If there is a single "genre" of children's books that appeals to both adults and children it is the alphabet book. Children love its simplicity and familiarity, adults admire the artists' ingenuity and aesthetics. Recently there came up for auction a collection of alphabet books to be sold as one lot. These alphabet books, nearly 900 of them, had been collected in the 1930s and 1940s by a single person, and apparently placed into storage. The collection contained works that were published in several languages and between the early 18th century and mid 20th century. The collection is now being dispersed, one book at a time, to hundreds of other collections of alphabet books-including that of the University of Washington.
ALPHABET UNIVERSAL ANGLAIS ET FRANCAIS. [s.l.: n. p., 1830?].
THE ALPHABET OF OLD FRIENDS. By Walter Crane. London & New York: George Routledge and Sons, [1874-1876?].
THE ALPHABET OF GOODY TWO SHOES. London: Grant and Griffith, [1843-1856?]. Undated, date based on publisher's address.
THE FIRST BLOSSOMS OF LEARNING; BEING AN ENTIRELY NEW AND ELEGANTLY ILLUSTRATED ALPHABET. London: Dean and Munday, n. d.
OUR ALPHABET OF TOYS. Verses by Mary B. Grubb; pictures by Carolyn S. Ashbrook. [s.l.]: Harter Publishing Company, 1932.
GREEN'S ALPHABETICAL PANORAMA. Illustrated by Walter George Mason. London: Darton & Co., . Wertheimer and Co., Typp.
ALPHABET DE LA GRANDE GUERRE. By André Hellé. Paris & Nancy: Berger-Levrault, 1917.
OLD AUNT ELSPA'S ABC. By Joseph Crawhall. London: Field & Tuer, Ye Leadenhalle Presse, .
AN ALPHABET OF CHILDREN'S NAMES By Doris and Mary Ewen. London: Henry Frowde, Hodder & Stoughton, .
PICTORIAL ALPHABET. Boston: Massachusetts Sabbath School Society, 1845.
NEUES ABC BUCH FUR KINDER. Wien: J. Bermann, .
THE LU LU ALPHABET. By Pamela Chandler Colman. New York: Samuel Raynor, 1847.
THE STARRY FLAG ABC BOOK. New York: McLoughlin Bros., 1899.
THE ANIMAL ALPHABET. By Harrison Cady. U.S.A.: Whitman Publishing Co., 1921.
AUNT AFFABLE'S BALL: A NEW ALPHABET. London: Dean & Co., n.d.
ALPHABET DE L'OISEAU EN CAGE. By Bertrand Duché. Paris: Éditions du Pelican Balc, Viale & L'Hotellier, n.d.
UNTITLED. Illustrated by Rie Cramer. Amsterdam: Mulder & Zoon. No. 1040, n.d.
THE ALPHABET OF FLOWERS AND FRUIT. London: Dean & Son. No date.
L'ABC DE BÉBÉ.
THE YOUNG CHILD'S OWN SERIES OF NEW THREEPENNY COLOURED BOOKS: THE ADVENTURE OF THE ALPHABET. Ludgate Hill, London: Dean & Son, n.d.
ABC JINGLES. Syracuse, New York: G.C. Hanford Mfg. Co., 1920. Advertisement for Hanford's Balsam Myrrh.
THE ALPHABET OF FLOWERS. London: Dean & Son, n. d.
A FAIRY TALE A.B.C.
By Richard Ellett. Illustrated by Hassny (?). London: Dean's Rag Book Co. Ltd., Rag U book 234, n. d.
THE LULU ALPHABET. New York: Howe & Ferry, 1867.
TOM THUMB'S ALPHABET: PICTURE BABY BOOKS. Illustrated by William McConnell. London: David Bogue, ca. 1857 (based on inscription written inside). Engraved by the Brothers Danziel.
DENSLOW'S MOTHER GOOSE A.B.C. BOOK. Chicago: M.A. Donohue & Co., August 1904.
