© 2017

Children's Literature Collections

Approaches to Research

  • Keith O'Sullivan
  • Pádraic Whyte
  • Presents the culmination of a two-year project on children’s books in Ireland, bringing together books published across five centuries

  • Contributes to the critical resources available on children’s literature in collections, and specifically, in terms of collecting, librarianship, education, and children’s literature studies

  • Offers a complex view of children’s literature collections by showing the varied approaches to researching collections.


Part of the Critical Approaches to Children's Literature book series (CRACL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Pádraic Whyte, Keith O’Sullivan
    Pages 1-11
  3. History and Canonicity

  4. Author and Text

  5. Ideals and Institutions

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 241-261

About this book


This book provides scholars, both national and international, with a basis for advanced research in children’s literature in collections. Examining books for children published across five centuries, gathered from the collections in Dublin, this unique volume advances causes in collecting, librarianship, education, and children’s literature studies more generally. It facilitates processes of discovery and recovery that present various pathways for researchers with diverse interests in children’s books to engage with collections. From book histories, through bookselling, information on collectors, and histories of education to close text analyses, it is evident that there are various approaches to researching collections. In this volume, three dominant approaches emerge: history and canonicity, author and text, ideals and institutions. Through its focus on varied materials, from fiction to textbooks, this volume illuminates how cities can articulate a vision of children's literature through particular collections and institutional practices. 


Children's literature Archival studies Collections Irish Studies Education Britain child children's literature English literature Europe history of literature literature model twentieth century

Editors and affiliations

  • Keith O'Sullivan
    • 1
  • Pádraic Whyte
    • 2
  1. 1.School of EnglishDublin City UniversityDublinIreland
  2. 2.School of EnglishTrinity College DublinDublinIreland

About the editors

Keith O’Sullivan is Lecturer in English at the Church of Ireland College of Education, Dublin, Ireland. He recently co-edited Children’s Literature and New York City (2014) and Irish Children’s Literature and Culture: New Perspectives on Contemporary Writing (2011). In 2013, he was co-recipient of a major Government of Ireland/Irish Research Council award to establish a National Collection of Children’s Books.

Pádraic Whyte is Assistant Professor of English and a director of the master’s programme in Children's Literature at the School of English, Trinity College Dublin. He is author of Irish Childhoods (2011) and co-editor of Children's Literature and New York City (2014). He was co-recipient of a major Irish Research Council/Government of Ireland award to establish a National Collection of Children’s Book.

Bibliographic information


“As a collection of scholarship that utilises the resources of one group of libraries, this book has a great deal to offer. The standard of the scholarship is high, and the opportunity to explore collections from one city makes this an interesting and relevant text for scholars not only interested in Irish children’s literature and Dublin, but also wider questions around the interconnected nature of books, society and politics.” (Jen Aggleton, International Research in Children's Literature, Vol. 12 (1), 2019)