The Children’s Book Collection in the Christian Brethren Archive

I am pleased to announce that a collection of children’s books in the Christian Brethren Archive has been catalogued. The collection contains wonderful examples of religious fiction and non-fiction, aimed at children and young people, and also texts giving advice for Christian adults working with young people.

The covers of the books are equally interesting as illustrations of the development of visual design throughout the 20th century. A small selection of the more striking images have been digitised as part of the ongoing Christian Brethren Archive digitisation project, and can be found on our Manchester Digital Collections website.

The titles of the books are in some cases intended to be thought provoking, and straightforward, for example, A Call to Action, or How to Understand and Influence Children. Some are intended to be thought provoking, and ask questions such as Is Life Worth Living? There is material intended to give guidance and support those working to counsel and assist in difficult situations. Other books grab the attention in a different way; the title Cannibals for Christ is a particular favourite of mine, and it certainly made me look for the book’s blurb to learn more!

The provenance of this collection is something of a mystery, and unfortunately, it is not clear whether it was donated as a complete series, or is the sum of several smaller deposits. However, as it contains books predominantly aimed at children and young people, it has been catalogued as a self-contained collection, within the Christian Brethren printed material. We are keen to promote and encourage its use, as it is currently a lesser exploited element of the Christian Brethren Archive.

With thanks to the photographers and cataloguers of the Heritage Imaging Team for the digitisation work, and to Gavin Park of the cataloguing team, the Christian Brethren Children’s Books collection can now be found via the University of Manchester Library Search.

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