This Library houses s unique collection of children’s literature
Conservation / Preservation:
Archives / Library
- Archival library book collections such as the Osborne Collection of Books published to the end of 1910
- The Lillian H. Smith Collection of modern notable titles
- The Canadiana Collection of materials written, published, or substantially related to Canada.
- Book collections, book-related art, literary archives, games and ephemera.
- Most materials are English-language, with a few exceptions of classics of children’s literature published in original languages, and some modern notable French-language materials.
- The Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books spans literary classics to popular culture, including such novelties as movables and miniatures.
- The oldest artifacts in the Collection are cuneiform tablets dating from 2,000 B.C.E.
- Modern children’s books: a fourteenth-century manuscript of Aesop’s fables; fifteenth-century traditional tales, sixteenth-century school texts, and courtesy books.
- Godly Puritan works
- Eighteenth-century chapbooks, moral tales and rational recreations
- Victorian classics of fantasy adventure and school stories up to 1910.
- Florence Nightingale’s childhood library
- Queen Mary’s children’s books
- Materials pertaining to members of theTaylor family of Ongar
- The Pettingell Collection of periodicals and penny dreadfuls
- Extensive holdings of the works of G.A. Henty
- The John Sullivan Hayes Collection: Predominantly nineteenth and twentieth-century English Children’s books and considerable Canadiana
Teachers and instructors are welcome to contact the Osborne Collection to arrange group visits, subject to space and scheduling.
Classes starting at Grade 4 may enjoy exhibits and talks, while high school, college, and university-level students may be given subject presentations on Osborne material
Online exhibits highlighting items from the Osborne Collection: Worlds Away: Wild Inventions at Osborne, When Cinderella Went to the Ball: Five Hundred Years of Fairy Tales, Picture Perfect! – An Exhibit of Canadian Picture Book Art, This Magical Book: Movable Books for Children, 1771-2001
Volunteers are recruited to help maintain, preserve and display the collections and archival material.
Address & Contact Information:
Located on the 4th floor of Lillian H. Smith branch
239 College Street, Toronto, ON M5T 1R5
Hours of Operation:
Key Words: literature, children