Cotsen Children's Library
Lloyd E. Cotsen, Class of 1950 and Charter Trustee Emeritus, is among Princeton University Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections’ most generous and far-sighted donors. He gave more than a superb collection of historical illustrated children’s books in 1994; he endowed the vision of a space in Firestone Library that would be as welcoming to families as to scholars. Its public gallery offers children’s programming to instill a lifelong love of reading; its stacks and their contents ignite the curiosity about childhood in Princeton undergraduates, doctoral students, faculty, and scholars from around the world.
The resources Mr. Cotsen amassed on war shows why children may be affected as profoundly by books, toys, and propaganda encountered on the home front as by conflict on the battlefield. The results of his omnivorous but discerning collecting give scholars freedom to range over time, national borders, genres, and formats to examine the values that print, visual, and material culture direct at young minds.
Innovative outreach programming makes these materials available to K-8 teachers and the curatorial blog interprets them for online readers. All Cotsen’s diverse visitors benefit in different ways from the donor’s dream for a unique rare book collection in the Princeton University Library.
Cotsen Collection Highlights