Event by The Bibliographical Society of America

"A Picture of Slavery for Youth": Creating Young Abolitionists

"A Picture of Slavery for Youth": Creating Young Abolitionists

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM (EST)
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This roundtable will explore the creation and propagation of abolitionist material directed at children, through the copy of Jonathan Walker's A Picture of Slavery for Youth donated to Harvard University by the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society. The 1840s were a time of heavy abolitionist publishing, with directed entreaties to specific religious groups, to businesspeople, to upper-class women, and perhaps most surprisingly, to children. By exploring this text through  ethno-bibliographical and socio-historical lenses, we will work to gain a clearer understanding of the ways that juvenile abolitionist texts played a role in shaping the cause of freedom. Participants will respond to questions contextualizing the world of abolitionist publications for children and how design and textual decisions were made with the goal of moral inculcation.

Moderator: Dorothy J. Berry, Digital Collections Program Manager, Houghton Library, Harvard University

Object: The Houghton Library copy of A Picture of Slavery, For Youth by Jonathan Walker. Boston: J. Walker and W.R. Bliss, [184-?].


  • Krystal Appiah, Instruction Librarian, Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia
  • Jesse Erickson, Assistant Professor, Department of English & Coordinator of Special Collections and Digital Humanities, University of Delaware
  • Deborah De Rosa, Associate Professor of English, Northern Illinois University

Sponsored by


CABS – Minnesota, the Antiquarian Book Seminar & the Antiquarian Book School Foundation support, promote and promulgate interest in and appreciation of all aspects of antiquarian, used, and out-of-print books and other printed materials, as well as the antiquarian book trade, together with its attendant media, including electronic resources, and on-line databases. The Foundation seeks to expand the knowledge of the culture of books, printing, book illustration, bookbinding, publishing, and book collecting to a broad base of book professionals, including booksellers, teachers, librarians, collectors, and those of the general public looking to be so informed. The Foundation and the Antiquarian Book Seminar promote professional and ethical standards in the antiquarian, used, and out-of-print book trade, and abide by its established usages and customs. The Foundation also cooperates with other non-profit organizations that serve similar aims and purposes. For more information, click their logo to visit them on the web. Find out more about The Seminar's scholarship opportunities here.

English & Spanish Subtitling Courtesy of


Event hosted by

The Bibliographical Society of America
67 West Street, Suite 401 Unit C17
Brooklyn, NY, 11222
Erin McGuirl, Executive Director

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