Saturday, March 08, 2008

Alphabet books from Archive.org

From the Internet Archive blog:
This selection of alphabet books spans a hundred years and is probably of more interest to adults than children. Two of the more unusual books are the Anti-Slavery Alphabet published at the height of the American abolition movement and Little People: An Alphabet which could as easily be titled ‘An Alphabet of Racism’. This popular form of educating (and sometimes indoctrinating) children has endured for over two centuries. The form has also been used to amuse adults as can be seen in An Alphabet of Celebrities.
The blog post features a list of the 12 digitised books, from "The Royal Alphabet" published in 1808, to "A Peter Pan Alphabet" published in 1907.

Here are two screenshots of "An Alphabet of Celebrities" published in 1899, or 109 years ago.
Open Library: Details: An alphabet of celebrities Open Library - sample page: An Alphabet of Celebrities

This item record says: "LC copy the gift of Mrs. Peter Grant, May 22, 1952".

I'm guessing it's a copy from the Library of Congress, donated by Mrs. Peter Grant on 22 May 1952.

From its content, I'm pretty sure the book was published more for adults than for children. The "A" entry has Albert Edward, King Arthur, Alcibiades and Aphrodite!

Fascinating stuff.

To me, each book is a work of art.

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