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The Archer Collection: Juvenile Literature in the Archer Collection


The Archer Collection contains classics in children's literature including fiction, non-fiction, and fairy tales. One of the unique aspects of the Archer Collection is that works of juvenile fiction have subject access in the on-line catalog (InvestiGator). Library users who find materials in the Archer Collection can check the on-line catalog (InvestiGator) to see if the library has circulating copies simply by looking under the Title or Author of the book.

Children's periodicals

Children's periodicals gave children access to popular fiction, poetry, games, crafts, and different cultures. In America, children's periodicals became very popular in the nineteenth century. One of the founders of Scribner's Monthly, Rowell Smith, developed St. Nicholas, which started in 1873. Smith selected Mary Mapes Dodge to be the editor, and the magazine printed in serial form many works of fiction that would become classics, such as Little Lord Fauntleroy, Tom Sawyer Abroad, and stories from Kipling's first Jungle Book. The magazine was distinguished for its high quality fiction and illustration.

Mon Journal was a popular French children's periodical at the turn-of-the-century.

Dime novels

Dime novels were popular sensationalized American fiction for older children and young adults, published in series and sold for a dime. In the 1860 Irwin Beadle and Company started the Beadle's Dime Novel series, which was advertised as, "Books for the Million! a Dollar Book for a dime!! 128 pages complete, only Ten cents!!!" The Archer Collection has a variety of examples of this genre dating predominantly from the 1890's to the 1920's.

Cover from a Beadle's Dime novel.

Toy and movable books

Besides numerous classics of children's literature, the collection holds a number of unique toy and movable books dating from the 1880's. Part of the allure of toy and movable books besides their instructional value, is the myriad of variations, such as tab operated illustrations, dissolving views, pop-up illustrations, and complicated peep shows.

Examples of publications by McLaughlin Brothers, New York.
This toy and movable book called Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, was published and patented in 1950 by illustrator Ionicus. This volume is called a carousel book because it opens to create six three-dimensional scenes of the story.
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