The OSBORNE COLLECTION OF CHILDREN’S BOOKS (BEFORE 1910) began with a visit from British librarian EDGAR OSBORNE. He was greatly impressed by the range and quality of children’s services within the TPL (Toronto Public Library) system.
OSBORNE donated his personal collection of some 2,000 rare books in 1949. The numbers have grown to over 80,000 rare and notable modern children’s books. Now there are several collections within the collection.
The oldest artefacts date from 2,000 BCE; others include a 14th century manuscript of Aesop’s fables, 16th century school books; Florence Nighingale’s childhood library; Queen Mary’s children’s books; penny dreadfuls, chapbooks, Puritan works, and fifteen-century traditional tales
Lillian H. Smith library is located at 239 College Street, not far from the University of TORONTO.