History of Literacy
The Children’s Books History Society

History of Reading News. Vol.XXIII No.1 (1999:Fall)

Based in England, the children’s Books History Society, was founded in 1969 by Brian Alderson. Initially a subcommittee of the British Friends of the Osborne Collection, a col-lection of early children’s books at the Toronto Public Library, the CBHS is now an organization in its own right, although it preserves links to the Osborne Collection.

In honor of Harvey Darnton, the society gives an annual award to the author of the best book published in the two preceding years on any aspect of the history of British children’s books. Meetings of the society take place in England about six times a year. The society’s publications include a report or draft of each meeting in the three newsletters published annually and an annual Occasional Paper. These have so far covered Early Alphabets, Peter Pan, Chapbooks, and Children’s Illustrations of the 1860s. Last July, the society held a conference to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the founding of the Religious Tract Society, a leading publisher of children’s books in the 19th century.

In addition to institutional members and curators of collections, the society has members from all over the world. Their interests range from dolls in stories, pop-up books, fairy tales, myths, legends, and fables to school stories, pony stories and book illustrations. Membership is 10 a year. Applications for membership should be sent to Mrs. Pat Garrett, 25 Field Way, Hoddesdon, Herts, ENll OQN, UK. Tel/fax: from the U.S.: 011-44-1992-464885; email cbhs@abcgarrett.demon.co.uk. U.S. members paying in sterling should add an additional 4. Alternatively, U.S. members may enclose a check for $17.00 (surface mail) or $23.00 (airmail) and send it to the secretary. U.S. dollar checks should be made out to Lady Anne Adye.

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