The Dartons: Publishers of Educational Aids, Pastimes & Juvenile Ephemera, 1787-1876 : a Bibliographical Checklist : Together with a Description of the Darton Archive as Held by the Cotsen Children's Library, Princeton University & a Brief History of Printed Teaching Aids

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Cotsen Occasional Press, 2009 - History - 522 pages
Focusing on the output of a single publishing family, this lavishly illustrated volume brings together for the first time the rich diversity of teaching pastimes and ephemera issued by the print trades in this period. It offers a picture of a little explored chapter in the history of publishing for children in England through a comprehensive bibliographic record of the material culture of education as issued by one family of booksellers. William Darton and his son (also William) were among the busiest and most prolific publishers of children's books in the early nineteenth century. Their books were the subject of a massive bibliography by their descendant Lawrence Darton, published in 2004. But that work excluded the Dartons' educational games, toys and teaching aids. In this successor volume Jill Shefrin has documented the family's massive involvement in another juvenile market. Finding the ephemeral objects issued by the Dartons and describing them in such meticulous detail has been the work of some seven years delving among private and public collections on two continents and, as Iona Opie says, Jill Shefrin's marvelous volume is not only important for its new insights but fascinating as well. It will be a valuable tool both for historians of children's books, and for scholars of education and culture. Winner of the Justin G. Schiller Prize (Bibliographical Society of America) and the F.J. Harvey Darton Award (Children's Books History Society). Nominated for the International Bibliographical Prize (International League of Antiquarian Booksellers).

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About the author (2009)

Jill Shefrin is a consultant and scholar in the field of historical children's books and education. An independent historian and bibliographer, she was a librarian with the Osborne Collection of Early Children's Books (1980-1996) and a Research Associate in Arts at Trinity College, University of Toronto (2000-2008). Her research focuses on the use of ephemera and pastimes in education, particularly for girls, and she has published and lectured extensively on the subject. She has authored several exhibition catalogues, numerous articles, and two other Cotsen Occasional Press publications, and co-edited Educating the Child in Enlightenment Britain (Ashgate, 2009). She teaches the Children's Books course at the University of London Rare Books Summer School.

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