Children’s Letters etc.

This page is dedicated to collecting information about international archival and library holdings of published and unpublished children’s creative output (including letters, diaries, artworks, …).

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While children’s role as contributors to culture has been recognised, much more research is needed to describe the extent and significance of this contribution. Documents and objects created by children will play a key role in this process.

While many child-made artefacts have not been preserved, recent scholarship, in particular, has shown that there is a surprisingly large range of archival holdings – and some publications – that include sources created by children.

The author of this page hopes that the information collected here will, eventually, form the basis for an open-access database – Creativity and Imagination in Childhood and Youth (CICY) – that will collect archival and library holdings of published and unpublished children’s creative output.

If you are interested in collaborating on this endeavour (both this page and/or the database project), do not hesitate to get in touch.

  1. Collection of handwritten and typed letters from Helen Keller to Michael Anagnos, the Director of Perkins Institution and Massachusetts School for the Blind (now Perkins School for the Blind) in Boston.
  2. Juvenilia Press publishes early works by a variety of writers (e.g. Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Lewis Carroll, Charles Dickens, Philip Larkin and Margaret Atwood) as well as juvenilia by people who did not become writers in later life. The Press’ catalogues can be found here.
  3. Collection of children’s drawings from the Terezín Ghetto in the Jewish Museum in Prague.
  4. ‘Dein Dich zärtlich liebender Sohn’: Kinderbriefe aus sechs Jahrhunderten, ed. F. E. Mencken (Munich, 1965).
  5. Kinderbriefe mit Kinderzeichnungen und Elternbriefen, ed. Wilhelm Spohr (Berlin, 1942).
  6. Geliebte Eltern! Kinderbriefe aus sechs Jahrhunderten, ed. Angela and Andreas Hopf (Munich, 1987).
  7. Toby Little, Dear World, How Are You? The True Story of a Little Boy on a Big Quest (London, 2016).
  8. Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books: holdings of juvenilia by a range of authors, including – Diana Wynne Jones: ‘Private Literary Convulsions’ (DWJ/01/02/01; DWJ/01/02/02); Judith Kerr: ‘Puppi und Michel in Nizza’ (JK/01/01/02);  Elinor Lyon: ‘Kidnapped in Africa and Other Stories’, ‘The Three Elves’, ‘Nicolas the Adventurer’, ‘Island Adventures’ (including EL/01/01/01, EL/01/01/04); Gaye Hicyilmaz: ‘The Adventures of Francesca’, ‘No Pony like Gypsy’ (GHi/01/03, GHi/01/04).
  9. The collections of the Musée Tomi Ungerer include drawings and writings by the young artist. Some of these works can also be seen on the official website of Tomi Ungerer which has a page with information on his childhood and some images of his juvenilia. Another source that includes a selection of Ungerer’s juvenilia is his memoir Tomi: A Childhood Under the Nazis (Lanham, 1998).

 

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