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Children's literature research collection

About the collections

The Children's Literature Research collections showcase what children were reading at home.

This collection started in 1985 with a donation of 1,500 children's books from Mrs Hilary Stott. The collection consists of 19th and early 20th century children's books including Australian and overseas:

  • picture books
  • fiction
  • poetry
  • folktales.

The complementary Australian Schools Textbook collection showcases what children were reading at school.

Children's Book Council (Vic.) collection

The Children's Book Council (Vic. branch) have deposited the Dame Ada Norris research collection with Deakin University Library. The collection includes:

  • past winners and notable books for the Australian Children's Book of the Year award since 1945
  • shortlisted books for the Crichton Award
  • a selection of other Australian award winning children's literature.

Barbara Elkhorne collection

Barbara Elkhorne was a Children's Librarian. She was born and educated in the United States, and worked in public and school libraries in the U.S. and Australia. She was involved with the Children's Book Council and was an advocate of children's literature.

She amassed a large collection of children's fiction, non-fiction and book character soft toys. After her death, her husband donated her collection to the Children's Book Council. In 1997 it was placed with Deakin University with the rest of the Council's collection.

Find these collections

Material from the collections have the prefixes:

  • ADPML SPCHL (Children's Literature Research Collection) located at the Alfred Deakin Prime Ministerial Library
  • SPCBC (Children's Book Council of Australia - Victorian Branch Collection) located at the Burwood library
  • SPELK (Barbara Elkhorne Collection) located at the Burwood library

The Children's Literature collections can be used in the Alfred Deakin Prime Ministerial Library.

Collections housed at Burwood library may be requested at the Service Desk.

Collection highlights

These collections provide excellent research resources for:

  • history of illustration and art
  • history of children's publishing
  • Empire studies - 'brave sons and daughters of the Empire'
  • growth of nationalism
  • perceptions of class, race and gender
  • perceptions of cultural and social history
  • folklore through lullabies, fairy tales, nursery rhymes

Get in touch

Book an appointment or visit our Burwood and Waterfront spaces. Our Archives and Special Collections are open by appointment, weekdays only.