Physical & Digital Collections

Children's Literature Collections at Cambridge: Children's Literature available at the University Library

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

Key facts


  • The University Library holds many thousands of early children’s books amongst its copyright holdings. Most of its nineteenth and twentieth-century children’s books are in remarkably good condition having been considered ‘secondary’ when they first arrived.
  • All books before 1919 are listed in the iDiscover catalogue, as are those from the 1990s onwards. Most children’s books from the mid-20th century are listed in the card catalogues located near the main Reading Room. Staff members are happy to help identify this material.
  • Nearly all children’s books published before 1976 are fetched to the Rare Books Reading Room. Children’s books from the mid-1970s onwards will be fetched to the main Reading Room and the online record will tell you where to request material..
  • Specific collections of interest include the Chapbooks collection, CCA-E.7, which includes around 1500 early children’s books and the Waddleton collection of colour printed books which includes large numbers of picture books; and the Chadwyck-Healey Liberation Collection 1944-1946 (c. 400 French-language titles, often illustrated, mainly produced in France and Belgium at the end of the Second World War).


  • All University Library readers can use the Rare Books department. If you are a member of the University you are automatically eligible to use the University Library.

Contact us

 Rare Books Department, University Library, West Road, CB3 9DR

  01223 333122

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