About the Children's Literature Research Collections:
The Children's Literature Collections (CLRC) at the University of Minnesota is an internationally recognized children's literature library and archive. A member of the University of Minnesota Libraries' Archives and Special Collections department (ASC), the CLRC holds books, manuscripts, illustrations, comic books, story papers, and other materials related to the creation of historical and modern children's literature, including archival materials and original artwork for 1,700 authors and illustrators. It also mounts exhibits locally and loans materials for exhibits nationally and internationally. The CLRC contains The Kerlan Collection.
The Kerlan Collection was established in the 1940s by University of Minnesota alumnus Dr. Irvin Kerlan (1912-1963). He collected rare books as a hobby and soon turned to children's books. Dr. Kerlan chose what was best and representative of each current year and, when he could afford it, bought children's classics and past Newbery winners. It was not long before he took his collection one step further, pursuing the background material that went into making the books. He wrote letters to authors and illustrators, and they replied by forwarding their original manuscripts, artwork, and selected correspondence with editors and children.
From his collection, Dr. Kerlan organized exhibitions and shipped them to libraries and art galleries in North America, Europe, and the Far East. In 1949, he made arrangements with the University of Minnesota, his alma mater, to provide a permanent home for his collection.
The ABC of It: Why Children's Book Matter digital resource celebrates the 70th anniversary of Dr. Kerlan's Collection at UMN.
Buy The Book
Purchase a copy of The ABC of It: Why Children's Books Matter
Support the Kerlan Collection by becoming a donor and help keep Dr. Kerlan's collection growing. Join or find out more about the Kerlan Friends here.
Additional Digital Resource Exhibits
- Little Red Riding Hood: A Comparative Folk Tale Study
This project is a comparative study of versions of Little Red Riding Hood and a digital exhibit that can be used as a template for future fairy tale studies.
- Balloons Over Broadway, Melissa Sweet, and the Engineering of a Picture Book
This is a STEAM digital resource examining the process of the researching, writing, and illustrating an informational picture book.
- Children's Book Art: Technique and Media
This is a digital resource examining the works of over 65 artists' materials and process for the making of illustrations using primary sources held in the Kerlan Collection of the University of Minnesota's Archives and Special Collections.
- The Making of Picture Book Illustrations: What is Preseparated Art?
Ever wondered why many classic picture books look the way they do? This digital resource examines the process of the creation and printing of picture books through preseperated art.
- Rejoice the Legacy! Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney
A digital exhibit created to support the 2014 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture of the Association of Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
This exhibit presented by the Children's Literature Research Collections.