The Cotsen Children's Library

The Cotsen Children's Library is a unit within the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections at the Princeton University Library.

Our Historical Collection of Rare Children's Books

The research collection of the Cotsen Children's Library is a major historical collection of rare illustrated children's books, manuscripts, writing books, games, maps, original artwork, prints, and educational toys from the 15th century to the present day in over thirty languages. The collection has important holdings of materials in the English, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Latin, and Russian, as well as in other languages.

Cotsen Collection Highlights

Highlights of the Cotsen collections include: an early-Coptic Christian schoolbook; medieval manuscripts; incunables; two scrapbooks assembled by Hans Christian Andersen; drawings by Edward Lear, K. F. E. Freyhold, and Samuil Marshak; many of Beatrix Potter's famous picture letters; early editions of the fairy tales of Madame d'Aulnoy, Charles Perrault, and the brothers Grimm; one of the largest collections of children's books published by John Newbery and his successors; Soviet Constructivist children's books; American dime novels; moveable books; jigsaw puzzles; and educational playing cards.

Cotsen Library was founded through the benefaction of children's book collector Lloyd E. Cotsen Princeton class of '50.

Among the Cotsen Collection items on display here in the Digital Library:

[Childhood] / 守川周重筆. and [Childhood] / Morikawa Chikashige hitsu
[Childhood] / 守川周重筆. and [Childhood] / Morikawa Chikashige hitsu
Nihonbashi [Tokyo] : Kobayashi Tetsujirō, Meiji 11 [1878] and 日本橋 [東京] : 小林鉃次郎, 明治11 [1878]
Egor monter / N.G. Smirnov, Galina Chichagova, Olʹga Chichagova ; foto Zubkova
Egor monter / N.G. Smirnov, Galina Chichagova, Olʹga Chichagova ; foto Zubkova
[Moscow] : GIZ, [1928].

Cotsen Virtual Exhibitions

In addition to Cotsen collections available as part of Princeton's Digital Library itself, Cotsen's Virtual Exhibitions showcase additional illustrative and graphic materials, for instance: Tigers, Kites, Pere Castor's activity books, Leo Politi's Los Angeles, Beatrix Potter, and other other wonderfully visual items.