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].