The Book Trust children's collection - 50,000 books spanning a quarter of a century - is now open for browsing at the University of Surrey Roehampton in south-west London. Since the early Eighties, the Book Trust has collected every children's book published in the UK, but with limited shelf space could only keep titles for two years. The archive ended up in boxes in the basement of the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood until Roehampton's National Centre for Research in Children's Literature found it a home on the Mount Clare campus.
This is a unique reference resource for teachers and researchers who want to see every edition of Carrie's War, 25 years of information books on sex education, or South Africa, or the out-of-print works of a favourite author or illustrator. It is also a history of social attitudes, typography and cover design. "There's completely open access to the shelves, so you have the serendipity of being surprised and delighted by books you happen to stumble on," says Roehampton's Professor Kim Reynolds.
The collection is open by appointment only. Contact Julie Mills (J.Mills@roehampton.ac.uk) or Sue Mansfield (S.Mansfield@roehampton.ac.uk).
Tel: 020 8392 3772