Children's Literature

This non-circulating children’s literature collection contains more than 30,000 volumes with strengths including pop-up and movable books, Newbery and Caldecott medal winners, works by Michigan authors and illustrators, and limited and finely bound editions illustrated by Arthur Rackham.

The collection is grounded in 19th and 20th century classics, including early editions of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Winnie-the-Pooh. Other strengths include British chapter books, a nearly-complete assemblage of Robert Sabuda’s pop-up masterpieces, changing interpretations of classic fairy tales, and works that illustrate diversity in children’s literature.

The collection also features several archival and manuscript collections containing artwork, correspondence, drafts, and other materials created by notable Michigan authors and illustrators including Nancy Willard and Tom Pohrt.

Current collecting is focused on picture books and other illustrated fiction, with special attention paid to fairy tales, works by Midwestern publishers, works showing the history of diverse representation in children's literature, and materials illustrating the influence of changing media and technology on children's literature. The collection is held in the Special Collections Research Center.

Important related collections 

The Hubbard Collection of Imaginary Voyages includes many juvenile fiction adaptations of "Gulliver’s Travels" and "Robinson Crusoe," as well as numerous robinsonades written for young audiences. The Janice Bluestein Longone Culinary Archive includes many cookbooks written for children. 

Additionally, the Children’s Literature Special Collection is complemented by our circulating children's literature collection, which is intended for curricular purposes. 

History of the collection

The collection was inspired by several important donations in the early years of the 21st century, including those of U-M University Librarian Emeritus William A. Gosling.

Online exhibits

Materials in the collection

Finding Aids

Blog posts

Book illustration of an abstract person surrounded by whimsical birds.


Photograph of Juli McLoone, a white woman with red hair, dark blonde at the roots, and blue eyes, wearing purple.
Juli McLoone