Brian Alderson – author, editor, critic, and scholar who has curated many exhibitions and is a former children’s books editor of The Times (1967 – 1996) – is to donate his extensive collection of children’s books to Newcastle University and Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children’s Books.
Believed to be the largest privately-owned children’s literature collection in the UK, it is made up of more than 20,000 books, dating from the 17th century to the present day. Works come from the United States, France, Germany and Britain, and the collection includes original illustrations and papers related to Brian’s diverse career.
He has collected books for more than 60 years, beginning as an undergraduate with cheap editions of work by the poets Ezra Pound and T.S.Eliot. His interest in children’s books came later but soon became a passion.
The donation of the Collection jointly to the two organisations is a key outcome of Seven Stories’ and Newcastle University’s Vital North Partnership, funded by Arts Council England. The two organisations are marking Brian’s generous donation with a free exhibition of some of the highlights from the Collection at Newcastle University’s Philip Robinson Library, opening in June 2017 and running throughout the summer.
Brian Alderson will also be giving a free talk at the library about his collection, Every book has its own history: Reflections of a collector of children’s books, at 5.30pm on Wednesday 14th June.
To find out more about Brian Alderson’s talk on 14th June, visit: www.sevenstories.org.uk/whats-on. For more information on Brian Alderson’s work and collection, visit: http://research.ncl.ac.uk/alderson/