Friday, 9 June 2017

Brian Alderson donates rare children’s book collection to Newcastle University and Seven Stories


Long-standing Bewick Society member, Brian Wouldhave Alderson, a Freeman of the City of Newcastle and a renowned children’s literature scholar, is donating his extraordinary collection of children's books to Newcastle University and Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children’s Books. 

Believed to be the largest privately-owned children’s literature collection in the UK, it is made up of more than 20,000 books, dating from the 17th century to the present day. Works come from the United States, France, Germany and Britain, and the collection includes original illustrations and papers related to Brian’s diverse career.

Jill Taylor-Roe, Acting University Librarian at Newcastle University, said: “The Alderson Collection enhances and extends the University Library’s unique and distinctive holdings in Children’s Literature, and together with Seven Stories’ holdings, will create an incredibly rich resource for anyone interested in the history and further development of children’s literature.”

Sarah Lawrence, Collections and Exhibitions Director at Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children’s Books, said: “We are immensely grateful to Brian Alderson for the generous gift of his collection, which includes many rare and unique books – now to be made publicly accessible for the first time – and complements the holdings of Seven Stories and the Philip Robinson Library perfectly.”

Kim Reynolds, Professor of Children’s Literature at Newcastle University, said: ‘We are all excited by this splendid donation. Thanks to Brian’s unique expertise, this collection is full of rare and unusual items, and it will be an invaluable contribution to the work of establishing Newcastle as a world-class centre for the study of children’s books.”

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: www.sevenstories.org.uk/whats-on.

For more information on Brian Alderson’s work and collection, visit: http://research.ncl.ac.uk/alderson/  

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

John Caffrey (1939-2017)


It is with great sadness that we have learnt of the death of John Caffrey.
John was a regular at Bewick Society meetings. We shall miss his good humour, great knowledge and quiet encouragement. His knowledge of Bewick's Birds was second to none. An enthusiast for the books of Henry David Thoreau, he was delighted to find connections between the American writer and the Northumberland engraver.

Link to the Guardian Other Lives Obituary.