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Research Guides

Collection Guidelines: Children's Literature: Subject Definition

Guidelines by which materials are purchased for the Children's Literature collection of the UW Libraries (Seattle Campus).

About this Guide


These are the guidelines by which materials are purchased for the Children's Literature collections of the UW Libraries (Seattle Campus).  For questions or more information, please contact the Children's Literature Selector, Kathleen Collins.  

UW Libraries: Collection Goals

The UW Libraries is committed to providing convenient and timely access to collections and information resources that are outstanding with respect to their quality, depth, diversity, format and currency to support the research and teaching missions of the University of Washington.

Definition of Children's Literature

Children's literature is literature written primarily for a juvenile audience, defined as ages 0 to 18. Divisions such as young adult literature (literature aimed at teenagers, age 13-18) is included in the broader category of children's literature. Children's literature includes fiction, nonfiction, drama, and poetry.

The UW children's literature collections will be useful to those researching and studying in the education, library science, art, comparative literature, and other disciplines.  The Children's Literature Research Guide will help you to begin using both materials written for children and materials written about children's literature (books, electronic databases, journals, magazines, newspapers) in the UW Libraries collection.

Children's Literature Subject Classifications

Library of Congress (LC) Classification:

  • The majority of the juvenile fiction collections (including picture books) falls under LC's PZ designation, which is used exclusively for children's literature. PZ call numbers include:
    • PZ 5: Collections
    • PZ 6 : Early to 1860/1870
    • PZ 7 : Genl. juvenile lit., 1870-
    • PZ 7.7 : Graphic novels
    • PZ 8 : Fairy tales
    • PZ 8.1 : Folklore & legends
    • PZ 8.2 : Fables
    • PZ 8.3 : Nursery rhymes & Stories in rhyme
    • PZ 10.3 : Animal stories
    • PZ 10.4 - PZ 90 : Non-English languages
  • Children's nonfiction is shelved under the relevant Library of Congress designation,

  • Support material is cataloged throughout the LC range, but major overlaps occur in GR, folklore; L, education; NC, drawing and illustration; and the literature call numbers, especially PN, general drama, PR, British & Canadian literature, and PS, American literature.