Victorian-Era Shape Books

Maxwell Library > Digital Projects > Shape Books

About This Project

The die-cut shape books featured in this online exhibit are held in the special collections of the Clement C. Maxwell Library at Bridgewater State University.

Catalog information about these books is available in Webster, the Maxwell Library catalog:

There is a wealth of information (both in print and available online) about children’s literature and its history. However, there is relatively little published information about these die-cut shape books. Further complicating the research, these books often lack credit, publication, and copyright information. See the Additional Resources below for both print and Web resources about Children’s Literature and children’s book publishing.


Site content & design: Ellen Dubinsky

Additional Resources

Carpenter, Humphrey, and Mari Prichard. The Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984. Print.

“Children’s Library.” Ebook and Texts Archive. Internet Archive. Web. <>.

Fyffe, Richard, S.J. Wolfe, and Laura E. Wasowicz. “Children’s Literature at the American Antiquarian Society." American Antiquarian Society. Web. <>.

Haining, Peter. Movable Books: an Illustrated History: Pages & Pictures of Folding, Revolving, Dissolving, Mechanical, Scenic, Panoramic, Dimensional, Changing, Pop-Up and other Novelty Books from the Collection of David and Briar Philips. London: New English Library, 1979. Print.

Hunt, Peter. Children’s Literature: an Illustrated History. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press. 1995. Print.

“Kerlan Collection.” University of Minnesota: Archives & Special Collections. University of Minnesota. 2008. Web. <>.

Keyser, Bonnie. “The McLoughlin Brothers and 19th Century ‘Toy Books’” AB Bookman’s Weekly. 78.17 (1986): 1993-98. Print.

McCulloch, Lou. Children’s Books of the 19th Century. Des Moines: Wallace-Homestead, 1979. Print.

Montanaro, Ann R. Pop-up and Movable Books: a bibliography. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1993. Print.

Muir, Percy H. English Children’s Books, 1600-1900. London: B. T. Batsford. 1985. Print.

“Nineteenth Century Books on Publishing, the Booktrade and the Diffusion of Knowledge.” The Nineteenth Century. ProQuest, L.L.C. Web. <>.

“Pop Goes The Page: Movable and Mechanical Books From the Brenda Forman Collection.” Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library. University of Virginia Library. 2000. Web. <>.

“Pop-up and Movable Books: A Tour Through Their History.” University of North Texas Rare Books and Texana Collections. University of North Texas. Web. <>.

Quayle, Eric. The Collector’s Book of Children’s Books. New York: Clarkson N. Potter, Inc., 1971. Print.

Townsend, John Rowe. Written for Children: An Outline of English-language Children’s Literature. Third revised edition. New York: J.B Lippincott, 1987. Print.

Wasowicz, Laura. “Nineteenth-Century American Children’s Book Trade Directory.” American Antiquarian Society. Web. <>.

Whalley, Joyce Irene, and Tessa Rose Chester. A History of Children’s Book Illustration. London: John Murray and Victoria and Albert Museum, 1988. Print.

Whitton, Blair, and Margaret Whitten. Collector’s Guide to Raphael Tuck & Sons. Cumberland, MD: Hobby House, 1991. Print.

Whitton, Blair. Paper Toys of the World. Cumberland, Maryland: Hobby House Press, 1986. Print.

Illustration from Only A Doll, ca. 1890