150th Anniversary of the Birth of Beatrix Potter (1866-1943), 28th July 2016
Most regular visitors to campus have encountered members of the large, local rabbit population, but there’s a bunny you may not have come across living in the Library’s Archives & Research Collections.
Beatrix Potter remains one of the world’s best-loved children’s authors and illustrators. Her stories have been translated into 35 different languages and more than two million of her books continue to be sold around the world every year. Perhaps her most popular character is the mischievous rabbit called Peter.
As you can see, our edition of ‘The Tale of Peter Rabbit’, first published in 1902, is a little unusual; it’s printed using the initial teaching alphabet (ita) designed by Sir James Pitman, a founding father of the University, to aid the early development of reading skills through phonetic learning. Used in thousands of primary schools across the UK during the 1960s, it was hoped that ita would give children more rapid access to fluency, enabling and inspiring them to read better and read more. Beatrix Potter famously didn’t go to school – she was educated at home by governesses – but it’d be interesting to know what she would’ve made of this innovative educational approach and the role it played in introducing her books to new generations of readers.
To find out more or to arrange a visit to Archives & Research Collections contact: E.Richmond@bth.ac.uk