Online Archive of Historic Movable Books!

Many library, book, and publishing enthusiasts will find this cutting edge database to be of great interest:

Learning As Play: An Animated, Interactive Archive of 17th to 19th-Century Narrative Media for and by Children

It is amazing. Dr. Jacqueline J. Reid-Walsh conceived the idea for this project and lead a team to implement it, funded by a National Endowment of Humanities grant. Artifacts come from the Penn State University Libraries Special Collections, Cotsen Children’s Library, Princeton University, and the British Library. The database also features “a ‘play’ site” that allows users to manipulate movable books whose original, physical versions are too fragile to use.

Dr. Reid-Walsh explains on the site that “a movable book is a literacy toy where reading words and looking at pictures becomes a game. Also called mechanical books, or toy books…

The site even offers a section on curriculum; those teaching LIS or book history courses can read about how aspects of the project were woven into pedagogy.

In addition to the database, Dr. Reid-Walsh publishes a blog, Unfolding Metamorphoses, brimming with fascinating information and images.


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