The Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature in the Department of Special and Area Studies Collections at the University of Florida’s George A. Smathers Libraries contains more than 115,000 books and periodicals published in the United States and Great Britain from the mid-1600s to present day. The Library also has small holdings manuscript collections, original artwork, and assorted ephemera such as board games, puzzles, and toys. The Baldwin Library is known for comparative editions of books, with special emphasis on Robinson Crusoe, Pilgrim’s Progress, Aesop’s Fables, and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The Library also has the largest collection of Early American Juvenile Imprints of any academic institution in the United States.
Other strengths and distinctions of the Baldwin Library include: marginalia and inscriptions, nonfiction from the 20th century, Little Golden Books, religious tracts, and illustrated editions from the Golden Age of Children’s Literature. Scholars worldwide use the Baldwin Library for research in morality tales and religious tracts, conduct of life, gender roles, comparative editions/book history, and toy and movable books.
The Baldwin Library also runs the Louise Seaman Bechtel Fellowship in conjunction with the Association of Library Services to Children in the American Library Association, has a travel grant program for visiting researchers, and has a year-long Speaker Series, which has featured Dr. Jerry Griswald, Dr. Maria Tatar, author Peter Sis, and Dr. Ebony Elizabeth Thomas. The University of Florida’s Digital Collections provide scholars with access to over 6,000 rare and unique titles from the print collection.