‘Paper,’ ‘Potato’ and ‘The Railroad’: Books of Soviet Children

PHOTO by Boris Ushmaikin / RIA Novosti
How little ones in the early USSR used to learn what is good and what is bad

Forty-six children’s book covers published in the USSR between 1918 and 1938 have been uploaded to the Princeton University website.

The website of the Princeton University digital library now features a collection of covers from Soviet children’s books stored in the Cotsen Children’s Library, an international collection of children’s books in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections at the Princeton University Library.

Take a look at the highlights of the collection in the photo gallery below:

There are even examples of special typography inspired by the Russian avant-garde artists of the early 20th century such as Ilya Zdanevich and Velimir Khlebnikov, not to mention poet Vladimir Mayakovsky’s pictures for his book “What is Good and What is Bad.” The 46 books include the works of Mayakovsky, Agniia Barto and Daniil Kharms. In total, the Cotsen Children’s Library has over 1,800 Russian children’s books in its holdings dating from the middle of the 17th century.