John Newbery, born on July 19, 1713, set up a bookshop and publishing house named the Bible and the Sun in London in 1744 and became one of the first to publish children’s books. In 1781, his firm published the first collection of nursery rhymes associated with Mother Goose. A Pretty Little Pocket-Book and Little Goody Two Shoes were a couple of his other titles. In 1751, he began the first periodical designed for children, entitled The Lilliputian Magazine.
John Newbery passed away in 1767. He is commemorated by the Newbery Medal, awarded annually since 1922 by the American Library Association for the most distinguished contribution to children’s literature in the United States in the previous year. The Newbery Medal was the first children’s book award in the world. You’ll also find original manuscripts and illustrations for books by past Newbery winners such as Christopher Paul Curtis, Carol Ryrie Brink, and Lois Lenski at the University of Minnesota’s Kerlan Collection.