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Special Collections & Archives: Peninsula of Picturesaccredited archive service logo

SC&A includes manuscripts and archives, medieval to modern; early and finely printed books, and science fiction collections.

Peninsula of Pictures: Children’s Books from the Oldham Collection

The University Library’s Special Collections hold nearly 9000 historic Children’s books, ranging from 17th century schoolbooks, through popular chapbooks and colourful picture books to the recently acquired selection of Windrush stories for children.

This exhibition draws on the 900 volumes in the Oldham collection bought in 1973 from Mr & Mrs Oldham in Birkenhead on the Wirral peninsula. In the Sydney Jones Library, the exhibits highlight the local connections of some of the most famous 19th century illustrators of nursery rhymes, myths, legends and fairy tales. The Harold Cohen Library case shows a selection of Puffin Picture Books on the natural sciences.

The display includes examples of assessed work produced by students taking the Children’s Literature module as part of their English degree, ranging from Japanese-inspired illustration to a pop-up book and a cautionary tale with accompanying soft toy (with a detachable head!).

Jack and Jill carrying pail of water illustration

Jack and Jill nursery rhyme with illustration

Examples of pages from books in the Oldham Collection showing Jack and Jill poem.

Physical exhibitions  

Current physical exhibition in SC&A

On exhibition elsewhere

  • Cunard posters are on display in the VG&M exhibition: Travel in Style – Iconic Cunard Advertising in the 1920s and 1930s
  • Alex Wedding, Eddie and the Gipsy, 1935 is on display in the Holocaust Galleries, Imperial War Museum, London
  • Rose Heilbron student notebooks are on display 22 July - December 2023 in the Lancashire Archives exhibition Shaping the Future: Women's Lives in Lancashire 1950-1980 in their brand new exhibition space at Preston

Past physical exhibitions in SC&A