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Additions to children's literature collection on display
New original art, books and other materials have been donated by 12 children's book authors/illustrators to the Northeast Children's Literature Collections. The collections, of more than 14,000 classic and modern children's books, and a growing archive of original art and manuscript materials from contemporary authors and illustrators, are a component of the Archives and Special Collections department.
The new works will be displayed at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center until the end of the year.
"These additions round out the collections," says Billie Levy, who founded the collections in 1985, "because they encompass different approaches that people use to complete their work." The new materials include wood engravings by Barry Moser and scratch board art by Leonard Everett Fisher.
"Hopefully the public will appreciate the beauty and the work that go into children's books," Levy says. "The display takes you through the process that the authors and illustrators had to go through to produce these books."
Much of this material in the earlier days was lost, she says. "People did not think anything of it."
The Dodd Center archives, which have temperature and humidity controls, reading room space and space to exhibit materials, have had an impact in attracting authors and illustrators to submit their work since opening two years ago, says Thomas Wilsted, director of the center.
He says the Northeast Children's Literature Collections document the cultural history of Connecticut since the mid-19th century. "By preserving historical collections, people have an opportunity to examine American culture and its evolution," he says.
"Although children's books and literature are often seen only as entertainment, they reflect changing societal views on issues such as race, gender, and different aspects of our multicultural community. Looking at children's literature provides yet another window into the American past that is available to students, scholars and members of the public who use the collection or see the materials on exhibit."
Authors and illustrators whose work is on display are: