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ERIC Number: EJ997495
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Feb
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 54
ISSN: ISSN-0004-9670
Researching Australian Children's Literature
Saxby, Maurice
Australian Library Journal, v53 n1 p81-91 Feb 2004
When in 1962 the author began to research the history of Australian children's literature, access to the primary sources was limited and difficult. From a catalogue drawer in the Mitchell Library of hand-written cards marked "Children's books" he could call up from the stacks, in alphabetical order, piles of early publications. His notes about the books were filed by date of publication--where given--so that a historical perspective began to emerge. The National Library yielded further data, but extracting it was more difficult. There was no catalogue and the library's fiction holdings were housed in what had been a wartime hut. Bibliographical help was also meagre. Morris Miller's two-volume bibliography of Australian literature (1940) listed only the works of some of the better known children's writers of the period, for example, Ethel Pedley. Macartney's edition extended to 1950 (1956) was helpful, but eliminated most of the references to children's books. Green's two-volume history of Australian literature (1961) included brief comments about major writers such as Ethel Turner and her daughter, Jean Curlewis. A sketch map of the area was to appear in 1963 with the publication of Rosemary Wighton's "Early Australian children's literature" in the Lansdowne series "Australian writers and their work." There was little else of help in his research. In 1996 he was to revisit the same period of Australian children's literature--the one hundred years following the appearance in 1841 of "A mother's offering to her children," the first children's book to be written and published in Australia. Two years later he began research into the following thirty years 1941 to 1971. Sources and resources are now plentiful. The growth of popular and academic interest in children's literature has burgeoned, until today it has become both an economic and literary industry. In this article, the author discusses the early development of Australian children's literature through the 1960s, the rise of children's publishing and book selling, and the emergence of periodical literature related to children's books.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia