Jane Johnson’s Manuscript Nursery Library

While attending the Acts of Reading: Teachers, Texts and Childhood from the 18thc to the present day conference in Cambridge, I found out all about Jane Johnson and her nursery library. The Jane Johnson’s Manuscript nursery library consists of material devised by Jane (Russell) Johnson (1708-1759), wife of the Reverend Woolsey Johnson (1696-1756), between 1740 and 1759 for the instruction of her children. The materials consist of 438 items and are arranged in 24 groups. Included are alphabet, word and story cards, and secular and religous lesson cards, all hand-made. Some of the cards contain coloured illustrations and are decorated with multi-coloured Dutch paper. Set no.7 is of great interest since it has the largest group of materials. According to the Lilly Library, it includes "78 word chips denoting chiefly food products such as Ale, Almonds, Bacon, … , Veal, Water, Wild-fowl, housed in a small paper box decorated with playing card symbols cut from a Dutch-made paper".

Set 15. All Wisdom cometh from the Lord. Set of lesson cards, Nos. 1-8, religious in nature. Borders and verso in brown, orange, and green Dutch paper with cord hangers. 8 items.: Page 10 of 16Set 17. As John with his rake. Set of 44 unnumbered lesson cards on secular subjects with related colored picture in center of card. Verso, plain. 44 items.: Page 21 of 88Set 17. As John with his rake. Set of 44 unnumbered lesson cards on secular subjects with related colored picture in center of card. Verso, plain. 44 items.: Page 65 of 88

[Set 15, item 5; Set 17, item 11 & 33], Johnson, J. mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana]

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply