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Ekstrom Library

WGST 332-50/HIST 326-50/WGST 691: History of American Childhood: Essay #1

Your Assignment

Read one complete issue of an American nineteenth-century children’s periodical available via UofL Libraries databases and write an essay (5-7 pages – see word count) in which you analyze/interpret the periodical in terms of any theme we have discussed thus far (such as race, religion, class, region, slavery, urbanization, gender, institutions).  

  • The periodical you choose to interpret MUST be published in the 19th century and be an American periodical.
  • Your ONLY secondary source reference for the paper is Huck’s Raft and any Panopto lectures that prove useful to you. You MUST refer to course material in this essay. Refer to text by specific page number and to lecture by week.  If you refer to any other sources you cannot get above a “D” in this assignment.
  • If the periodical you choose is very short, read more than one issue – because you need to have enough material for you to analyze the periodical in terms of a theme. Possible periodicals include: Youth’s Companion, Youth’s Companion and Sabbath School Recorder, Boys and Girls Magazine, Child’s Friend, Child’s Friend and Youth’s Magazine, Child’s Friend and Family Magazine, Our Young Folks, St. Nicholas. All but Our Young Folks (1865) and St. Nicholas (1873) are nineteenth-century publications; some of these were published into the 20th century, but you need to utilize ONLY issues published in the 19th century (1800-1900). UofL has a 19th-century periodical collection that includes many children’s periodicals. Consult the reference librarians (first floor) and the media and microforms librarians (second floor) of Ekstrom for other possibilities. The periodicals mentioned can be located through University Libraries. 

Finding 19th Century Children's Periodicals

To access complete issues of 19th-century periodicals:

1. Go to the UofL library homepage and select All Databases A-Z under Quick Tools on the left side of the page.

2. Click on the letter P and select ProQuest Direct. There are several ProQuest databases, so make sure you select ProQuest Direct.

3. In ProQuest Direct, there are selections at the top (Basic Search, Advanced, Publications, Browse). Select Publications.

4. Type in "children's literature" and in the drop-down box on the right, select "In subject".

5. Click Search. You will see a list of over 20 children's periodicals with the dates of publication next to the title.

On a works cited page at the end of your paper (which is in addition to your 5-page minimum), indicate the collection in which the periodical appears and all library information necessary to locate it.

Subject Librarian


Amber Willenborg

Instruction Coordinator

Ekstrom Library