Hammersmith and Fulham Early Children’s Books Collection

FullSizeRenderHammersmith and Fulham Early Children’s Books Collection

By Dr Jane Carroll, NCRCL Lecturer

If you’ve been up to visit the children’s literature collection in the University of Roehampton in the past few weeks, you’ll have noticed a new set of old books up on the shelves. This is the Hammersmith and Fulham Early Children’s Books Collection.

This collection, comprising over a thousand early children’s books dating from the late 18th century to the early 20th century, was originally held by Hammersmith and Fulham library.   The collection began in 1931-2 with the first 300 books – it then grew by purchase and gift to a total of roughly 1,120 books.   Last year, Hammersmith & Fulham libraries approached the University of Roehampton to see if we would be interested in taking it on.

In May 2014 I visited the collection with Julie Mills (Subject Librarian) and Kornelia Cepok (Archivist). With the help of staff from Hammersmith & Fulham library, we picked a few boxes at random to get a sense of what might be there. Once we started unpacking the books we realised that this collection was unusual. While there were lots of well-known texts and good early editions of ‘classics’, there were also plenty of books we’d never even heard of and large numbers of strange non-fiction texts that were unlike anything else in Roehampton’s collections.

Continue reading “Hammersmith and Fulham Early Children’s Books Collection”