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Research Collections



The Research Collections includes a number of works that provide a useful resource to researchers investigating the changing experience of childhood since the 19th century.


Ronchetti Collection

The Ronchetti Collection (pdf) includes scrapbooks containing 900 photographic representations of children, childhood, dolls and play.

The accompanying series of children’s literature, c.1879-1942, includes items with specific reference to dolls or to children playing with dolls.

All of these items were gathered by the late Barbara Ronchetti, formerly the Special Collections Librarian at Birmingham University.  She had a scholarly interest in dolls and was a prominent member of the Worcester Doll Society.

The Collection was deposited with the University of Worcester Research Collections by her brother-in-law, Mr Geoffrey Carpenter.

Associated with this collection is another smaller collection of books about Dolls, Doll's Houses and other toys, deposited by a number of individuals, including John Marks.

girl Guide Album coverTalbot Guiding Collection

The Talbot Guiding Collection looks at Guiding from 1920s to the beginning of the 21st century.

The material includes:

  • books (pdf),
  • magazines (pdf) aimed at different stages in the guiding movement,
  • instructional film strips (pdf) and
  • the log books (pdf) of a local Guide leader 1966 – 1999.

Tsushima Collection

Donated by Mrs Jean Tsushima, highlights from this collection include toys, puzzles, games (pdf) and books (pdf) that relate to the experience of childhood. 

These items date from 1870 to 2012.  A significant proportion of this collection is written in Russian and other languages.

A Cornish Childhood - book coverWilliams Collection

The Williams Collection comprises two principal series relating to the experience of childhood, beginning from the mid-19th century. 

Autobiographical accounts (pdf) of 20th century childhoods published between 1924 and 2000.  The autobiographies are chiefly by British writers, with emphasis on rural childhoods, particularly those of Cornish authors.

Illustrated alphabet and counting instruction books (pdf) for children published in English, 1836-2000.