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Due to refurbishment works in the Sydney Jones Library, Special Collections and Archives is closed to users from Monday 3 June until Monday 16 September (inclusive). We're still available for your enquiries via email.

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.