In August 1955, faculty member Laurentza Schantz-Hansen presented to Purdue University her collection of children’s books as a gift to the Purdue Nursery School in the Department of Child Development and Family Life of the School of Home Economics. Miss Schantz- Hansen began this collection in 1925; due to her interest in art, many of the books were chosen for the quality of their illustrations. Others were chosen because of their historical interest. Some of the many languages represented are: Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Russian, German, Chinese, French, and Spanish, as well as English. Publication dates range from the 1800s to 1955, and more than 650 titles are included. In ensuing years, selected books were added to the collection.
One of the unique book collections in the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections is the Limited Editions Club books. These books have been presented to the Libraries since 1984 by Frederick W. Billerbeck (Purdue University, Ph.D. 1959) and his wife, Barbara J. Aust Billerbeck. Based on the premise that distinguished literary works were worthy of the best typographic treatment possible, George Macy founded the Limited Editions Club (LEC) in 1929. By capturing the beauty and integrity of the literary classics, the LEC books appeal to bibliophiles and book collectors. LEC memberships provide deluxe editions issued in numbered series, beginning with the First Series, which was issued from October 1929 through September 1930. The Libraries' LEC holdings include some books in the early series, but for the most part begin with the Twenty-eighth Series, which were issued when the Billerbecks started collecting the books in 1959. As new series became available, a copy was added to the original collection. In mint condition, each title is in its original slipcase and has been identified with a specially designed book plate; the book plates use the Centaur type face, one of the two type faces of remarkable distinction that Bruce Rogers designed. An appealing art form in their own right, book plates are also of interest to book collectors as evidence for establishing the provenance of particular copies of books.
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Oxford Companion to Children's Literature. Edited by Humphrey Carpenter and Mari Prichard. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1984. HSSE Library (Reference) PN1008.5 .C37 1984
Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes. New edition. Edited by Iona and Peter Opie. Oxford and New York Oxford University Press, 1997. HSSE Library (3rd Floor) 808.8 Op3o 1997
Rosenbach, A. S. W. Early American Children's Books. Portland, Maine: Southworth Press, 1933. Request through ILL.
Rosenbach, A. S. W. Early American Children's Books, 1682-1840. New York: Printed at the New York Library, 1927. Full-text available at HathiTrust.
Welch, d'Alte A. A Bibliography of American Children's Books Printed Prior to 1821. Worcester: American Antiquarian Society, 1972. Request through ILL.
The Osborne Collection of Early Children's Books. Two Volumes. Toronto: Toronto Public Library, 1958-1975. Request through ILL.
Catalogue of the Cotsen Children's Library. Princeton: Princeton University Library, 2000-. Request through ILL.