Category: Literature, Toronto Public Library
The Osborne Collection encompasses the development of English-language children's literature, ranging from a 14 th -century manuscript of Aesop's fables through 15 th -century traditional tales, 16 th -century school texts and courtesy books, Puritan works, 18 th -century chapbooks, moral tales and rational recreations, Victorian classics of fantasy, adventure and school stories, up to 1910 the end of the Edwardian era. The Collection is enriched with the Lillian H. Smith Collection of modern notable English-language books and with Canadiana materials that together illustrate the links between the early and modern books, and provide a rich resource of our vibrant Canadian heritage, preserved for future generations.
Discovery at your fingertips.... Come explore the Curator’s Showcase. We have digitized seven treasures from the Toronto Public Library’s rich and varied special collections, and added pictures, maps, notes and more. Using the Library’s interactive software, you can virtually turn the pages of the books. You can zoom in on the digitized images and also find related texts, images and sounds. Other features specific to individual books are provided, such as transcriptions of handwritten pages. This project was inspired by the British Library Turning the Pages program. To experience a touch sensitive version of the Showcase, visit the Special Collections Digital Kiosk at the Toronto Reference Library .
Introduction This virtual exhibit presents a small selection of items taken from the Osborne Collection’s sixtieth anniversary exhibit, When Cinderella Went to the Ball: Five Hundred Years of Fairy Tales , held from September 12 to December 12, 2009. Celebrating one of children’s literature’s most enduringly popular genres, the exhibit progresses from a fifteenth-century Venetian wonder tale ( Historia di Lionbruno , 1476), through “classic” stories and collections by Charles Perrault, the Brothers Grimm and others, to today’s spin-offs, spoofs and “post-modern” interpretations.
The Osborne Collection Toronto Public Library’s Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books is one of the world’s foremost historical collections of English-language children’s literature. Located in the Lillian H. Smith branch , the Osborne Collection holds over 80,000 items, including manuscripts, books, book-related art, archives, ephemera and book-related games. Our collection ranges from a 14th-century manuscript of Aesop’s Fables through medieval books of manners, moral tales of the Puritan era, 18th-century chapbooks and hornbooks to Victorian classics of fantasy, adventure, and school stories up to 1910. We also collect modern notable books published after 1910.