The Historical Children’s Literature Collection contains more than 80 images of variations on classic children’s tales. Made possible by a UBC Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund (TLEF) grant, this collection is a collaboration with the Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections, UBC’s iSchool, and the Department of English Language and Literatures.
Particularly strong in chapbooks and early Canadian content, most of the selected books come from the Arkley Collection of Early and Historical Children’s Literature. The Arkley Collection, donated in 1976 by Stan T. Arkley, a member of UBC’s class of 1925, and his wife, Rose, comprises more than 12,000 Canadian, British, and American children’s books, serials, and manuscripts. The digitized collection contains only a small portion of the entire Arkley Collection, with potential for future growth. Among the chapbooks — small booklets containing stories or ballads aimed at the popular market and sold on the street by itinerant pedlars or “chapmen”— are a number of stories that many readers will recognize.
The first of these two versions of the Cinderella tale includes an “historical description of the cat”, for anyone who is otherwise unfamiliar with such exotic creatures.
Also represented are somewhat lesser-known stories – such as this cautionary tale on the dangers of trying to please everyone …… and this collection of anecdotes where haggis regrettably appears but once. In addition to children’s tales, the collection also contains instructional materials such as this 1885 speller. To view these items and other treasures in the collection, please visit the Historical Children’s Literature Collection.