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The Juvenile Historic Collection was established in 2001 with a donation of 4,000 titles from the Grand Rapids Public Library. Publication dates range from the late 1700s through the 1970s. The collection has a wide variety of genres, including fiction, poetry, fairy tales, history, science, and biography. Many early juvenile series are also represented, including Rollo, Elsie Dinsmore, Boy Allies, Ruth Fielding, the Little Colonel, Tom Swift, Nancy Drew, the Bobbsey Twins, Cherry Ames, and the Hardy Boys.

The collection has grown to about 11,000 volumes, thanks to generous donors and funding from the Mardigian Endowment.

The collection currently includes eight major donations of historic children's books:

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