Monday, April 15, 2013

The UCLA Library Baby Books Collection: A Mother Lode for Developmental Research

Thursday, April 25
Noon–1 p.m.
Charles E. Young Research Library
Presentation Room

Eight years ago, UCLA Library History and Special Collections for the Sciences started building a collection of baby record books from the nineteenth century to the present. In these charming memory books, parents were encouraged to record a child’s activities and developmental milestones and save precious mementos including first teeth, locks of hair, and photographs.

Today, the collection features more than seven hundred titles and editions, with more than thirteen hundred different copies, the earliest of which dates from the 1870s. Although the collection development strategy focuses on infant development, health, and illness, the books and their handwritten and pasted-in contents have been used for research in sociology, material culture, linguistics, architecture, advertising, and other topics and disciplines.

Curator/Librarian Russell A. Johnson will show highlights of this fascinating collection and discuss its development and research potential. His presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer period.

UCLA Library Curators’ Conversations is an occasional series that explores Library collections and projects with the staff who acquire and make them available. You are welcome to bring your lunch; coffee and cookies will be served.

Seating is limited. RSVP to UCLA Library Development at

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