Select Irish Research Collections
Church of Ireland College of Education www.cice.ie
The Church of Ireland College of Education houses the records and publications of the Kildare Place Society, founded in 1811. Its full name was the Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor in Ireland and the organisation and structure of the Society served as a basis for the National School system which was set up in 1831. Further details are available athttp://www.cice.ie/AboutCICE/Archives.aspx
The College also has a wide-ranging collection of 19th and 20th century textbooks used in primary schools in Ireland and a collection of the first 1,000 published Puffin titles. Applications to consult material held in the Church of Ireland College of Education should be made to the librarian: email@example.com.
National Library of Ireland www.nli.ie
The National Library of Ireland houses many collections of interest to the researcher of children’s literature including books, poems, illustrations by Irish artists and manuscripts written by Irish children’s authors. For example, Patricia Lynch’s Papers are held at MS Collection List 79, Éilís Dillon’s Papers are at MS Collection List 41 and Máirín Cregan’s Papers are at MS Collection List 159. The Prints and Drawings Dept. has extensive holdings of the work of illustrators such as Rosamond Praeger, Norah McGuinness, Harry Clarke and P.J. Lynch. Throughout 2011 the National Library presents an exhibition entitled “Tall Tales & Deadly Drawings: Stories for Boys & Girls at the National Library” which focuses on the rich collections of children’s books and book illustrations at the NLI.
St. Patrick’s College Drumcondra http://leabharlann.spd.dcu.ie/
The main Junior Library in St. Patrick’s College consists of over 18,281 items. Originally set up as a “model school library” this collection is substantial and includes a copy of all Junior titles published in Irish. It is heavily used by student teachers during Teaching Practice and the shift towards “real books” as opposed to “texts” or “readers” in the new curriculum has increased usage.
One of the major strengths of the library is the extensive collection of school text books, possibly one of the largest of its kind in Ireland. With a recent donation of text books, mostly published by the Christian Brothers before the publication of the First National Curriculum of 1971, this collection offers significant potential for researchers in different aspects of children’s literature, childhood studies, bibliographical and educational studies. Whilst the text book collection is currently in storage, an excel file of titles and subject is available and can be consulted by researchers by appointment at firstname.lastname@example.org
The library has a collection of An Gúm publications which includes a number of children’s classics translated into Irish in the 1940s such as Árda Wuthering by Emily Bronte translated by Seán Ó Cíosáin and Mná Beag le L.M. Alcott translated by Nioclás Toibín. The following special collections are also available:
Pádraic Colum Collection
This collection includes a comprehensive selection of books written by or about the renowned Irish poet, playwright, novelist, children’s author and folklorist, Padraic Colum (1881-1972). For further details see here
Patricia Lynch publications This collection comprises an almost complete set of first editions of the works of Patricia Lynch (1898-1972), author of such classics as “The Turf-Cutter’s Donkey” series, the “Brogeen” series, “Orla of the Burren” and “The Bookshop on the Quay.” For further details, including an extract from the memoirs of her close friend Eugene Lambert, see here
Trinity College Dublin http://library.catalogue.tcd.ie/
The Pollard Collection of Children’s Literature The Pollard Collection consists of over 10,000 historic children’s books from the 17th to the early 20th century, collected over a lifetime by Mary Pollard (1922–2005), formerly Keeper of Early Printed Books. It contains books printed before 1914 with an emphasis on books for girls, including extensive holdings of works by Maria Edgeworth, Barbara Hofland and Mary Sherwood.
One of the most significant of its kind, the Pollard Collection offers enormous opportunities for research and scholarship. The Collection is currently being catalogued and it is hoped that this will be completed by early 2012. However, throughout this process, items are available for readers to consult as soon as they have been catalogued. The records are all in the main Library Catalogue (currently more than half of the total) and the items can be read in the Department of Early Printed Books Reading-Room. A short -title listing of the collection is already available at http://www.tcd.ie/Library/epb/named-collections/p.php#Pollard. Included in this collection is an extensive textbook collection consisting of 567 items. An author search in the main Library Catalogue on “Pollard School-book Collection” will bring up all the records. Enquires about the Pollard Collection should be addressed to email@example.com
There are also many other children’s books in the Library’s collections, as part of legal deposit arrangements over the years.
University College Dublin http://www.ucd.ie/library/services_&_facilities/library_collections/highlights.html
The John Manning Collection The John Manning Collection of Children’s Books consists of nearly 4oo books, chiefly by English authors and published between 1870 and 1920. For further information on this collection see here
Dublin City Public Libraries
Dublin City Public Libraries hold a number of collections relating to the research and enjoyment of children’s literature. The branch library network throughout the city holds an extensive collection of current fiction and non-fiction, Irish and international books for children, which can be read in the library or borrowed for home or school.
Dublin City Library and Archive Special Collections with its Research Reading Room in Pearse Street, holds a valuable collection of early printed books and illustrations for children. Major Irish authors in Irish and English are particularly well represented, as well as translations of their works into other languages. Chapbooks and 18th- to 20th-century schoolbooks also form part of the holdings.
The School Libraries Section assembles a comprehensive collection of current Irish literature, and a representative collection of international literature, for the use of teachers and librarians catering for the reading needs of children. The Irish segment of this collection is available for research at Dublin City Library and Archive, Pearse Street.
Select UK Research Collections
The Opie Collection The Opie Collection of children’s books and ephemera is held at the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford and it consists of over 20,000 items spanning the 16th to 20th century. It was begun in 1944 by Iona and Peter Opie and was donated to the Bodleian in 1988.
British Library http://www.bl.uk/
With holdings of over 14 million books, the British Library has extensive holdings of children’s books from all eras. Their website offers numerous guides, links, a gallery of images, extensive reference sources and includes a historical survey of children’s literature in the British Library from 17th century to the present day here. The latter provides a glimpse into the wealth of material to be found in this world famous library.
Victoria and Albert Museum
The National Art Library at the Victoria and Albert Museum has collected nearly 100,000 children’s books dating from the mid 16th century to the present time. The main collections, listed below, are now held at the Archive of Art and Design at Blythe House Reading Room near Olympia in West London.
The Renier Collection of Historic and Contemporary Publications for Children
The Renier Collection is the largest special collection of children’s literature in the UK. Anne and Fernand Renier gave the collection to the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1970. The Renier Collection consists of over 80,000 books, plus toys, games and printed ephemera. Major authors and artists are well represented, also most subject areas and genres. Foreign-language editions are included and variant editions are a particular strength. The collection has extensive holdings of fairy tales and works by Hans Andersen.
The Guy Little Bequest
The Guy Little Bequest includes approximately 2400 children’s books, acquired in 1961.
The Queen Mary Gift
The Queen Mary Gift includes 100 books formerly belonging to members of the Royal Family and presented by Queen Mary in 1936 on her departure from Buckingham Palace.
The Beatrix Potter Collections
The Library holds major collections of material relating to Beatrix Potter, including the Linder Bequest, the Linder Archive, the Linder Collection and the Warne Archive. All three Linder collections are now housed at the Archive of Art & Design. A representative selection of titles, and of relevant background material, is still available at the National Art Library. For more information, see here.