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Cool rabbit hole alert: Browse this free digitized library of 7,000 Victorian-era children’s books.

Jessie Gaynor

September 28, 2022, 12:54pm

If, just yesterday, you happened to find yourself simultaneously hungry for more information about a Try Guy’s infidelity and deeply irritated that you suddenly not only knew what a Try Guy was but also cared, you might be in the market for a new rabbit hole. (This is purely theoretical, of course.)

Luckily, the internet is the source of both evil and good. For today’s good, we can turn to the University of Florida’s Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature, whose digitized collection includes 7,000 British and American children’s books from the mid- to late 19th century, which you can access in full for free.

Children’s books are a fascinating window into what a society values. (For instance, I wonder what future historians will make of the board books someone gifted to my child, which claim that Cleopatra was a feminist because she “told everyone that girls rule.” Dark!) The collection is a treasure trove for history buffs, children’s literature enthusiast, and lovers of beautifully creepy illustration alike.

At the very least, browsing the collection will keep you from clicking through unfamiliar Twitter trending topics for a few hours. Only sorrow lies that way.

[via Open Culture]

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