Children’s books at Lillian H Smith Library

Milan - Osboune

On Tuesday, September 15 as part of the Children Illustration Course at Seneca College led by Milan Pavlovic,  illustration students had a wonderful opportunity to visit Osborne Collection of rare children’s books at Toronto Public Library Lillian Smith Branch. Ms Leslie Mcgrath provided clear and knowledgeable guidance and led us through the exhibition of most valuable pieces of collection. It was a great occasion for our students to hear the stories behind each exhibited book in historical context and to gain knowledge how development of printing technology affected illustrations and book design alike. Variety of exhibited books clearly demonstrated evolution from early ages when book was produced in only one copy, hand written manuscript on vellum (Aesop’s fables) through the use of woodcuts, wood engravings, etchings, letterpress and colour lithography, which allowed producing multiple copies. We viewed numerous examples of original illustrations from George Cruikshank and Walter Crane to Walt Disney, Maurice Sendak and Edward Gorey. Visiting the Osborne collection was very thrilling experience, both inspirational and useful.