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Bobby Approved (v 3.2)

Best Practice Report

The Best Practice Report is produced as a guide for researchers, literary historians and the owners and managers of historical children's book collections. It brings together the CHILDE European partners’ expertise on the following three themes:

The report consists of case studies, written by the partners and based on their own in-house collections.

These have been compiled and analysed and are now presented as a Best Practice Model for the development and utilisation of children's historical book collections throughout Europe.

Please click here to obtain a downloadable copy of this document in pdf format.

Best Practice Report.PDF


Conservation and Preservation



Representatives of the following collections associated with the CHILDE project have given much thought to the conservation and preservation of historical book stocks: Wandsworth Borough Library Service, Buckinghamshire County Library Service, Dublin City Public Libraries; Institut fur Jugendbuchforschung, Frankfurt; International Youth Library, Munich; Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague. What they agree upon is that there are two different aspects to maintaining historical childrens’ literature:

1. Conservation: First and foremost it is a matter of generally saving early children’s books from obliteration by integrating them into a library or private collection. To trace smaller or larger collections and, where possible, to combine them, to complement them by acquisitions or donations and to maintain them for present or future research.

2. Preservation: the collected books must undergo restoration to halt and prevent their physical disintegration to which these kind of books are particularly prone because of the heavy demand by children and the use of inferior paper. As with other rare books restoration should be undertaken in such a way as to preserve the original form as much as possible. The individual approaches made by the various libraries are set out in the following reports.


Case Studies

  1. Buckinghamshire County Library Service, UK

Buckinghamshire Records and Local Studies Service was invited to report on the condition of the Children's Historic Book Collection, in 1998. Two conservators, Jeff Cargill and Samantha Joiner, inspected each volume and estimated the numbers which required some sort of repair. The cost of the conservation work was estimated at £12,000. The following table gives a breakdown of the numbers of volumes and the type of repair needed.

Type of volumes In need of rebinding In need of rebacking In need of minor repair Total number
Cloth/paperbacks 926 48 139 95
Leather 123 14 62 3
Vellum 1 - - 1
Total 1050 62 201 98
Estimated cost £4000 £6000 £2,000 £12,000


The Heritage Lottery Fund appointed Deborah Novotny, Head of Selection and Preservation at the British Library, to advise them on the conservation of the collection. She suggested that a passive approach to conservation would be more suited to the collection than wholesale rebinding. This would include repair work where appropriate, but not de-acidification. It was likely that the majority of the volumes would require book shoes (a card box open to the rear to reveal the spine) and in some instants a phase box (an enclosed card box).

With this less intrusive policy in mind, Samantha Joiner and Lesley Kumiega, the Project Librarian, prioritised the work:

  • volumes requiring immediate repair and mechanical cleaning
  • volumes requiring less immediate treatment
  • volumes requiring book shoes
  • volumes which were particularly appealing and would be displayed
  • loose items requiring transparent sleeves

A conservation timetable was drawn up and split into four phases:

Phase 1: Feb- June 2000

The items which had suffered considerable damage and deterioration, having boards missing or needing a re-back etc, requiring immediate attention

Phase 2: June- August 2000

The volumes which required less immediate treatment. They would form part of the working collection, but would need to be handled to a lesser extent.

Phase 3: Sept-Dec 2000

The volumes which were particularly appealing and would be displayed, and items which had risen in priority by cataloguing and bibliography.

Phase 4: Jan-Feb 2001

Any other treatment that might be found necessary, including sleeving of individual sheets of ephemera.

About 400 volumes and ephemera were selected for treatment. A record sheet was designed and one sheet filled in for each volume to record all treatments applied. A standard book shoe was designed to hold the boards and support the text block. About 350 shoes were made from folding box board.

 Buckinghamshire Historical Children’s Book Collection Conservation Record

Shelf Mark







Type Of Binding






















Dry Chemical









Description Of Damage



Phase Box

Start Of Treatment

Book shoe

Finish Of Treatment

Acid Free Wrapper

Other Comments

Polyester Sleeve


  1. Dublin City Public Libraries, Ireland

Preservation: ". . .action taken to anticipate, prevent, stop or retard deterioration."

Conservation: the maintenance of each item in the collection in a usable condition. "

Restoration: ". . . the act of returning the deteriorated item to its original or near-original condition."1

(Wesley L. Boomgaarden)

Trinity College, Dublin

Trinity College Library houses the country's main conservation activity. The Conservation Laboratory employs four conservators and a number of technicians. The Library maintains an international internship program that attracts young conservators from abroad who wish to spend a year working with the Library's staff and collections.

Microfilming is used at Trinity and digitisation of individual items and collections is in an early stage. As the major national centre, Trinity's Conservation Laboratory undertakes specialist work from time to time on behalf of other institutions including those that have no facilities of their own.

The university library has no written policy on restoration, preservation and storage of historical children's literature.

Trinity College Library trains its own conservation staff as well as assisting with the training of staff based elsewhere. Other libraries sometimes send people for training to the Library. Encouragement is given to staff to develop their skills by attending short courses outside the institution.

Private Collection

The owner took various issues into account:

  • Environmental monitoring – books were stored in a well-ventilated room where fluctuations in the temperature and humidity were kept to a minimum (as much as possible in a home). Direct sunlight and strong light avoided.
  • Preservation packaging of many delicate items in the collection. Horizontal storage of most items preferred. Priority to keep the books stable, support them, allow the book to be viewed

National Library of Ireland

The National Library has a conservation workshop, a bindery and a special officer managing preservation issues. The Library also has a written preservation policy. The institution recently opened its new premises with a fully equipped microfilming unit and special storage rooms for its photographic collections

The new flush binding system, developed in the Conservation Laboratory of Trinity College Dublin, continued in operation at the Library’s Technical Services Building in 1999. This is a very cost-effective system, and has the additional advantage that the original covers of paperback books remain visible.

Staff provided by Trinity College on a recoupment basis dealt with almost 4,500

paperback books during the year at a cost to the Library of approximately £14,000. The large backlog of such books awaiting binding has now been eliminated and the books become available to readers as soon as they

have been catalogued.

Marsh’s Library

The Library houses the Delmas Bindery that has its own conservation laboratory.

Church of Ireland College of Education

This collection is housed in optimum conditions for conserving material. A cool temperature is maintained and the material is protected from light.

