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Young people

Literature for young people, book history for children, records, and images: a world of diversity waiting to be discovered...

Books, records and multimedia for young people

In the Art and Literature Department at the Reference library, the National Center for Children’s Literature - La Joie par les livres (Centre national de la littérature pour la jeunesse – La Joie par les livres) provides readers with access to a collection of more than 250,000 materials that is unique in France: books, journals, audiovisual and multimedia material, and posters. The collection includes:
  • all French editorial output produced for children since the 1950s
  • extensive representation of French language output, including in particular from sub-Saharan Africa and the Arab world 
  • a collection of foreign language children’s books from around the world 
  • a specialist fairy tales collection 
  • a collection of old, rare, and valuable books 
  • a collection of reference books on young people’s literature, childhood, reading, and comic strips
The Research library’s collections of books and journals on children’s books cover:
  • their literary history (Les albums de Mademoiselle Lili et de Trimare found alongside Père Castor and Claude Ponti, the Countess of Ségur alongside Marie Desplechin, and Harry Potter alongside Pierre l’Ebouriffé);
  • their editorial history (the 19th century Editions Populaires are found alongside the Bibliothèques rose et verte, rouge et or; for example, readers can consult publisher Pierre-Jules Hetzel’s gift catalogs, Hachette’s price distribution catalogs, and the catalogs of publisher “Les doigts qui rêvent”, whose albums, games, and tactile books are intended for blind and partially sighted children); 
  • their artistic history (changes in the relationship between text and images, typography, and binding).
These collections illustrate the existence of children’s books and literature from the 17th century onwards, and include books for learning (including in particular 2,100 illustrated 19th century spelling books), as well as for pleasure, dreaming, etc.

They include remarkable items, most of which are held in the Rare Books Reserve (Réserve des livres rares): original editions of children’s literature classics (e.g. the first French translation of Alice) and illustration for children (e.g. Rackham and Job), rare books of which only a few copies exist, books on bibliophilia, original mock-ups and drawings e.g. the Babar collection), etc.

The Audiovisual Department provides access to France’s oldest and largest collection of children’s records

“Children’s records” became an editorial genre in its own right from the 1920s onwards. From fairy tales to songs, not forgetting little stories and early learning material, the collection contains more than 100,000 items covering this huge field. Publications by Le Petit Ménestrel (e.g. Peter and the Wolf) have become classics of this type of publishing, as have Mary Melody’s adaptations of Tintin, together with recordings by leading performers like Anne Sylvestre and Henri Dès.

Monday, July 28, 2014

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