Curriculum vitae


             Other publications


             Invited addresses


             Awards & fellowships


             Other experience


             Current research




Darton book addenda





Jill Shefrin




In print publications can be purchased by clicking on the links on each page.



The Dartons: Publishers of Educational Aids, Pastimes & Juvenile Ephemera,

1787-1876. A Bibliographic Checklist. Together with a description of the Darton

Archive as held by the Cotsen Children’s Library, Princeton University Library &

A brief history of printed teaching aids. Cotsen Occasional Press, 2009.


Winner of the Justin G. Schiller Prize (Bibliographical Society of America) & the F.J. Harvey

Darton Award (Children’s Books History Society).


Also nominated for the International Bibliographical Prize (International League of Antiquarian

Booksellers), the Anne Bloomfield Book Prize (History of Education Society, UK) & the De Long

Book History Book Prize (Society for the History of Authorship, Reading & Publishing). Research

for this project funded by the Cotsen Family Foundation.


This is an important & fascinating work… Jill Shefrin already has a reputation for original

research & meticulous scholarship. In this marvelous volume she has given us more, providing

evidence for a previously unrecorded market in nineteenth-century teaching aids for both home

education & schools. She has brought together over 2,200 teaching aids produced by the two

Darton firms of booksellers between 1787 & 1876. Her detailed checklist includes table games,

dissected puzzles, alphabet pastimes, writing sheets, &, especially, prints & maps for the infant

school market. I myself had no idea that such a variety of teaching aids was available, & this book

has made me aware of what fun it must have been to be taught the rudiments of education in the past.”

                                                                                       ~Iona Opie~


Jill Shefrin has gathered together an extraordinary assemblage of the ephemera of British

childhood covering nearly a hundred years from the late eighteenth century to the high Victorian

era & in so doing will surely change our perceptions of that childhood itself. … The Dartons will

become essential reading for all historians of childhood & publishing between the 1780s & the 1870s.

                                                                                       ~Clive Hurst, Head of Rare Books & Printed Ephemera

                                                                                          Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

                                                                                          Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America

                                                                                          105 (2011)~


This sumptuous book is at once pioneering & definitive. … Considering the present book & its

predecessor, Lawrence Darton’s The Dartons, my advice to anyone else considering writing about

the nineteenth century output of the Darton family is to find another subject. … I already consider

the book indispensible & … it is beautifully printed, gorgeously illustrated, & altogether a rare

pleasure to behold.

                                                                                       ~Stuart Bennett, Antiquarian bookseller

                                                                                                    Children’s Books History Society Newsletter 94

                                                                                                    (December 2009)~


a quite staggering feat of scholarshipThe checklist, which constitutes the bulk of the volume, is superbly

detailed and meticulously organized.  ...Shefrin’s work will be of immense value for very many areas of

scholarly enquiry: the history of education, publishing history, the development of alphabet books, social

history, religious attitudes in general and Quaker connexions in particular, the expansion of knowledge

in the nineteenth century and the history of leisure. It is a stupendous achievement.

                                                                                       ~David Blamires, F.J. Harvey Darton Award Committee

                                                                                          Children’s Books History Society





Sample pages


Other Books


                           Educating the Child in Enlightenment Britain


                           Such Constant Affectionate Care: Lady Charlotte Finch,

                           Royal Governess to the Children of George III


                            Neatly Dissected, for the Instruction of Young Ladies &

                            Gentlemen in the Knowledge of Geography”: John Spilsbury

                           & Early Dissected Puzzles