Dublin City Public Libraries

DCL’s historical children’s literature collection is not singled out for specialist conservation and preservation treatment but is managed in the same way as the rest of their historical collections. When the need arises material in need of treatment is sent to specialist services such as the Delmas Bindery at Marsh’s library. We are also pursuing a policy of actively trying to ‘fill in gaps’ in our existing historical children’s book collection.

Links on the subject of protecting paper and book collections during exhibition

Osborne Collection Toronto

Victoria State


  1. Institut fur Jugendbuchforschung, Frankfurt, Germany

    The Library for Research into Books for Young People at the Goethe University Frankfurt contains approx. 18,000 media items of historical literature for children and young people covering the period from the sixteenth century up to 1945. The Library also aims to collect the entire output of German literature for children and young people, as well as significant publications of foreign-language literature for children and young people in all its different media and publication formats: illustrated broadsheets, picture books, illustrated and non-illustrated books for children and young readers, magazines either singly or in bound volumes, brochures, journals and journal series. In addition, there is a small collection of historical card and board games. The entire stock consists of a year-by-year collection (general catalogue) of approx. 15,500 volumes, and three special collections of altogether approx. 2,500 volumes named after their previous owners Arthur Rumann, Kari Hobrecker and Walter Benjamin. A further special collection of approx. 200 historical editions of 'Strip Cartoons and Comics'.

    These latter, special collections, containing a wealth of especially valuable media items, are kept in separate stacks or steel cabinets, whilst the year-by-year collection is kept in a compact system with movable shelves. The shelf units are 223 cm high and the bottom shelves are 30 cm deep. Due to the variable formats of children’s books the bottom shelves are spaced at between 30 and 33 cm. Extremely large formats are stored in separate shelf units with particularly wide bottom shelf spacing. Technical safety devices include smoke alarms and fireproof doors.

    Since April 2001 the stockrooms of the Library for Research into Books for Young People, with a total stacking area of approx. 3,000 metres, have been housed in the basement (Q I) of the Library Centre for the Humanities (Bibliothekszentrum Geisteswissenschaften - BZG) of the new Westend campus of the Goethe University. This location offers scope for future expansion of the historical children’s books collection, which is constantly enlarged and updated by donations and acquisitions from antiquarian booksellers. Storage in the basement guarantees conditions that are suitable for the preservation of books in that it offers, to a large extent, protection from sunlight and climatic influences.

    Some of the books stored in the special collections have had transparent protective covers fitted to minimise possible damage by users. Any repair work to damaged copies of the historical children’s books collection is commissioned from expert restorers. This is to ensure that the books are being preserved as closely as possible in their original form.

    It is anticipated that part of the historical collections will have to undergo a paper de- acidifying process to protect it from decay. In addition, measures will have to be taken for the complete digitising of the most valuable and most endangered books. On account of the extremely high costs, however, such plans can only be realised through special programmes initiated by institutional sponsors for the sciences or scientific libraries.

  2. International Youth Library, Munich, Germany

    Based on the library’s own experience and the intensive collaboration with scholars and collectors the following guidelines for historic children’s book collections apply:

    1. Conservation (maintaining children’s and young people’s books for the future)

    Historic children’s and young people’s books are vital period documents in that they reflect the respective ideal image a given society has formed of itself, how that society should be and how it could be improved, so that these concepts could be brought to children by example. It follows then that it was worthwhile not only to collect and maintain so-called valuable and prettily illustrated children’s books but also the trivial children’s literature which can, from a thematic aspect, be equally informative. In addition it is sensible to collect different editions of important titles, not only to demonstrate their popularity but also because their content was often amended to correspond to the current ‘Zeitgeist’ and state of education.

    2. Preservation (the physical maintenance of the original objects)

    Children’s books need to be restored with particular care and effort to make them endure the centuries because their binding and paper were for economic reasons often of poor quality. Popular titles, moreover, were handled extensively and are frequently heavily worn. Many titles are extremely rare because they were first read to shreds and then thrown away. Consequently, the libraries must keep even badly worn specimens as documentary evidence.

    First of all the text block must be restored as individual sheets are often torn and loose and moreover stained and scribbled on. The tendency of many children to often crudely colour the monotone illustrations with crayon or watercolours deflect from their artistic effect. It is therefore recommended to reverse, or at least to diminish these colourations as far as possible. In contrast, children’s drawings made onto the blank endpapers may be considered interesting documentary evidence of the period and should be kept. The fixing of pages with now rusty staples - a cheap method introduced at the end of the 19th century - must be removed to prevent rust from further damaging the paper. Similarly, the adhesive from the modern amateurish repair with sticky tape also needs to be cleaned off (with petrol) as it has caused the paper to decay.

    Furthermore, the covers are often heavily damaged and soiled and need to be cleaned, repaired and firmly re-attached to the text block. Since ca. 1850 books appeared more frequently with publishers’ pre-printed, illustrated cloth or cardboard covers. If possible, the original covers should be conserved because apart from their significance for the art of book design they represent, as publishers’own covers, often the only distinguishing mark between various editions. This also applies to protective covers.

    In the cheap production method from approximately 1850 onwards wood pulp-containing paper was frequently used which now shows the inevitable symptoms of decay. It would be of utmost urgency to carry out a massive de-acidification at justifiable costs.


    To guarantee special protection from theft and guard against decay historic children’s books, like other historic collections, must be kept in lockable stacks under controlled climatic conditions. Specially appointed staff trained in handling historic collections should be responsible for removing and returning books.

    Attaching book mark labels should be avoided as these damage and disfigure the book covers. The IJB follows the example of the Berlin National Library – Cultural Heritage of Prussia - (Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz) and, using a rice pulp, attaches an acid-free marking strip which can be folded inwards if necessary (for exhibitions).

    The stamping, too, of historically valuable books often cannot be avoided for legal reasons. Upon recommendation by the Bavarian National Library (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek) the IJB uses acid-free stamp ink based on soot and oil and applies the stamp with as little colour as possible on the inner title page. The smallest possible special stamp is recommended.


  3. Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague, The Netherlands
    The measures for preservation and conservation of early and modern children’s books in the Koninklijke Bibliotheek of The Hague consist of some very practical issues.
  • Early and modern children’s books are never allowed out of the building for regular customer services. Early and modern children’s books are to be used on site. Only for exhibition purposes and under strict conditions can the material be transported to other institutions in The Netherlands or abroad.
  • The books are kept in the original state as much as possible. They are not to be rebound, the dustjackets won’t be removed, the books will not receive a visible library stamp and no shelfmarks will be put on the bookcovers.
  • The most rare, precious and vulnerable copies are kept in especially climatised stocks, as to guarantee the very best conditions for storage. The relative humidity and the temperature in these stocks is kept on a constant level.
  • Copies are kept in specially made acid-free boxes. This keeps light and dust away as much as possible. Small or large items are kept in special cases, in special acid-free paper or melinex slipcases.
  • Dutch early children’s books from the period 1840-1950 are to be microfilmed, some 5,000 already are. The original early and modern children’s books are put away in closed envelopes, which guarantees better storage conditions. When necessary the microfilm is presented for research purposes to the customers.

When the material appears to be in very poor condition, books can be subject to restoration (paper, binding, illustration etc.).


  1. Wandsworth Borough Library Service, UK

    For much of its existence, the Wandsworth Collection of Early Children’s books has been housed on open shelves, either in an office or in a basement room. Over the years it has had to be moved several times.

    During the 1980’s, it was given what was hoped, a permanent home in a secure room in the basement of one of the libraries. Shelving was acquired with lockable glass fronts but there was no climate control and heating pipes ran through the room. No supervision was available though the room was kept locked, nor was there a handling policy.

    A successful application for a Heritage Lottery Grant meant that Wandsworth was able to contract a specialist conservator to stabilise the collection, including uncatalogued material acquired from Kensington and Chelsea.

    The brief did not cover any restoration, though in a few cases loose pages were tipped-in. Rather the work involved:

    1. assessing the state of each item,
    2. producing a conservation record
    3. stabilising the item, if necessary either using ties or by boxing material in acid-free conservation boxes or casing in acid-free clear envelopes.

    Fragile materials were invariably boxed. The collection of chapbooks had always been stored in the plastic pockets of photograph albums. It was decided to leave these as they were since they were in a good state of preservation. A similar decision was taken over a series of French novels with decorated bindings, which had been given library cases – even though these were not acid-free.

    In 1997, the refurbished Putney Library was opened. The plans included a purpose built room to provide a permanent home for the Collection. Completely interior, with a secure lock and a separate alarm, the room has been provided with adjustable metal shelving and a climate control system which maintains the atmosphere at 50% humidity, 22C. There is an established handling policy and in addition, staff have had basic handling training.


Children’s books published during the period from the 15th century to approximately 1950 are defined as historical. They are contained in named libraries and have been made accessible to users through cataloguing. Many of the historical children’s books have become rare as they have been either discarded by children after intensive use or their collectible value has not been recognised by libraries in time. The extant copies are often heavily worn and are therefore particularly fragile for conservation. Yet, many must be kept on account of their rarity. They mostly require extensive restorative treatment.

What is evident from the individual reports is that most children’s book collections have specialised restoration workshops at their disposal or have access to those of larger libraries. Concrete measures to prevent the disintegration of books, especially in the children’s book sections, have so far been implemented only by Buckinghamshire Library. The individual assessments as to the extent of protective measures vary not least because of cost. However, a delay in the de-acidification of the wood pulp-containing paper which has been used for printing children’s books during the 19th and 20th centuries would be inadvisable. The disintegration of the untreated paper is progressive and, according to the latest technological development, can only be halted but not reversed and the paper stabilised by the process of de-acidification.

Andreas Bode

International Youth Library, Munich, Germany




Any collection of early children’s books, whether it is small or large; whether it represents books that are fifty years or several centuries old, faces the problem of access to the collection and of recording its holdings. CHILDE represents a variety of such special collections. Some of them are large national collections, others are more modest and belong to a local authority, or private individual. All have had to face these problems and have had to reach a solution.

Case Studies

  1. Buckinghamshire County Library Service, UK

The catalogue project

An experience cataloguer was appointed to undertake six months work on compiling records. It was hoped they would provide entries for the Buckinghamshire County Library Service catalogue which would serve as a basis for the bibliography which was to be published to promote the collection more widely, particularly among the academic and research communities.

Existing cataloguing system

Buckinghamshire County Library Service uses the Bibliomondo system for all its technical processes and this system, being a long established system, was very straightforward to use, particularly when creating the catalogue. There was the facility to create full catalogue entries utilising all established MARC protocols, but it was not configured with very sophisticated or flexible output formats. As a result, a decision was made to catalogue separately onto the Bibliomondo system, creating short entry catalogue records to simplify and speed up the process. The cataloguer decided that this process could be undertaken at the end of the project after detailed entries had been created for the bibliography and this could then be used as the basis for data entry.

The catalogue entries included author and title, and the latter needed to be abbreviated on occasion as the fields for this system were fixed length. In addition the subject field was used to indicate the name of the collection, with a subheading for the category of literature, to enable searches to be carried out for the collection as a whole.

Alternatives to Bibliomondo

It was decided that a, bibliographic database management package would be used to create the bibliographic entries. The software is designed to accommodate bibliographic data of all kinds, both print and non-print and seemed likely to need little adjustment to fit the need. The package came with a wide range of suitable pre-determined report formats. A number of output options were usually available, including transfer to popular WP packages. It was possible to speed up the process by downloading records from external databases. With future plans for a Web site in mind, databases created by the use of a bibliographic database management package could be easily uploaded for use on the Internet.

There were a number of packages available in this category. The cataloguer had considerable experience of one of the most sophisticated of these, ProCite, so the decision was made to purchase this package and install it on the project workstation for present and future use.

Creating the database

One of the existing ProCite record formats, called Workforms, was designed to hold data relating to all the parts of a whole book and this was used without any adjustments being necessary apart from a protocol being drawn up for the kinds of information to be added to each field. As well as the standard bibliographic description fields such as Author, Title, imprint details (place, publisher name, year of publication), series and subject, other useful features included a field for the original date of publication, which gave added value to the historical information provided. Another important record field was the Abstract Field, this was used to make appropriate annotations, such as where the items in the collection were anthologies of stories or verse or the entries would be enhanced by individual parts being listed. All the fields were variable length fields and this was particularly useful for the Title field where there was a need to include sometimes very lengthy detail from the title pages of the books prior to the nineteenth century. Although the structure of the database permitted the listing of second authors in a separate field, detail such as the names of illustrators could be added to the Title field.

For data entry, it was beneficial that the books only needed handling once, since some of the items were in a fragile condition. The only other information that the cataloguer considered necessary for the bibliography was some basic collation information (pagination, number of illustrations, size of item) and some mention of any missing pages or the condition of the item. The Keyword/Subject field was used to define the categories of literature that comprised the collection

  • Anthologies and Miscellanies
  • Annuals and Periodicals
  • Fairy Stories, Fables, and Folk Tales
  • Nursery Rhymes and Songs
  • Picture Books and Alphabets
  • Toybooks, Keepsakes and Moveables
  • Games and Pastimes
  • Information Books
  • Poetry and Verse
  • Religious Instruction
  • Stories before 1850
  • Stories 1850 - 1914

These categories were based on an examination of the collection at the beginning of the project and an investigation of the catalogues of similar collections, such as the Wandsworth collection in London and the Osborne Collection in Toronto.


  1. Dublin City Public Libraries, Ireland

    Trinity College Dublin

    The university library has catalogued its children's literature according to AACRI rules, British version with local variations. A detailed provenance index has been created for historical material, including children’s literature.

    Much of the material held in the library is available via the online catalogue, however access to some library holdings is via the manual catalogue only.

    While identifying historical children's literature in the library's collection from the online catalogue is straightforward, searching the manual catalogue for children’s material presents major difficulties.

    Marsh's Library

    Marsh’s Library uses the UKMARC cataloguing rules. Only a tiny proportion of Marsh’s holdings is children’s material and such material is not specifically identified in the catalogue. The catalogue is not designed to allow easy access to children’s material

    National Library of Ireland

    During 1999, the Library changed its cataloguing format from UKMARC to USMARC, converting existing records to USMARC, and sourcing new bibliographic records from the OCLC Worldcat service. These changes required a considerable amount of staff training that inevitably affected output during the year. The new system is, however, already leading to greater efficiency and increased output. The hit rate on OCLC for new books is about 90%, and records for second-hand material are also numerous on OCLC, and of a high quality.

    Church of Ireland College of Education

    While the library’s main collection is available through an OPAC within the library, the historical collection is maintained via a card catalogue.

    Private Collection.

    No written catalogue, however much of the individual material has been catalogued and researched to a high standard

    Dublin City Public Libraries

    Material is catalogued according to AACR2 rules with some local variations. The cataloguing format is UKMARC. As part of the current on-line cataloguing project, DCL have begun to create a provenance index for all historical material held in the collections.


  2. Institut fur Jugendbuchforschung, Frankfurt, Germany

Since the founding of the Institute in 1963 the stock of historical books for children and young people has been catalogued conventionally in accordance with the "Instructions for, the Alphabetical Indexing of Prussian Libraries of 10.5" 1899 (PI), though in mechanical word order. Indexing was by genres and subject-related sur- and sub-keywords. The shelf mark system for the entire year-by-year stock - as well as for the Walter Benjamin collection - has been arranged chronologically from K 0 (sixteenth century) to K 5 (twenty first century). There are seven different card indexes for book searches:

  • alphabetical index (i.e. author index)
  • title index
  • illustrator index
  • publisher index
  • index for translated copies
  • keyword/subject index
  • chronological index

Since 1991 the books have been catalogued by EDP in accordance with the "Regulations for Alphabetical Indexing in Scientific Libraries" (Regeln fur die alphabetische Katalogisierung in wissenschaftlichen Bibliotheken - RAK-WB). The EDP database which has been compiled in an MAB format by means of the library database system BISMAS (developed by the University of Oldenburg) comprises at present approx. 17,000 title entries. An EDP-aided retro-indexing of the historical collections is planned in the medium term, but additional funding and support from other partners involved with children's books is still needed.


  1. International Youth Library, Munich, Germany

    The IJB has participated in electronic cataloguing since it was implemented within the Federation of Bavarian Libraries (Bibliotheksverbund Bayern – BVB). The cataloguing of a large part of the historic collections has been funded by the German Research Assciation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft). These titles are now available on the Internet ( (Verbund-OPAC) and

    Regulations within the BVB for the alphabethical cataloguing in scientific libraries - (Regeln für die Alphabetische Katalogisierung – wissenschaftliche Bibliotheken – RAK-WB) have been introduced for online catalogues throughout Germany. These regulations are often inadequate for cataloguing historic children’s books as they often reduce and standardise data. There is therefore no way of distinguishing between different editions. For children’s books up to about 1930 we would recommend the use of detailed pre-1800 regulations which were in force at that time for cataloguing historical books, whereby all editors and translators are to be listed. Illustrators, unless mentioned on the title page, should be named if possible.

    If time allows all illustrations which have been glued onto special paper and interleaved between paginated sheets should be listed numerically as they are often loose, drop out or are intentionally torn out. The illustration method should also be described, at least up to the disappearance of lithography and xylography (from ca. 1890).


  2. Koninikljke Bibliotheek, The Hague, The Netherlands

    The Koninklijke Bibliotheek houses the largest collection of early and modern children’s books in The Netherlands. In the catalogue of the Royal Library the early and modern children’s books are treated as other items. The rules for cataloguing are according to the internationally used ISBD-rules, and to the guidelines of the Dutch FOBID. The database that is used is the national GGC, provided by Pica. The shared automated cataloguing system GGC has been developed since 1978 into an efficient and reliable tool for the management of libraries, particularly for the cataloguing of all kinds of publications. More than 200 libraries use the GGC every day for cataloguing. Beside academic and public libraries, an increasing number of special libraries use the GGC. By cataloguing in the GGC, these libraries also add to and maintain the Netherlands Union Catalogue (NCC), which forms the basis for the Dutch national, interlibrary loans. The aim of the GGC is that a publication needs to be catalogued only once. In this way, libraries make optimum use of each other's cataloguing. The references from the GGC can be processed into a library's own catalogue via offline-output or direct download.

    Apart from the point of view of cultural heritage and value, this also means that the Koninklijke Bibliotheek has a national bibliographic responsibility. Therefore the Koninklijke Bibliotheek is happy to take part in the Centraal Bestand Kinderboeken (CBK), the national shared catalogue of children’s books. The CBK consists of bibliographical descriptions of over 100,000 early and modern children’s books and journals, mostly in Dutch language. Videotapes, sound recordings and similar products are included as far as they are related to children’s literature. The original copies are to be found in the collections of one of the following institutions:

    Gemeentebibliotheek Rotterdam
    Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam
    Dienst Bibliotheek en Archief Den Haag
    Koninklijke Bibliotheek Den Haag
    Stads- en Athenaeumbibliotheek Deventer
    Stadsbibliotheek Haarlem

    The Kinderboekenmuseum (National Early and Modern Children’s Book Museum) is the responsible curator of the CBK and takes care of categorisation and subject indexing of the relevant material. Lists of relevant genres and subject headings (in Dutch) are available in the database. They can be searched by scanning the ‘trefwoord’ or ‘genre’ indexes. For free access see . Select ‘Catalogus’, scroll down and select CBK. For further enquiries please contact:

    Letterkundig Museum, afdeling Collecties

    Postbus 90515
    2509 LM Den Haag
    Tel.: + (31) (0) 703339637
    Fax : + (31) (0) 703477941


  3. Wandsworth Borough Library Service, UK

The first catalogue of the collection appeared in 1972 in typescript and was organised alphabetically under author or title. The entries were created using AACR guidelines. Author dates were included when known, and any further information – original publication date, inscriptions etc - were recorded. The author names favoured were usually the best known – even if this was a pseudonym. Individual volumes, including duplicates and periodicals were catalogued separately.

However, this catalogue was soon inadequate since it very quickly failed to reflect the collection accurately. This had been organised thematically following the example of the Osborne Collection in Toronto. It was clear that the catalogue would have to be revised. In 1985/6 this became possible with the acquisition of a grant from the British Library. At the same time the decision was taken to create a machine-readable format with a view to publication of the revised edition.

The rules followed were broadly those set out by the Anglo American Cataloguing Rules (AACR 2), but a pragmatic approach was adopted as far as possible. It was decided that all measurements would be checked and that plates would be recorded but not counted. Authors were described under the name by which they were commonly known even if this was a pseudonym, (there would be references to alternative names and all names would be indexed). In a few instances when an author wrote under several names, a "blanket" heading was used – i.e. WARNER for WETHERELL. The collection is fortunate in the number of duplicate and variant editions it contains. Provided they were different editions or had some significant variation, they were included as individual entries. In the case of periodicals, a general entry describes the publication and then the collection’s holdings are listed. New information and research was to be added but it was decided that full descriptive cataloguing was not possible given the time available.

The published catalogue appeared in 1997. It was organised thematically to match the collection itself. The categories were chosen after consulting other specialist catalogues such as Osborne, Reading and Manchester and were then arranged in an order loosely based on Dewey Classification . The books themselves have not been classified, but are arranged alphabetically within the categories. For the purpose of the printed catalogue each entry was numbered consecutively. This, however, has proved limiting, especially as the software used does not allow automatic renumbering. The index allows entry by author, title and illustrator differentiated by typeface. Unfortunately, the software used could not create an index, and it was not possible to use a wider set of terms

The collection has grown since the publication of the catalogue and there are a large number of items to be added. However, it is not possible to incorporate them in the existing file. As a result, it has been decided to catalogue the items directly onto the Wandsworth Catalogue using MARC format. They will be given a Special Collection code and will be accessible on-line via the Wandsworth Libraries Web-site. Decisions still have to be taken as to the extent of the catalogue entries and the searchable terms to be available; at the very least it is hoped this will include author (actual name and pseudonym), title, illustrator, publisher and series. A future project will look into converting the existing catalogue files so that they can also be accessed on-line.



Reading these reports, it becomes apparent that though each collection may have had to respond to the problem of recording their holdings within a specific context, there are a number of common considerations. First and foremost, there is the need to record each item. Again common elements emerge – author, title, illustrator, publisher and date. Another consideration that becomes obvious is how the information is to be recorded. Here, a standard protocol is the favoured option, whether MARC or a national protocol. Examples such as these are invaluable for others who may find themselves faced with the organisation and cataloguing of a special collection. By providing such examples, CHILDE is also making possible greater standardisation within such collections – many of which may have few resources – and so enable wider access and an extension of knowledge in this area.

Ferelith Horden

Wandsworth Borough Libraries


Utilisation and Dissemination



This report presents the expertise of the project partners in the area of collection utilisation and dissemination.

The preservation and cataloguing of a collection is a primary step prior to development of a plan or concept related to the exploitation, dissemination and utilisation of books in the interests of readers. The plan may be aimed at serious academic research, educational use in primary schools, personal pleasure, or a combination of all of the above. The organisation’s own ethos will dictate this, that is to say, an academic institute will possibly reserve its collection for researchers in that field whereas a public library may be more likely to allow general public access to its collection, albeit under controlled conditions.

The images compiled under CHILDE have come from very disparate sources. They range from the Frankfurt-based Institut für Jugendbuchforschung to a private Irish collection. This gives rise to huge variety in the way collections are managed. A reading of the case studies below shows this. In some cases collections were purposefully put together while in others they were assembled almost by accident. In the latter, it was only in recent years that the value of such collections was realised and efforts were made to care for them and to exploit them.

Case Studies


  1. Buckinghamshire County Library Service, UK

In 1999 Buckinghamshire County Library Service received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to catalogue and re-house its collection of 1,500 nineteenth and early twentieth century children's books. An important element of this project was the commitment to providing public access to the collection, which had for the previous 50 years been kept in secure accommodation and had not been available for public view. This represented a challenge, as many of the books are both rare and fragile.

It was decided to approach this task in a number of ways:

Physical presentation

The decision was taken to house the collection in a medium sized branch library in the market town of Chesham. The library had scope for physical extension, is easily accessible by train. It was also important that this library is open for 6 days a week, allowing maximum opportunity for the general public to visit it.

The Heritage Lottery grant was used, in part, to build an extension to Chesham Library. The collection is visible to all people entering the library. The books themselves are housed in specially designed cases. These are made of Beech wood and are fitted with lockable glass doors. The glass is specially treated to filter out harmful sunlight, as are the windows of the extension itself. Within each case a combination of flat and sloping display shelves allow the books to be displayed in a visually interesting manner. Attractive, professionally produced shelf guiding was commissioned from a firm of sign makers. The arrangement of the books in this area and also the wording used on the shelf guides was chosen to mirror the layout and terminology of the printed bibliography (see below).

Publication programme

A key element of the whole project was the publication of a printed bibliography of the collection's holdings. It was decided to produce this to high design and production standards, using full colour and monochrome plates and passages of linking text. The bibliography was published in March 2001 and is available for purchase from Buckinghamshire County Library Service (Buckinghamshire Early Children's Book Collection. ISBN: 0 86059 604 4. Price: £25.)

In order to publicise both the collection and the printed bibliography, a full colour leaflet and poster were commissioned. Copies of these have been displayed in all libraries in the county and have also been distributed to various relevant national organisations.

A set of written guidance notes for visitors have also been produced, containing advice on the handling and care of the books.

Education Programme

An Education Programme was devised with the aim of:

  • promoting the existence and nature of the collection at Chesham
  • encouraging a wider interest in the preservation, care and promotion of historic children's books collections
  • promoting a wider knowledge of the history of children's literature and bibliography
  • promoting a wider knowledge of the historical context in which the books were originally written and produced
  • supporting the work of teachers and students


This was to be achieved by means of:

  • Talks to members of the general public
  • Structured visits by children to the in-service training courses
  • Talks to children in schools
  • Talks to special interest groups e.g. at conferences of library professionals
  • Special events e.g. on-line conferencing with guest experts, artists, writers etc.
  • Special displays in Chesham and other libraries e.g. books on particular themes
  • Publishing of articles on the collection
  • Publishing of information about the collection on the County Library Website

    ( and also via the CHILDE Web site.

  • Creation of special learning materials associated with the collection e.g. sets of postcards, worksheets etc.

Virtual access

The collection also acquired an existence on the Internet. A special page was created on the Buckinghamshire County library service Web site. Access to the catalogue records of the collection can also be obtained through this site, where the collection is identified as the Buckinghamshire Children's Historic Book Collection. The creation of the CHILDE Web site has also enhanced access to information about the collection. Given the increasing importance of the Internet in all aspects of library and information work, it is anticipated that the virtual existence of the collection will develop. Efforts will certainly be made to raise the interest of the world-wide digital community in the field historical children’s books.


  1. Dublin City Public Libraries, Ireland

The images contributed by Dublin come from five unrelated collections. In addition to including works from DCPL stock, contributions were also accepted from the National Library of Ireland, Trinity College, Dublin, Marsh’s Library, the library of the Church of Ireland College of Education and a private collection. In all cases, except for that of the private collection, children’s historical literature is not separated from the main historical literature collections of the library institutions. This factor caused some difficulties in tracing suitable material to include in the project. The images selected are representative only of the material held in these collections.

National Library of Ireland (NLI):

The NLI uses standard rules for access to the collection. The NLI does not separate its children's collection from other works.

Children’s material on the on-line catalogue is accessible through keyword or subject searches such as 'children's literature', ‘children’s books’ etc. However much of the library’s collection is not yet on-line and accessing material specifically for children in the older bound catalogue books depends on the user knowing an author or book title. As such there is a wealth of children’s material that is inaccessible and, it may be inferred, under-utilised as a result. As more of the library’s material goes on-line, utilisation of the children’s material should increase.

Access to the library is free and open to members of the public engaged in research. For use of reading room instructions, see (.pdf files).

Trinity College, Dublin Library

As with the National Library, children’s material on Trinity’s on-line catalogue is accessible via keyword or subject searches. Problems arise for material not yet on-line in that children’s literature is not specifically identified in older catalogues. The library user is dependent on knowing exact book titles, author names etc.

Trinity College does not have a policy of promoting the historical children's literature held in their collection. Consequently it is not possible to identify who uses this part of their stock. Similarly they have never exhibited historical children's literature from their collection.

Admission to the Library is open to current students, graduates of Dublin University, academic staff and registered doctoral students from institutions whose libraries are participating in the ALCID scheme - Academic Libraries Co-operating in Dublin. Other users requiring access to the Library for research purposes can apply in writing to the Librarian specifying the nature of their research and the special collections to which they require access. See for further details.

Church of Ireland College of Education, Dublin

This library is part of a teacher training college and is used by the students as a study and teaching resource. The library’s historical children's literature collection consists of a small but pristine collection of books published by the Kildare Place Society, an early 19th century organisation dedicated to the education of poor Irish children.

While the library’s main collection is available via an on-line catalogue, the historical material is maintained via a card catalogue. The Kildare Place publications comprise a set of numbered volumes and the card catalogue provides access by title. As such it is not possible to search for material by subject, etc.

The library does not provide access to its resources via the Web and the collection is known only to those in the college and those with an active interest in the area of children’s literature. Thus while the collection is not actively promoted as a resource, access is possible for research purposes etc. by arrangement with the library staff.

Marsh's Library

Founded in 1701, the Library was the first public library in Ireland. The library contains over 25,000 books relating to the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, covering medicine, law, science, travel, navigation, mathematics, music, surveying and classical literature.

Access is open to the public for a nominal entrance fee. Scholars and students are welcome to carry out research, and are admitted free, upon application to the Keeper of the library.

The entire library catalogue is available online through the library Web page. An OPAC is available in the library and the original catalogue is still available.

Children's material forms a small proportion of Marsh’s collections and as such it is very difficult to locate through the catalogue. Library users are dependent on the expertise of library staff and their knowledge of the collection in order to identify items specifically for children.

Private Collection

This collection has been built-up through the personal interest of the collector, a rare books expert, and is stored in her home. Consequently it is not designed to be accessed by the public, although researchers are facilitated as far as possible.

While there is no written catalogue, many individual books are catalogued to an extremely high standard by the collector who has an extensive knowledge of the material in the collection.

Dublin Corporation Public Libraries

Dublin’s historical children’s book collection is not a distinct collection but is part of the Dublin and Irish Collection, which is intended for serious students and researchers as well as the general public. It includes the collection of books on early Dublin contained in the library of Sir John Gilbert as well as the DIX collection (early Irish printing and binding), a Yeats collection, a collection of Dublin and Irish directories, periodicals, newspapers, maps and prints. A comprehensive collection of material of Irish interest is also available as well as a considerable amount of material of genealogical interest.

When the CHILDE project began, identifying material in the collection specifically aimed at children proved to be time consuming as most of the historical collection was searchable by card catalogue (author and title) only. The entire collection is currently being catalogued on-line however and specific efforts are being made to improve access to children’s material through the use of subject headings such as children’s book collection, chap book collection, school books collection.


  1. Institut fur Jugendbuchforschung, Frankfurt, Germany

At present the reading rooms are open for users from 09.00 to 16.30 hrs Monday to Friday. An extension of the opening hours up to 22.00 hrs, and to 18.00 hrs on Saturdays, is planned as soon as the required structures are ready and the security systems are in operation.


Users of the library of historical children's books collections extend far beyond lecturers and students of the Goethe University. Frankfurt, home of the national library, has with the city and university library, a further library with valuable historical collections and attracts students and researchers as well as bibliophiles from Germany, Europe and all over the world. Accordingly, the Library for Research into Books for Young People offers expert advice to foreign scholarship holders as well as bench space with use of computers.

