Physical & Digital Collections

Children's Literature Collections at Cambridge: Children's Literature available at Homerton

An introduction to the range of Children's Literature collections in Cambridge and the resources and services available to students and staff

Key facts


  • Over 10,000 books in our main borrowable collection including anthologies, fairy tales, criticism, myths and legends, classic fiction, picturebooks, poetry, award winning fiction and YA.
  • 900 rare children's fiction and non-fiction material.
  • New books are added on a monthly basis.
  • Each year, we purchase the shortlisted or prize winning books for the following awards: Carnegie, Kate Greenaway, Michael L. Printz, Caldecott, Newbery, Waterstones, Costa, Branford Boase, Harvey Darton, UKLA, FCGB Children's Book award, Blue Peter Award, Klaus Flugge Prize, CLPE Poetry Prize, Lollies, Bookseller YA, Jhalak Prize Children's &YA. We also hold the backlist of the Guardian Children's Prize and the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, which have been discontinued.

 Opening hours

  • Monday – Friday: 9am – 5pm
  • Saturday – Sunday (term time only): 1pm – 5pm
  • Access outside these times can be arranged once you have registered to join the Library.
  • Please contact the Library in advance of your first visit.


  • All criticism and fiction books in our Main Children's Literature Collection are borrowable by any member of the University with a research interest in children’s literature. You do not have to be a member of Homerton College to access and borrow from the collection.
  • All items can be found on iDiscover.

Interested in borrowing from the collection? Please contact us to arrange a brief tour and you will then be able to sign up.

Special Collections

Alice in Wonderland

Thanks to a generous donation by Professor Maria Nikolajeva, the Children’s Literature Collection also contains over 150 different illustrated editions of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, in a wide variety of languages.


Rare Book Collection

The Library holds a collection of nearly 1,000 catalogued non-borrowable rare children’s books and the numbers are continually increasing due to a succession of generous donations. Highlights include a hornbook, signed works by Kenneth Grahame (and E. H. Shepard), a set of Victorian chapbooks, works by Randolph Caldecott and many more. The collection’s strength lies particularly in 19th century didactic fiction as well as the ability to provide the researcher with snapshots into families reading habits from the 1920s-40s. 


Lealan collection of children's annuals

In 2013, Homerton acquired a substantial collection of over 5000 children’s annuals, ranging in date from the 1870s right up to material from the 1970s. The Lealan Collection, named after its collector, is currently in the process of being catalogued. 


Suggest a book

We welcome suggestions from current University of Cambridge students and staff for the purchase of items that will improve the children's literature collection at Homerton.

Please fill in the form on our website or email us ( with details of the book. If the item is a suitable addition to the collection, we will purchase a borrowable copy for the Library and send you an email notification when it is in stock. 

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