Library for Children’s and Young Adult’s Literature Research
The collection of children’s and young adult’s literature of the Department for Children’s Literature Research of Goethe University Frankfurt has developed into a nationally and internationally acclaimed specialised library, the Library for Children’s and Young Adult’s Literature Research. Both in terms of its significance and the scope of the collection, it stands out as one of the few top-ranking libraries in this special field. One of the most precious possessions is the historical children’s book collection of Walter Benjamin.
The chronologically ordered collection ranges from Greek-language versions of Aesop’s fables from 1550 via pedagogical works and guidebooks from the time of Enlightenment, romanticist folk literature, Biedermeier travelogues, novels for young girls (the so-called Backfisch-novels) to works from the period of the Weimar Republic and National Socialism. However, the major part of this collection consists of German-language picture books, children’s and young adult’s literature, booklets, magazines, comic books and other forms of children’s and young adult’s media from the postwar era and contemporary authors. The collection (which currently encompasses a total number of about 200 000 works) increases continually; each year several thousand new titles are acquired through donations courtesy of a number of German-language children’s and young adult’s literature publishers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Book donations by private and public institutions help closing the gaps.
Moreover, the library also collects secondary literature on German-language children’s and young people’s literature as well as on selected international titles. The system for indexing is based on a standardised vocabulary that has been developed by the department and is unique for both fiction and non-fiction. It enables a number of research possibilities (e.g. sorted by genres, themes and motifs, eras and countries of origin) and is therefore frequently used by students, researchers, journalists, teachers, librarians, and other people interested in children’s and young adult’s literature from Germany and other countries.
The public area of the Library for Children’s and Young Adult’s Literature Research is located in the IG Farben Building on the ground floor of wing 1. This is where reading rooms A and B can be found as well as the catalogues of primary literature and research materials and where the secondary literature is stored. Secondary literature cannot be borrowed.
The entirety of primary literature and media is in storage and therefore not freely available. It is indexed in the diverse catalogues (card index and OPAC). It has to be ordered with a ticket and can be picked up at the loans and information desk of the Library for Children’s and Young Adult’s Literature Research (ground floor, room 115) on the following day. Primary literature published after 1950 can be borrowed except for pocket books, journals and comic books. The latter can – along with primary literature from before 1950 – be used in the reading rooms A and B. The loan period is limited to four weeks; an extension is possible under certain circumstances.
Having a library card is not mandatory for using the Library for Children’s and Young Adult’s Literature Research.
Further information on usage requirements can be obtained at the information desk of the Library for Children’s and Young Adult’s Literature Research.