The digital collection of the University of Florida’sBaldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature currently holds more than 6,000 books free to read online from cover to cover, allowing readers to get a sense of what adults in the UK and the US wanted children to know and believe in the 1800s. Several genres flourished at the time: religious instruction, but also language and spelling books, fairy tales, codes of conduct, and especially adventure stories—pre–Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, examples of what today is often referred to as young adult fiction. Adventure stories were published principally for boys. The publications offered a (very colonialist) view of the wide world. Fact often mingled with fiction; and natural history and science, with battle and travel accounts. Visitors to the Baldwin Library’s website can search for subjects, authors, titles, and other categories. They can see full-screen, zoomable images of book covers, download XML versions, and read all of the more than 6,000 books in the collection with comfortable reader views. Teachers will also find definitions of some genre terms used in the digital collections and in children’s literature in general.
DonorsChoose has launched #ISeeMe, a campaign aimed at boosting the amount of culturally responsive materials in US classrooms. These include books written by authors of color or other resources featuring figures from diverse backgrounds.