These entries describe historical primary source collections available for research in Special Collections at the SDSU Library. Special Collections houses unique archival and manuscript collections, rare books and manuscripts, and graphic/ephemera collections.
General Printed Materials
In the library catalog, try searching keywords like girl*, boy*, child*, juvenile, story,nursery rhyme, picture book, chapbook, or fairy tale. A general subject heading to browse is Illustrated Children's Books--Specimens.
Toy and Movable Books
A particular strength of our collection is pop-up, toy, and movable books. Many of these were donated by SDSU children's literature professor Alida Allison or collector Horace Dodd. Recent additions include late 19th century and early 20th century "dissolving view" toy books, related to our Peabody Magic Lantern Collection. Search Toy and Movable Books as a subject in the library catalog, and limit to Special Collections.
Fables and Fairy Tales
Keywords like fable or fairy tale searched in the library catalog, limted to Location = Special Collections, will yield many examples in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. Also try searching for the German "Märchen" and the French "contes," as well as authors Grimm, Perrault, and Aesop.
Special Collections holds a number of works by L. Frank Baum, the author of the classic Wizard of Oz and the popular subsequent series. Searh "Oz" or "L. Frank Baum" as keywords in the library catalog and limit your search to Special Collections.
Most periodicals for children held by Special Collections were produced from 1840-1930. Titles include John Martin's Book, Chatterbox, and St. Nicholas. Try keyword searching words like child*, girl*, boy*, or juvenile, and limiting to Serials and Special Collections in the library catalog.
Textbooks for Children
Our textbook collection is strong in primers, readers, spellers, and other textbooks produced between 1800 and 1920, including the popular McGuffey readers and other series. Search in the library catalog by keyword (suggestions include elocution, geography, or arithmetic) then limit by date range and to Special Collections. Or browse the library catalog by call number, beginning in PE1117 .A1.
During his lengthy career, Edward Gorey illustrated more than 100 of his own books and more than 60 by other authors. His characteristic style, which mixes humor with horror and mystery, is widely recognized by readers of all ages. Special Collections holds an extensive collection of Gorey’s drawings, proofs, and collaborations with other authors. A selection of the Edward Gorey Collection is cataloged in the PAC.
Homer and Betty Peabody Magic Lantern Collection [ MS-0480]Betty and Homer Peabody collected late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century magic lanterns and slides for several years during their retirement. The collection consists of over forty magic lanterns and approximately 5000 glass slides. The slides range in size and type and include hand-painted slides, photographic slides, and chromolithographic slides. The collection includes supporting texts and literature related to magic lanterns, their history and the collecting of lanterns and slides as well. A comprehensive online exhibit of this collection is available here.
Manuscript and Archival Collections
Peter F. Neumeyer Papers, 1947-2004The Peter F. Neumeyer Papers document Neumeyer's professional and academic career, beginning as a student and ending as a critic. The papers date from 1950, when Neumeyer was an undergraduate, to 2004, when he and wife Helen co-curated an exhibition on illustrator Margot Zemach. The bulk of the papers are from the 1970s through the 1990s when Neumeyer was a professor and actively published academic articles, reviews, and poetry. A recent addition to the papers, includes the outgoing correspondence from Peter Neumeyer to Edward "Ted" Gorey, 1968-1971. The collection is divided into five series: Pedagogical Work, Professional Files, Published Work, Margot Zemach Art Show and Correspondence with Edward "Ted" Gorey. Neumeyer kept all of his papers in a series of labeled folders. This order was preserved, and the folders that comprise each of the five series are arranged alphabetically based upon, in most cases, Neumeyer’s description or by chronological order.
Madeline Tabler Collection, 1963-1975The Madeline Tabler Collection documents the creative process behind writing children's and young adult literature. The collection dates from 1963-1975. The collection consists primarily of unpublished manuscripts and published articles. It has accordingly been divided into two series, Manuscripts and Articles.
San Diego Association for the Education of Young Children Records, 1949-1998The collection consists of historical reports, chronology, constitution, articles of incorporation, fliers, correspondence, newspaper clippings, biographical information, membership directories, newsletters, scrapbooks, and oral history interviews. A small amount of material from the California and Southern California chapters, and from the National association are also present.