Discover the richly illustrated material in Adam Matthew Digital’s newly-published resource: Children’s Literature and Culture

17 September 2020

Published product

Adam Matthew Digital is pleased to announce the publication of its latest resource: Children’s Literature and Culture. This highly visual collection is full of richly illustrated content allowing researchers and students to explore how American society evolved during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and how this evolution was depicted and personified through literature created for children during the period.

Drawn from the holdings of the American Antiquarian Society, with additional material included from the Winterthur Library, Children’s Literature and Culture is a vital resource of primary source material for the study of children’s publishing as well as the history of books, printing, and illustration.

Children’s Literature and Culture is a wonderfully rich and highly visual resource that opens up a broad range of social history research avenues, from religion and morality to gender roles and illness, through the books and stories created for children during the era. The holdings of the American Antiquarian Society are beyond compare and it has been a pleasure to work with them to digitise this beautiful content to present a compelling and engaging way of viewing this period of history and the experiences of children within it.

Louise Hemmings, Head of Editorial Development, Adam Matthew Digital

Researchers and students from a range of disciplines will find a wealth of material here to support their work. For example, social historians will find narratives and stories that have permeated culture to such an extent that children were introduced to them, such as ideas of nationhood and gender roles. 

Highlights include key titles from the McLoughlin Brothers Collection and original correspondence, drawings, sketches, and watercolours from the McLoughlin Art Archive including work from key illustrators such as Kate Greenaway, Walter Crane, Randolph Caldecott, and John Tenniel.

I am delighted to have worked with Adam Matthew Digital to digitise this rich collection. Children’s Literature and Culture offers researchers unparalleled access to material which is visually and textually rich. Items such as books, pamphlets, sheet music, toys, and games all offer insight into attitudes of the time towards gender roles, work, illness, and religion that were so central to society they were deemed important enough to impart to children.”

Laura Wasowicz, Curator of Children’s Literature, American Antiquarian Society

The diverse documents in the collection highlight how children’s literature criss-crossed the Atlantic from the 1820s through to the 1920s and introduced renowned international writers and illustrators to an American audience. 

Children’s Literature and Culture

(in partnership with CHOICE)

How can books, toys, games and ephemera be used to research key cultural concepts and themes such as gender roles, religion, and work ethic? Join Adam Matthew Digital and Laura Wasowicz, Curator of Children's Literature at the American Antiquarian Society, as we discuss this topic and the launch of our collection, Children’s Literature and Culture.

Watch recording HERE

To find out more, visit the Adam Matthew Digital website: