Odds and quads

Launched during the First World War, Ladybird created probably the UK's most iconic - and now most nostalgic - series of 20th-century children's books.

November 8, 2012




These items all come from the University of Reading's Ladybird Archive - more than 700 boxes of original artwork, proofs and documents covering the publisher's golden age from the 1940s to the 1990s, with material ranging from What to Look for in Spring to The Transformers: Laserbeak's Fury.

Strict production rules and increasingly large print runs enabled the company to maintain prices at 2s 6d (12.5p) from 1945 to 1971.

Reading's Museum of English Rural Life is now hosting an exhibition, titled What to Look for? Ladybird, Tunnicliffe, and the Hunt for Meaning (until 14 April 2013). This focuses on a single watercolour (above) that artist Charles Tunnicliffe produced for E.L. Grant Watson's 1960 Ladybird book What to Look For in Autumn, how it was reproduced in subsequent editions and what surviving copies can tell us about their owners.

Send suggestions for this series on the treasures, oddities and curiosities owned by universities across the world to matthew.reisz@tsleducation.com.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns