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Baines Collection


Children’s Books, fiction and non-fiction

Cat and dog, or Memoirs of Puss and the Captain (London: Grant and Griffith, 1856, IOE BAINES 89).



Ca. 200 items (5 m).

Scope and content

This is a collection of mostly children's books which date from 1700 to the 1920s. There are a few instruction manuals on pedagogy.

Although there are a few foreign language items, most of the books are in English. There are both story books and books of general knowledge prepared for children’s recreation and instruction in the 18th, 19th and the early part of the 20th centuries. They include readers, geography and history books and books on the use of grammar. There are also many fiction books, many of which have a moral theme. Many of the books have hand-written dedications or the names of the original owners.

This is a rich collection of primary sources for anyone researching the history of literacy, moral instruction and education in England from the 19th to the early 20th centuries.


This collection of mostly 18th and 19th century children’s books belonged to family of Reverend Edward Baines. It was given to the Ministry of Education in 1955 by Miss Margaret Eyre (1874-1963) and her niece Alicia Constance Percival. Margaret Eye was the daughter of Lucy Dorothea Baines (1949-1938), whose father was the Reverend Edward John Baines, vicar of Bluntisham in Huntingdon, and later of Yalding in Kent). Alicia Constance Percival (1907-1987) trained as a teacher. She became the Vice Principal of Forest Teacher Training College between 1945-1950 and between 1950 and 1966, worked as a Principal Lecturer at Trent Park Teacher Training College where she was later the Vice Principal. This is now Middlesex University.

Further information about Miss Eyre is contained in book published by Alicia Percival which is entitled ‘Aunt Margaret: reminiscences of Margaret Eyre 1874-1963, compiled in 1974 by her niece, Alicia C. Percival’.  Copies are available in the British Library, Bodleian, and the Women’s Library (the latter also holds Alicia Percival’s personal papers). The biography includes material written by Miss Eyre. Other collections linked to the IOE’s Baine’s collection includes the Baines/Percival papers in the Bodleian Library and the Eyre Papers in the Pitt-Rivers Museum. The Victoria & Albert Museum also holds a Burmese wall hanging donated by Miss Eyre.
In 1992, the successor to the Ministry of Education, the Department for Education, deposited the collection with the IOE. 


The collection is fully catalogued. To browse the records, conduct a shelfmark search for BAINES on Explore.