Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Princeton University Library Collection of Children's Publishers' and Retailers' Catalogs
Cotsen Children's Library
Permanent URL:
circa 1913-2015
7 boxes and 3 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxc): Box 1-7


Advertising material, mostly catalogs, from publishers and sellers of children's books, toys and educational products.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

This collection encompasses two different but interrelated types of material. The first series is made up of catalogs and advertising materials from publishers of children's books. Many of these catalogs exclusively advertise children's materials, with some catalogs aimed at children themselves and others aimed at their parents and teachers. A number of the items are general publishers' catalogs with dedicated sections for children's books. A few of these general catalogs list no children's books; there is a note in the item's description where this is the case. The second series lists advertising materials from a variety of retailers that feature products for children. Some of these retailers are book sellers, while others advertise toys, games, dolls and educational materials. Each entry in the retailers' series gives a brief description of the kind of material advertised in the catalog. Items in this series range from the glossy catalogs of large national toy companies such as American Girl to a holiday catalog from the Gilmore Stationery Store in Meadville, Pennsylvania. The retailers' series also includes some advertising compendiums from publishing guilds or trade groups, e.g. Children's Buyer's Guide, produced by the British book trade magazine The Bookseller. Most of the materials in the collection are in English, with a few French and German firms represented in the publishers' series and a few Italian and German companies represented in the retailers' series.

Collection History


Materials in this collection were compiled from a variety of sources. The Harper Brothers catalogs were purchased in 2002 from Aleph-Bet Books, Inc., Pound Ridge, NY. The foreign language catalogs were purchased from Michael Winetraub over the course of many years. Many of the more recent catalogs, especially seller's catalogs, were added to the collection by Cotsen's curator, Andrea Immel, who received them at home.


No materials were separated during 2014-2015 processing.

Processing Information

This collection was processed in late 2014 and early 2015 by Ellen Williams, who also wrote the finding aid.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research/

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Credit this material:

Princeton University Library Collection of Children's Publishers' and Retailers' Catalogs; Cotsen Children's Library, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-1148
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxc): Box 1-7