Alderson (Brian) Collection

Subject strengths: Literature, Childrens Literature

Brian Alderson (b. 1930) is a pioneer of children’s literature studies in Britain as a distinguished author, reviewer, and translator. He has also collected books for more than 60 years, beginning when he was an undergraduate with cheap editions of work by poets Ezra Pound and T.S.Eliot. His interest in children’s books came later but soon became a lifelong passion, resulting in the curation of a collection of over 20,000 books, dating from the 17th century to the present day. This collection, donated jointly to the University and Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children's Books, represents a vast and diverse distinctive resource.


Collection Name and Collection Reference Code:

Collection Name: Alderson (Brian) Collection

Library Catalogue Collection Ref Code: Alderson

Date Range of Material

17th Century - present

Type of Material

Children’s book collection

Size of Collection

100+ Linear Metres of shelving 

How To Order Items From This Collection

The books within this collection are described within the Newcastle University Library Catalogue and can be ordered directly from the catalogue.

This link to the library catalogue will show a list of all the items within the collection. Please note this link is available to members of the public as well as University staff and students.

Scanning and Photocopy Service

If you are unable to visit our reading room, we also have a scanning and photocopying service. 

Other Resources

Visit the Brian Alderson website, where you can find out more about Brian and his work, including the ‘Looking at Children’s Books’ series of talks from Brian, and oral histories detailing Brian’s life and career in his own words. 

Some of the less usual children’s book and manuscripts from the collection were displayed in an exhibition curated by Brian Alderson titled ‘A Lilliputian Miscellany’, in the Philip Robinson Library (June-August 2017). You can read more about some of the items displayed in this exhibition here.

An accompanying exhibition catalogue can also be purchased via Newcastle University Webstore.

Projects, Progress, Updates

Work on cataloguing the Alderson Collection is currently in progress. Material currently catalogued is available via the library catalogue.