LC Offers Free Online Children’s Books

Library of CongressIn honor of centennial of the  first Children’s BookWeek in April 2019, the Library of Congress selected several children’s books and made them available online

This special collection presents children’s books selected from the General and Rare Book Collections at the Library of Congress. The collection includes classic works that are still read by children today, and lesser-known treasures drawn from the Library’s extensive collection of historically significant children’s books. The books in this collection were published in the United States and England before 1924, are no longer under copyright, and free to read, share, and reuse however you’d like.

Highlights of the collection include examples of the work of American illustrators such as W.W. Denslow, Peter Newell, and Howard Pyle, as well as works by renowned English illustrators Randolph Caldecott, Walter Crane, and Kate Greenaway.

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The selections span many generations and topics, and reflect three general themes:

  • Learning to Read: Materials produced to teach American children to read: ABC books, primers, and a wooden hornbook.
  • Reading to Learn: Materials supporting classroom instruction in subjects such as mathematics, classical mythology, natural science, and the structure and function of the Unites States government.
  • Reading for Fun: Materials to nourish the imagination: fiction, poetry, fairy tales and toy books.Library of Congress Logo
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6 thoughts on “LC Offers Free Online Children’s Books”

  1. Thanks for posting this! I followed the link and randomly opened Humpty Dumpty which was the first one listed. I know the rhyme but had no idea there was a book. It’s like my whole life has been empty and void…. er… moving on. Some time ago you posted a link about librarians collecting marginalia – the notes left behind in library books. These PDFs are photos and right there in the book were several pages with comments in pencil. One was a signature, probably of the child who owned the book. So very cool. If you need me I’ll be reading.

    Liked by 2 people

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