Four Centuries of Religious Books for Children

Originally exhibited January 20–May 12, 2012
The Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Galleries


“Adapted to the understandings, feelings, and perceptions of the young . . . to prepare them for the reception of those great and all important truths.”
—W. Fletcher in Hymns for Children

This exhibition explores religious books specifically written for children that were printed in Europe and America between the sixteenth and the nineteenth century. The types of books featured are Bibles, catechisms, instructional works, moral stories, devotional literature, hymns, psalms, and spiritual songs.  Authors, editors, and publishers in each of these genres utilized numerous strategies involving the choice of text, image, and physical format to entice and engage young readers.  Intended to both instruct and delight, these publications were the foundation for students’ future religious education and faith.


Bridwell Library Special Collections