Inside the Milberg Gallery: Cotsen Children's Library

The game of siege

Das Belagerungs-Spiel. Le jeu de siège. The game of siege. Germany, 1830?


This series highlights collections included in the inaugural exhibition, "Welcome Additions: Selected Acquisitions 2012-2018," now open through June 23 (daily, noon to 6 p.m.) in the Ellen and Leonard Milberg Gallery. To follow is a note from Andrea Immel, Curator of the Cotsen Children's Library

Lloyd E. Cotsen, Class of 1950 and Charter Trustee Emeritus, is among Princeton University Library's Special Collections' most generous and far-sighted donors. He gave more than a superb collection of historical illustrated children's books in 1994; he endowed the vision of a space in Firestone Library that would be as welcoming to families as to scholars. Its public gallery offers children's programming to instill a lifelong love of reading; its stacks and contents ignite the curiosity about childhood in Princeton undergraduates, doctoral students, faculty, and scholars from around the world. 

My Soldier ABC

My Soldier ABC. London: Renwick of Ottley, ca. 1917

The resources Mr. Cotsen amassed on war shows why children may be affected as profoundly by books, toys, and propaganda encountered on the home front as by conflict on the battlefield. The results of his omnivorous but discerning collecting give scholars freedom to range over time, national borders, genres, and formats to examine the values that print, visual, and material culture direct at young minds. 

Innovative outreach programming makes these materials available to K-8 teachers and the curatorial blog interprets them for online readers. All Cotsen's diverse visitors benefit in different ways from the donor's dream for a unique rare book collection in the Princeton University Library.

Note: The Welcome Additions exhibition is featured online at

Media contact: Barbara Valenza, Library Communications Manager