Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Children's Literature: The Teaching Resources Collection

A Library Services Subject Guide

The Teaching Resources Collection

Most of our children's literature resources are to be found in the Teaching Resources Collection, or TRC. The TRC is one of the Library's special collections and is one of the best of its kind in the country.  Close to the Library entrance, it is home to around 24,000 resources for primary and secondary trainee teachers, students intending to work (or already working) in educational settings, and students of children's literature.  That said, all BGU students and staff are welcome to make use of the facility and it is open all of the hours that the Library is open. 

Children's literature resources in the TRC include picture books, novels, non-fiction books, big books (fiction and non-fiction), dual language books, feature films, audiobooksnovelty books, puppets, and Storysacks®. We have an extensive collection of classic and contemporary children's literature, with all major authors and illustrators represented, demonstrating the development of children's literature through the decades. Though the emphasis is on British literature there is a good selection of American fiction, world fiction and books translated into English from other languages. Poetry books and fairy tales also feature. Newly published works are added each year, including titles shortlisted for the principal book prizes and awards. We also obtain and replace classics and works by authors who are less prominently promoted by the media.

Books are shelved according to the Dewey Decimal Classification scheme used in many school libraries; see below for more about Dewey.

All materials in the TRC are searchable via WorldCat; by clicking into an item record and looking in the Location column you can see where in the Library a resource is kept and how long you can borrow it for.  For example, children's novels have the location Main Library Teaching Resources Collection: Children's Resources - 12 Week Loan.

Except for Storysacks®, which cannot be borrowed, and DVDs, which can be borrowed for 3 weeks at a time, all children's books can be borrowed for 12 weeks at a time.  Most have a  green spine label, with the exception of teenage fiction books which have a white spine label, and picture books which have a yellow spine label (big books have a green label if they are non-fiction and a yellow label if they are fiction).

Our bi-annual newsletter, The Four Corners, discusses new titles and provides information on the TRC. 

Click here for the Four Corners newsletter

Shelfmarks in the TRC

Most of the children's literature books in the Teaching Resources Collection are works of children's literature or are reference books about children's literature. Below is a list of the main shelfmarks. 

Dewey Class   Subject
813      North American Fiction
821 Poetry
821.08 Collected Poems
821.3 Nursery Rhymes
822 Plays and Drama
823 British Fiction
823.01 Early Readers
823.08 Collected Stories
828 Treasuries
833 German Fiction
839 Scandinavian Fiction
843 French Fiction
896 African Fiction
899 Australian Fiction


In the TRC, the shelfmarks of books by specific writers are always followed by the first three letters of their surname, for example 823 ROW for J.K. Rowling or 813 COL for Suzanne Collins. 

The following example shows how a book by Michael Morpurgo would normally be classified using Dewey:
800 = Literature
820 = English Literature
823 = English Fiction
Books by Michael Morpurgo are therefore located at shelfmark 823 MOR.

Picture Books are shelved separately and are arranged alphabetically by the first three letters of the author's surname.

Shelfmarks in the Main Library

It is important to remember that children's literature is studied from many different perspectives. Whilst works of children's literature are located in the TRC, books about children's literature are located in other parts of the library.  Books about children's literature in general are in the main collection upstairs at 809.89282 while specific authors are at 823.912 and illustrators at 741.64092Books about folk and fairy tales are kept on the ground floor of the main library at shelfmark 398.2

The Osbourne Collection of Early Children's Books

The Osborne Collection of Early Children's Books was bequeathed to Toronto Public Library in 1949 by Edgar Osbourne, the County Librarian of Derbyshire. It included 2,000 children's books published in England to 1910, as well as books published in other countries, such as the fairy tales of Charles Perrault and the Brothers Grimm. From this beginning it has grown to over 80,000 rare and notable modern children's books. In the TRC we have 35 facsimile editions of books from the original collection including Orbis Sensualium Pictus (said to have been the first picture book for children) and Edward Lear's Book of Nonsense, as well as fairy tales, chapbooks, and books by Kate Greenaway.

A view of the TRC
Books on the TRC shelves
A toddler being shown a book in the TRC
The door into the TRC
The Show & Tell area

WorldCat and children's literature

Browsing the shelves is worthwhile and can be fun, but we recommend that you use WorldCat to find works on a specific subject or by a particular author, illustrator or poet.

Remember to make a note of the book's shelfmark and the name of the author as you will need both to find books on the shelves.

Check the location field in the item record to see where to look for the item in the library building. If it says Library Store you will need to ask at the Service Desk. Check availability field to ascertain if there are copies to borrow.

Another important reason to check WorldCat is to find e-books. These cannot be found by browsing the shelves.

Useful tip:

To find a picture book which addresses a specific subject, enter the subject terms pictorial works and  juvenile fiction alongside your main search term in the WorldCat search box, for example Bereavement pictorial works juvenile fiction.

Image attribution

All images ©Bishop Grosseteste University.