The Osborne Collection of Early English Children’s books, were donated by Edgar Osborne, to the Toronto Public Library after he visited the library in 1934. He was so impressed with their children’s program that he donated 2,000 books to the library. Since then the collection has grown into a large collection of over 80,000 children’s books. The Osborne collection is just one of three collections in the libraries children program. Those books that are a part of the Osborne Collection have parameters that require them to have been printed before 1910.

The facsimile collection of Osborne books is made up of 35 books published in 1981. The University of South Dakota houses all 35 books with in its Special Collection, in the Archives and Special Collections. An interesting fact about the books is that they were printed in the same manner as the originals. So if pages are printed blank, like they are in A Book of Nonsense then that is the way they were meant to be printed.

Many of the books within the collection are interactive. The Mansion of Bliss is in fact not a book but a spiral board game that was meant to improve one’s moral values. The game was one of chance, in which 2-4 players were racing one another to see who could make it to the mansion of bliss first. Along with the game is a rule book that explains each space and whether the player who landed there will be punished or rewarded.

Come and enjoy viewing the Facsimile Osborne Collection of Early English Children’s Books, now on display up in the USD Archives.


Toronto Public Library. “Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books.” Copyright 2016. http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/osborne/ [accessed October 19, 2016].

Dunedin Public Libraries. “Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books.” Julian Smith, August 13, 2015. Copyright 2016. https://hail.to/dunedin-public-libraries/article/D1lQo6S [accessed October 19, 2016].

Happy Archives Month

To me every trip to a library or archive is like a small detective story. There are always little moments on such trips when the past flares to life, like a match in the darkness.

Larson, Erik. The devil in the white city: murder, magic, and madness at the fair that changed America. New York: Crown Publishers, 2003, 395-396.

Happy Archives Month

Here are a few helpful tips for the lucky ones visiting an archives.

  • Give yourself enough time. Looking through archival collections is time-consuming, and you will need more time than you expect. Believe me.
  • Check with the archival staff beforehand and ask them a lot of questions. Will they be open the days you want to visit? Are there other collections you should look at? Read through the three sources at the end of this blog for more questions.
  • Learn as much as possible before you get to the archives about the collections you want to access. Are there finding aids and how do you can get copies of these finding aids? Are there restrictions on the collections you want to use for research?
  • If you want to see a book in the archives, bring more with you than the call number. Often the person pulling the book from the closed stacks needs to know information from the entire catalog record, such as book size and number of pages, before they know where a book is stored.
  • Keep track of what you have looked at and keep track of information that you will need for citations. Write it down.
  • Bonus tip: If visiting us, ask to see our copy of Reading early American handwriting by Kip Sperry. It can help decipher handwritten documents.










See also:



Introduction to Archival Research, Lisa Duncan, httpn://libguides.usd.edu/cotent.php?pid=691519 (accessed August 24, 2016).


Top 5 Mistakes Researchers Make in the Research Room, https://historyhub.archives.gov/groups/new-researchers-help/blog/2016/07 (accessed August 19, 2016).


Using Archives: a guide to effective research, Society of American Archivist, http://www2.archivists.org/usingarchives (accessed August 19, 2016).

_Marching Band.jpg

Tomorrow is the official 2016 Dakota Day’s Parade on Main Street @ 9 a.m. Go Yotes!

–USD Photograph Collection, Series 11

_USD Cheer Vermillion Fire Dept..jpg

–USD Photograph Collection, Series 11


This photo was taken in 1959 of Miss South Dakota at the Dakota Day’s Parade.

–USD Photograph Collection, Series 13


–USD Photograph Collection, Series 3 Box 40

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