For decades the University of Chicago Library’s historical children’s books were located in the Encyclopaedia Britannica Collection of Books for Children ( better known as “EB”). The nearly 5,000 books that formed the core of the Encyclopaedia Britannica Collection of Books for Children were collected by Chicagoan Henry C. Friedman. His collection was purchased by Encyclopaedia Britannica (whose then- president, William Benton, was a member of the University’s Board of Trustees) and donated to the University of Chicago in 1946 to provide resources for research and teaching of children’s literature in the Graduate School of Library Service. Over the years, many individuals have made gifts to the Encyclopaedia Britannica Collection of Books for Children, which has grown to over 12,000 titles.
The Special Collections Research Center has established a new collection with the name Historical Children’s Books (HCB), in order to distinguish the original EB/Friedman gift from the subsequent additions. A Special Collections project is under way to separate the books collected by Harry Friedman using the original inventory of his collection. These books will remain in the Encyclopaedia Britannica Collection of Books for Children and all others will be moved to the new HCB collection. This process will take several months and Special Collections Research Center staff will be happy to help users locate materials during this transition period.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Alice Schreyer, Assistant University Librarian for Humanities, Social Sciences, and Special Collections (firstname.lastname@example.org), Catherine Uecker, Rare Books Librarian (email@example.com), or Julia Gardner, Head of Reader Services (firstname.lastname@example.org).