Extraordinary Collection of 10,000 Children’s Books bequeathed to Trinity College Library

Posted on: 18 November 2005

‘Tales of Wonder – A Peep into the Pollard Collection’

A major new exhibition of children’s literature has opened to the public in Trinity College’s Long Room. ‘Tales of Wonder – A Peep into the Pollard Collection’ marks the bequest of 10,000 books by the late Paul (Mary) Pollard to Trinity’s Library. The exhibition was opened by children’s author, Siobhan Parkinson, and runs until the end of January 2006.

“This exhibition is drawn from an extraordinary collection of 10,000 books spanning the period from the late 17th century to the early 20th century, with a particular focus on books for girls,” explained TCD Librarian, Robin Adams

“This collection by the late Paul (Mary) Pollard is one of the most important of its kind internationally. It contains literature written for children by significant Irish authors, particularly Maria Edgeworth, and many books of Irish interest. A full assessment of its strengths in particular categories has yet to be carried out but it includes moral tales and tracts, learner readers, 19th century annuals and magazines. Many items are prizes and personally inscribed presentations so there is valuable information on their provenance.

“This collection is the catalyst to help the Library to realise its long held ambition to develop an international Children’s Literature Research Collection in Trinity College.

“The Pollard collection presents enormous opportunities for research and scholarship on a wide range of themes relating to children’s literature and childhood, and associated disciplines such as education, English, history, sociology, gender studies, and popular culture. Based on this important bequest, Ireland’s first scholarship dedicated to bibliography will be established”.

(Mary Pollard (1922 – 2005), known as Paul Pollard, librarian, bibliographer and historian of the book trade was considered the leading authority of print in Ireland during her lifetime. She worked for many years in Trinity College Dublin’s Library, combining her job with one in Marsh’s Library.)