This guide will assist you in researching topics related to the history of children's literature. Some date the beginnings of children's literature at 1744 with John Newbery's printing of A Little Pretty Pocket-book. This title is often identified as the first book written for the express purpose of entertaining children.
The depth and breadth of children's literature history can be extended if you consider books that were written for adults but "taken" by children. For example, these items were written for adults, but are now in the canon of children's literature; fables from Aesop and LaFontaine; fairy stories from Giovan Francesco Straparola, Giambattista Basile, Madame d'Aulnoy, Madame Le Prince de Beaumont, Charles Perrault; and story cycles such as the Indian Panchatantra, the Nordic saga of Sigurd the dragon-slayer, and the Arabic One thousand and one nights.
There are many ways to consider the history of children's literature. For example, you might examine:
One place to start is
Archives & Special Collections
A&SC at Hillman Library
3960 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15260