A guide to children's literature including resources at the State Library and elsewhere
This guide helps you find Australian and overseas magazines for children. We hold magazines for children published across the 19th to 21st centuries.
In Australia during the 19th century regular instalments of children's magazines were a means of overcoming rural isolation, communication with the imperial centre and a way to imaginatively escape to literary landscapes.
A British magazine for young children is The children's friend which was first published in 1824, has a religious basis for most stories in addition to puzzles, songs, music, poetry and drawing lessons.
A British magazine published for older children from 1840 to 1892 was Peter Parley's annual. Each volume was issued at Christmas and began with a letter from 'Peter Parley' to his readers. Topics included history, adventure stories, poetry and moral tales about schoolboys which altogether aimed to entertain and educate readers.
Magazines for girls and boys were often published separately but shared stories of other lands and adventures. It is interesting to compare content between the 1927 issue of The Australian girl's annual, which contains stories of romance and adventure, while The Australian boy's annual has a greater emphasis on technology and adventure.
To find additional children's magazines search the Library catalogue. Advanced search. In the first box enter the word 'periodicals', then in the box marked Material type use the drop-down menu and select Journals and then click Search.
Your results list will be very large, so to refine your search scroll down the left hand column to SLV collection and select Children's collection.
You can then sort this list by date in the Sorted by drop-down menu in the middle of the results screen.
Many runs of children's magazines will be in our Rare Children's Collection. To request rare items go to an Inquiry desk or phone 8664 7002 to order an item to be delivered to the Heritage Collections Reading Room at the next available delivery time. If the children's magazine is not rare, click on Request and follow the prompts.
Link to our online exhibition of magazines for girls, Domesticity to Danger: Themes in Girls' Annuals 1880-1960.
Nineteenth Century Collections Online is a new database of 19th century texts for children where you will find examples of children's magazines published during the nineteenth century. After clicking on this link, select the view online option, limit your search to Children's Literature and Childhood, then add your keywords in the search box
In addition the Library subscribes to current online magazies for children, including
Jack and Jill: the magazine for boys and girls online since 1996 to the present
Humpty Dumpty's magazine also online since 1996 for younger children
Babybug a monthly magazine for upper elementary child readers online since 2008
Muse covers arts, science and humanities for upper elementary child readers, online since 2008