointments can be made by contacting the archivist using any of the methods below:

Email: archives@roehampton.ac.uk

Telephone: 020 8392 3323

Postal address: Archives and Special Collections, Library and Learning Services, University of Roehampton, Roehampton Lane, London, SW15 5SZ.

The Archives and Special Collections are located on the fourth floor of the University Library.

Acquisition Information

The collection has been acquired by the University of Roehampton (previously known as Roehampton Institute London; University of Surrey, Roehampton; and Roehampton University) from several different depositors and sources. The first items appear to have been deposited in 1996, and acquisitions of further material have been made frequently since then.

Other Finding Aids

A large part of the collection has been individually catalogued in the University of Roehampton's library catalogue (choose collection "Children's Literature Centre" in advanced search if you want to limit your search to this collection only): http://capitadiscovery.co.uk/roehampton

Alternative Form Available

Some books from the collection have been digitised and can be found online: http://urweb.roehampton.ac.uk/digital-collection/childrens-literature-collection/

Archivist's Note

Description created in June 2015.

Custodial History

Since its inception, the collection always appears to have been held by the University of Roehampton (previously known as Roehampton Institute London; University of Surrey, Roehampton; and Roehampton University).

Items in the collection appear to have been acquired by the University from 1996 onwards, with frequent acquisitions of material made.

This piecemeal collecting means that the items in the collection have come from several different sources.

Particularly large deposits of material have come from:

- Professor Jacqueline Bratton (a previous member of staff at Roehampton Institute London): In 1996 she deposited 900 books with Roehampton Institute London, dating 19th Century-20th Century.

- Whitelands College (part of the University of Roehampton): This College held the Sharpe Collection, dating 18th Century-20th Century, within its archive. The collection was transferred from the archive at Whitelands College to Roehampton Institute London in c1998.

- A collection of works by Noel Streatfeild, dating 20th Century, were deposited by a private collector in 2002.

- A collection of fiction books about street children, dating late-19th Century to early-20th Century, were deposited by a private collector in c2007.

- Hammersmith and Fulham libraries: The predecessor of these libraries began collecting children's literature from c1931. The material dates from 18th Century-20th Century. It was deposited with the University of Roehampton in 2015.

Related Material

Related material held by Archives and Special Collections includes:

  • The Richmal Crompton Collection, containing her archives, her personal library and a collection of her published works for children and for adult readers. See reference code: RC
  • The Froebel Archive for Early Childhood Studies, containing the records of Froebel College and focusing on the training of kindergarten teachers, research into early childhood and the Froebelian method of teaching. See reference code: FA
  • The records of the National Froebel Foundation, a body to oversee courses for kindergarten teachers and to promote the Froebelian method of teaching young children. See reference code: NFF