Books from historical collections can, on principle, only be accessed in the reading rooms of the Library for Research into Books for Young People. Books can not be taken out, nor is the library a member of the inter-library loan system. Photocopying of books from historical collections is possible only by express permission from library staff.

The library staff regularly receives a substantial number of enquiries from scientists, students, collectors and antiquarians which are all dealt with appropriately. The information service does, however, not extend to providing complete book lists or answering complex research questions.


Since its foundation in 1963 the staff of the Library and of the Institute for Research into Books for Young People, as well as students, have shown parts of the historical collections to the public in smaller or bigger exhibitions:

  • Jugendliteratur aus drei Jahrhunderten (Literature for Young People from Three Centuries) (Dornbusch House, Frankfurt/Main 1966)
  • Robinsonausgaben und Robinsonaden (Robinson Editions and Robinsonades) (Falkenstein/Taunus 1969)
  • Sachbucher des 18. Und 19. Jhs. (Non-fiction Books of the 18th and 19th Centuries) (German College of Booksellers, Frankfurt/Main 1971)
  • Bilderbucher einst und jetzt (Picture Books then and Now) (City and University Library, Frankfurt/Main 1973)
  • Goethe - ein Kinderfreund!? (Goethe - Friend of Children!?) (Heinrich Hoffmann Museum, Frankfurt/Main 1982)
  • AIte Kinder- und Jugendbucher. Die Frankfurter Hobrecker-Sammlung (Books of Yesteryear for Children and Young People. The Frankfurt Hobrecker Collection) (City and University Library, Frankfurt/Main 1983)
  • Von Backfischen und Trotzkopfeni. Literatur for hohere Tochter im 19. Jh. (Of strong-minded Teenage Girls. Literature for Young Ladies in the 19th Century) (Institute for Research in Books for Young People 1986)
  • Die Kinderbuchsammlung Walter Benjamin (The Walter Benjamin Children’s Books Collection) (City and University Library, Frankfurt/Main 1987)
  • "Ub' immer Treu und Redlichkeit ". Kinder-und Jugendbucher der Kaiserzeit (1871-1918) ("Always be faithful and honest ". Books for Children and Young People during Imperial Rule (18 71-1918)) (City and University Library Frankfurt/Mainl988189)
  • "Was denkt die Maus am Donnerstag? "- AIte mid Neue Gedichte (Nicht mur).fur Kinder ( " What is the Mouse thinking of on a Thursday? " - Old and New Poems (not only) for Children) (House of Literature, Frankfurt/Main 1991)
  • Grosstad in der Kinder-und Jugendliteratur 1900-1930 (The Big City in Literature for Children and Young People 1900-1930) (Institute for Research into Books for Young People 1992)
  • 100 Jahre Jugendschriften-Warte 1893-1993. Austellung anlablich des einhundertsten Geburtstags der altesten Fachzeitschrift fur Kinder- und Jugendliteratur (100 Years' Views on Publications for Young People 1893-1993. An Exhibition celebrating the Centenary of the oldest Specialist Journal for Literature for Children and Young People) (House of the Union, Education and Science, Frankfurt/Main 1993)
  • Blumnehimmel – Alltagsfreunde. Sophie Reinheimer 18 74-1935. (A Sky full of Flowers - Everyday Friends. Sophie Reinheimer 1874-1935) (City Museum, Hofheim/Taunus 1995)
  • Kinder- und Hausmarchen Bruder Grimm. Ausgaben und Illustrationen (Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm. Editions and illustrations) (Institute for Research into Books for Young People 1995)
  • Indianererzahlungen in der Kinder-und Jugendliteratur (Red Indian Stories in the Literature for Children and Young People) (Institute for Research into Books for Young People 1997)

In addition, substantial parts of the collections have been made available for more than 30 Exhibitions of historical books for children and young people nationally and internationally


Catalogues have been prepared for most of the exhibitions as well as for some of the special collections (Hobrecker collection, Benjamin collection). Reports about the historical collections are published regularly in the 'Newsletter of the Institute for Research into Books for Young People'. Moreover, the collections are constantly referred to in specialist journals and specialist literature, such as the Handbuch der historischen Buchbestande in Deutschland (Manual of historical book collections in Germany). The historical collections also offer abundant source material for a number of prestigious research publications by the Institute and its staff members. The four-volume project by Klaus Doderer, published between 1974 and 1981, Lexikon der Kinder- und Jugendliteratur (Lexicon of literature for Children and Young People) (Beltz Verlag, Weinheim) would not have been possible without the material from the historical collection. The same is true of the two-volume bibliography, published in 1996 by Hans-Heino Ewers and Zohar Shavit, Judische Kinder Jugendliteratur von der Haskala bis 1945 (Jewish Literature for Children and Young People from the Haskala to 1945) (Metzler Verlag, Stuttgart).

Also based on texts from the historical collections are the anthologies which cover various epochs of literature for children and young people and offer an indispensable higher education teaching aid in the department of the science of literature for children and young people; published by Reclam Veriag, Stuttgart, they are:

  • Hans-Heino Ewers (ed.), Kinder- und Jugendliteratur der Aufklarung (Literature for Children and Young People of the Enlightenmet), 1980.
  • Hans-Heino Ewers (ed.), Kinder- und Jugendliteratur der Romantik (Literature for Children and Young People of the Romantic Period), 1984;
  • Hans-Heino Ewers and Myriam Mieles (eds.), Kinder- und Jugendliteratur. Von der Gtunderzeit bis zum 1. Weltzkrieg (Literature for Children and Young People. From the years of rapid industrial expansion in Germany in 18 71 to World War 1) 1994, a.o.


Copies from the historical collections have been made available for a number of reprint editions. Among them were the Santa Claus Christmas books of the German Post Office 1996 and 1997 that were based on model samples from the Institute and sold in great numbers at all Post Office counters.

The Institute is in contact with various other institutes in Germany and abroad which collect historical books for children and young people. The Institute and its partners hold joint conferences and organise and exchange exhibitions as well as discuss issues of mutual interest, especially problems of maintenance and indexing.


  1. International Youth Library, Munich, Germany

The early historic book for children and young people of the German speaking region covers the period from the beginning of printing to around 1890, that is up to the emergence of children’s literature which, in the process of artistic innovation around 1900, was modern in design and literary content.

