Children's Literature Research Collection

1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Due to construction, the majority of material housed in the Children's Literature Research Collection are housed off-site.  To make an appointment to view these materials, please contact us.  

Open today 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Sunday Closed
Monday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday Closed

Upcoming Closures

  • Fri., Apr. 14 : Closed Good Friday
  • Sun., Apr. 16 : Closed Easter
  • Mon., May. 29 : Closed Memorial Day
  • Tue., Jul. 4 : Closed Independence Day
  • Mon., Sep. 4 : Closed Labor Day
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Individuals or classes with an interest in the history, study, and/or development of children’s literature will find the Children’s Literature Research Collection (CLRC) an invaluable resource.  CLRC houses over 85,000 non-circulating items from the 1830’s through present in several collections: 

The Kathrine H. McAlarney Collection of Illustrated Children’s Books

The Kathrine H. McAlarney Collection of Illustrated Children’s Books provides an overview of the changing pattern of children’s book illustration.  Researchers will find books illustrated by innumerable well-known artists, such as Aliki, Marguerite de Angeli, Brian Floca, and Greg Pizzoli together with those by Caldecott-winners and honorees. 

Historical Collection

Reflecting the great shifts in children’s literature, this collection includes:  classics, works by Newbery-winners and honorees, ALA Notable books, as well as other ALA award winners, such as the Seibert, the Stonewall, and the Pura Belpré winners and honorees.  The collection also includes a broad scope of popular works from the past.

Historical Bibliography Collection

Adult-level resources about children’s literature, authors and illustrators of children’s materials, as well as information regarding public library service and bibliographies are found in this collection.

Series Collection

The series collection is noted for its large selection of Stratemeyer Syndicate works (i.e. Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, et al.), books by Horatio Alger Jr., Golden Books, and many other fiction and some non-fiction series.  We endeavor to collect variant printings of some series titles.

Folklore Collection

CLRC houses a sizable collection of books featuring stories and tales taken from the oral tradition.  These works include myths, legends, folk tales, fairy tales, Märchen, customs, folk songs, Mother Goose and other nursery rhymes, and other genres from around the world in either individual or collective works. 

Toy and Moveable Books Collection

A growing collection of books with toy and moveable features from the past century is housed within CLRC.  This collection includes pop-up books, cloth and non-traditional materials,

CLRC Archives

Our archives are one of the largest collections of primary source material for children’s literature in the country.  We house a range of original artwork, manuscripts, and ephemera from leaders in the world of children’s literature.  This includes the works of Newbery winners such as Lloyd Alexander and Scott O’Dell, Caldecott winners such as Evaline Ness and Virginia Lee Burton, and contemporary authors such as Zachariah O’Hora and Angela Dominguez. 

Because of construction at the Parkway Central Library, a majority of the collection is currently housed off-site.  Please email the department to make an appointment.