Brian Alderson and Seven Stories

Brian Alderson, respected author, editor and critic, and the former children’s books editor of The Times (1967-1996) is donating his extraordinary collection of children’s books to Newcastle University and Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children’s Books. 

The collection, believed to be the largest privately-owned collection of children’s literature in the UK, is made up of more than 20,000 books, dating from the 17th century to the present day. Alderson has long been a supporter of Newcastle University and Seven Stories. He said: ‘With the University’s scholarly interests in children’s literature and historic children’s book collections, and with Seven Stories being the national home of contemporary children’s books, I am delighted to be able to augment the City’s prominence in fostering interest in what is an unduly neglected subject.”

The transfer of the Alderson Collection to Newcastle has already begun and, in the future, it is expected that the whole collection will be available for research and teaching, and by members of the public. The material that has already been catalogued is available to view on Newcastle University’s Library Search. 

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 here.

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