Children’s and young people’s books of the 20th century, published up to 1950, are defined as historic following a convention that was agreed upon between German libraries holding historic children’s books, and researchers in this field. This was chosen as a cut-off year in order to distinguish the modern post-war children’s book from the earlier publications as German children’s and young people’s books published up to around 1950 corresponded in form and style largely to the pre-war production. It was only in the fifties that the modern children’s book emerged.

During the fifty years of its existence the International Youth Library (Internationale Jugendbibliothek – IJB) which contains a total of more than 500,000 international children’s and young people’s books has managed mainly by way of significant donations to establish the largest internationally orientated historic children’s book collection in Germany with approximately 80,000 volumes.

The cataloguing of a large part of the historic collections has been funded by the German Research Association (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft). These titles are now available on the internet ( (Verbund-OPAC).

Books from the historical book collections, and this includes children’s books, cannot for conservation and security reasons normally be lent but are only available for reference in the reading room of the study library (opening hours Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm).   However, this should not exclude them totally from inter-library loans. In line with regulations of the Bavarian National Library the IJB releases books published since 1870 for inter-library loans, however with the proviso that they be used only in the reading rooms and not be photocopied. The loan of books for exhibitions has to be specially negotiated and must include additional security facilities (dimly lit, locked display cupboards, exhibition supervision) and insurance for each title.

The International Youth Library is organising many exhibitions on a wide range of themes: They are mostly accompanied with examples from the historic collection. Drawing upon its unique collection, the International Youth Library frequently contributes to important exhibitions of historic children's books outside of Munich. The collection is also the basis for many research purposes and publications about historic children's books, like the "Handbuch zur Kinder- und Jugendliteratur" (1982-) and others.

  1. Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague. The Netherlands

Exhibitions / Publications

Information on the early and modern children’s book collection of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek was provided in the past by means of several exhibitions: in 1983, 1985, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1994 (twice). At some other important more general book exhibitions, often early and modern children’s books were shown and presented as an important and very attractive part of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek collection. In October 2002 there will be a large exhibition of children’s books of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek collection in the Kunsthal in Rotterdam, called ‘Wonderland’. Most of the exhibitions were accompanied by relevant publications or catalogues. In Collectors and collections (Zwolle 1998) some articles were published on important 20th century donations / acquisitions of early and modern children’s books by the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (collections Waller, Boekenoogen, Boek & Jeugd).


The Koninklijke Bibliotheek co-operates with relevant partners in managing early and modern children’s book collections. This includes cataloguing, preservation and conservation, digitization, organizing exhibitions and facilitating the publications of books, bibliographies and articles. In The Netherlands there are about 25 collections of early and modern children’s books of importance. Keepers of the collections meet twice a year.

Web site

Several parts of the Web site of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek ( in the sections Gallery and Collections are dedicated to early and modern children’s books.


  1. Wandsworth Borough Library Service, UK

Though the Wandsworth Collection of Early Children’s Books has never been part of the main library collection, it has always been available to visitors. However, there was no coherent policy covering access and handling. Visitors came by appointment having heard of the collection by word-of-mouth, but little was done to advertise it widely or consistently.

In 1997 the whole collection was moved to its permanent home in Putney Library. The collection has always been for reference only and material is available on demand and by appointment to students and researchers who can view it at Putney Library under supervision. Foam rests can be provided to support material that is being studied. At the same time a handling policy was instituted. This policy includes a request for clean hands, a prohibition on handling the books near food or drink and a requirement to leave bags and coats with the librarian. Though individuals may not borrow items, books have been loaned out for exhibitions to such organisations as The National Trust, Leighton House (Kensington and Chelsea) as well as to Wandsworth Museum and some of the branch libraries. Any such loans are made at the discretion of the Borough Librarian. However, the collection includes a number of facsimiles in its holdings. These are used, on occasion, by the Children’s Librarians to illustrate presentations to school classes.

Until recently the collection has not been widely advertised. However, the publication of the catalogue and the creation of a Wandsworth Libraries Web site have increased awareness. The Web site in particular offers opportunities for future promotion, as does the move to add material to the Wandsworth on-line catalogue.


Utilisation creates its own difficulties, most of which concern the upkeep of the material while it is being accessed. Given the nature of historical book collections, maintenance is ongoing and is dealt with in more detail in the conservation reports. However, collection utilisation will also be part of collection conservation with regard to how access is allowed and under what conditions. In all of the cases dealt with here, the collections are for reference only and access is by appointment or is supervised by staff. Material is exhibited according to the size of the collection. For instance, the entire Buckinghamshire collection is on permanent display and is combined with a printed catalogue. On the other hand, the Frankfurt collection, being very large, occasionally displays parts of its collections as themed exhibitions.

The problem of accessing records via a catalogue emerged where material was not specifically identified as belonging to a children’s literature category. In Dublin City Libraries, staff are examining how material which is yet to be catalogued on-line can be better accessed in the future under a category of children’s historical literature. Experience gained in this area is expected to have applications in other areas of the library collection in terms of separating material into distinct groups.

Library staff, when faced with the discovery of previously unknown or uncategorised material, need guidelines on how to at first ‘rescue’ this part of their stock from anonymity and then to use it as a dynamic part of their library programme. The above examples provide some inspiration in future scenarios.

Any efforts to exploit such collections will depend on the facilities available, the resources at hand in terms of staff and funds and on the likely outlet for using the collection e.g. education programme. Frankfurt’s plan to extend its opening hours into Saturday requires staff and security measures before access can be increased.

Conservation and preservation often involve heavy expenditure that may limit the use of the collection. Suitable space to store, display and allow access to a collection has to be available. Such requirements will always be regarded in the light of financial and spatial pressures.

Once established, a collection can rely on ‘word-of-mouth’ to attract interest. However, more sophisticated publicity will probably be necessary to add value to the expertise and funding expended on preserving the collection. The Buckinghamshire library service published both a catalogue of the collection and a leaflet for distribution in the county and other relevant organisations nationally.

The publishing of the experience of the project partners is a valuable tool in further promoting collections of children’s historical literature. In several cases described above, children’s literature was not recognised as a distinct collection for exploitation purposes. The situation has emerged from research in the CHILDE project suggests that holding boxes of books in a store unused and not maintained may also occur in other libraries. Therefore, the generation of professional awareness of the treasures in children’s literature, uncatalogued and under-promoted, has emerged as a positive outcome of the CHILDE project.

It is anticipated therefore, that CHILDE will have catalytic effects in marketing, utilisation and dissemination of similar collections held by other libraries in the future.

Deirdre Ellis-King

Eoin McGrath

Dublin City Public Libraries