The Osborne Collection

Toronto Public Library’s Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books is one of the world’s foremost historical collections of English-language children’s literature. Located in the Lillian H. Smith branch, the Osborne Collection holds over 80,000 items, including manuscripts, books, book-related art, archives, ephemera and book-related games.

Our holdings

Our collection ranges from a 14th-century manuscript of Aesop’s Fables through medieval books of manners, moral tales of the Puritan era, 18th-century chapbooks and hornbooks to Victorian classics of fantasy, adventure, and school stories up to 1910. We also collect modern notable books published after 1910.

Osborne includes:

Unique items, including:

See more of the collection

Please come visit the Osborne Collection, but if you would like to see more of our collection online, explore these other virtual exhibits:

Or you can browse through a couple of Osborne books online:

Source: Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books, Toronto Public Library.