The Children's Literature Research Collection was established in 1959 as a research and reference library for the study of children's literature of the world, with particular emphasis on Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. To support this research function there is a collection of reference books and periodicals relating to the study of children's literature and child play. A number of games and toys enhance the collection.

Scope of the collection

The collection consists of over 65,000 items, mostly children's books from Australia, the United Kingdom and America. They have been predominantly published in the 19th and 20th centuries, although there are earlier books, with the oldest being published in 1542. The collection also contains:

The Collection has been enhanced over the years by donations of books, toys and games, from families and from many individuals and so strongly reflects the interests of South Australian children from the days of early settlement until the present day. Examples of the Collection will be on display in the 'To be a child' exhibition in the Mortlock Wing.