Invited Addresses

Jill Shefrin -

‘Sometimes he thought… “Why?” & sometimes he thought, ”Wherefore?” & sometimes he thought, “Inasmuch as which?”’: Context & the Study of Children’s Books. Keynote address, National Collection of Children’s Books Symposium, Trinity College, Dublin, 17 April 2015

‘The principal guest speakers at the symposium, Jill Shefrin and Peter Hunt… gave papers characterized by erudition, insight and elegance… Shefrin’s paper… dealt especially with such topics as canonicity, changing notions of “the book” itself as a physical object, the need to challenge existing “creation myths” surrounding histories of children’s books, the role of children’s books as mirrors of the time in which they originated and evolving perceptions of the person usually referred to as “the child reader”.’
—Robert Dunbar, Children’s Books History Society Newsletter 112 (July /August 2015)

‘To Excite Their Attention with Images & Pictures’: Printed Pictures in the Formal & Informal Education of Children in the Long Eighteenth Century. National Library of New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand, 28 October 2014

Jill Shefrin
Jill Shefrin speaking at the National Library of New Zealand, Wellington, 2014. Photo: Friends of the Dorothy Neal White Collection
‘What is the Use of a Book Without Pictures…?’: How Children’s Books & Pastimes Reflect Progressive Educational Practices. University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand, 21 October 2014

‘Mis Silvia… Reads like a Great Woman’: The Education of a Young English Girl in the Eighteenth-century. University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand, 9 October 2014

‘Yourself & Your House Wonderful’: Medicine & Health in Early Children’s Books. Roxburghe Club, San Francisco, 19 February 2013

‘Leading Children to a Relish for Knowledge’. Keynote address, “From Uniformity to Reform: Education in the Very Long Eighteenth Century (1660-1870),” Workshop, Institute of Historical Research, University of London, 15 October 2011

‘Copper Plate Pictures for Children’: Prints for the Juvenile Market. Friends of the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, 8 June 2010

‘This Will Make Learning Pleasant’: Early Modern Children & Pictures. The First Annual Mary Pollard Memorial Lecture, Long Room Hub, Trinity College, Dublin, 2 June 2010

‘To Promote Improvement & Amuse a Friendly Party’: Games & Puzzles for Children in Eighteenth- & Nineteenth-century Britain. Keynote address, American Game & Puzzle Collectors Association Convention, San Francisco, 14 April 2007

Jill Shefrin in discussion following her AGPCA keynote, 2007. Photo: Rick Tucker
‘Allure Learning’s Imps along the Dreary Path’: Visual Aids & Educational Pastimes in Early Modern Education. Lectures in Children’s Culture series, Laurier Brantford College, Wilfred Laurier University, 18 January 2006

He Who Kisses the Pope’s Toe ‘Shall Be Banished for His Folly to Iceland’: Imperialism, Commerce, Religion & Science in Early Games for British Children. Fall 2001 Colloquium, Trinity College, University of Toronto, 31 October 2001

The Puzzled Child: Early Jigsaws for Children. Seventeenth Annual Meeting, Toronto Museum of Childhood, June 2000

‘Dearmerest Mrs. Dearmer’: the Life & Work of Mabel Dearmer (1872-1915). Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books, Toronto Public Library, April 1999. Published by the Friends of the Osborne & Lillian H. Smith Collections / Toronto Public Library, 1999. Available online at

Dearmerest Mrs. Dearmer
Dearmerest Mrs. Dearmer
‘What Shall We Do Now?’: Nineteenth- & Twentieth-century Children’s Games & Pastimes from the Osborne Collection. Fifth Annual Meeting, Toronto Museum of Childhood, May 1988