CHILD'S ILLUSTRATED ALPHABET: PICTORIAL PRESENT. HUMPTY DUMPTY'S GOLDEN ABC. London: A. Park, 1840.
A CAT ALPHABET AND PICTURE BOOK FOR LITTLE FOLK. Illustrated by Louis Wain. New York: Dodge Publishing Co., printed in Scotland, n. d.
GREEN'S NURSERY LEADING STRINGS: THE ALPHABET. London: Darton and Co., n.d.
AUNT LOUISA'S LONDON TOY BOOKS: THE ALPHABET OF GAMES AND SPORTS. London: Frederick Warne & Co., 1880. Printed by Kronheim & Company.
PARKS TALES OF INSTRUCTION AND AMUSEMENT: THE ROYAL ALPHABET. London: A. Park., n.d.
LULU: LULU TALES: ALPHABET. New York: Samuel Raynor, 1856.
HALSAM HI-LO AMERICAN SAFETY BLOCKS Exhibit checklist B.23 (View this item)
FAIRY ABC. New York: Sheldon & Co., n.d.
FOR GOOD CHILDREN: THE ILLUMINATED ABC. New York: T.W. Strong; Boston: G.W. Cottrell, n.d.
NEW ABC BOOK. New York and Akron, Ohio: Saalfield Publishing Co., Saalfield Muslin Books, 1926.
ABC DE BABAR. By Jean de Brunhoff. Paris: Éditions du jardins de modes, Groupe des publications Condé Nast, 1934.
AUNT MAVOR'S PICTURE BOOKS FOR LITTLE CHILDREN: THE VICTORIAN ALPHABET. London: George Routledge & Co., n. d.
DENSLOW'S ABC BOOK. New York: G.W. Dillingham Co., 1903.
AN ABC OF EVERY-DAY PEOPLE: GOOD, BAD AND INDIFFERENT. By G.E. Farrow. Illustrated by John Hassell. London: Dean & Son Ltd., 1902. Printed in Holland.
THE JOLLY ABC BY BLAM. Great Britain: Thomas Nelson & Sons Ltd., 1920.
UNCLE PIPPIN'S SERIES OF TOY AND STORY BOOKS: THE GOOD CHILD'S ABC. London: Read & Co., n.d.
AUNT LOUISA'S LONDON TOY BOOKS: RAILWAY ABC. London: Frederick Warne & Co., n. d. Printed by Kronheim.
BABY'S ABC BOOK. Akron, Ohio: Saalfield's Muslin Books, 1904.
A NEW PICTORIAL ABC FOR GOOD CHILDREN. Philadelphia: John Weik [1854-57].
MY NEW ALPHABET BOOK. London: The Religious Tract Society, 1884.
The Religious Tract Society was an "unsectarian organization for the preparation and circulation of evangelical tracts" founded in 1799 by the Reverend George Burden, a Congregationalist of Coventry. It recognized that the literacy of the poor need not be confined to the Bible. Beginning in 1812 it turned its attention to books for children. They published the then popular "pious, joyful child-death stories...many of them designed for the Sunday school reward-book market." The Society's guidelines insisted on "earnest, moral and natural tales with minimal excitement in order to leave the reader calm in spirit." (From the Cambridge Guide to Children's Books in English) Exhibit checklist 5.3 (View this item)
THE INFANT'S ALPHABET: EMBELLISHED WITH TWENTY-SEVEN NEATLY COLORED ENGRAVINGS. London: A.K. Newman & Co., [1811-1847?].
THE ROYAL ALPHABET; OR, HISTORY OF AN APPLE PIE. London, publisher unknown, [1822?] (before 1826).
MARKS'S HISTORY OF AN APPLE PIE. London: J.L. Marks, (1835-1857?).
RAILWAY ABC. London: Read, Brooks & Co., [1877-1885].
THE SILVER TOY, OR PICTURE ALPHABET: FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT AND INSTRUCTION OF CHILDREN IN THE NURSERY. Wellington [England]: Printed for Houlston and Son, n. d. [1820-1840].