Jane Johnson Manuscript Nursery Library


Jane Johnson Manuscript Nursery Library


Unique among the many treasures in the Elisabeth Ball collection is the group of materials prepared by Jane Johnson for her son George William Johnson, who later became the High Sheriff of Lincolnshire. There are a total of 438 pieces arranged into twenty-three subgroups. In addition to two bound volumes of manuscript text, there are sets of alphabet cards, lesson cards, and story cards. Most of the alphabet and word cards can be used like modern flash cards, with vowel sounds, syllables, short words and sayings or verses. Many of the lesson cards contain paraphrases of Bible verses. The story cards are largely secular and contemporary in nature with some traditional verses. The largest subgroup includes seventy-eight word chips, chiefly words for food products, housed in a small handmade paper box, all decorated with playing card symbols cut from Dutch floral paper. Carefully prepared and artistically decorated, the materials are very similar to some of the children's books that were becoming commercially available during this period in England. They offer a view as if seen through a nursery window of how a mid-eighteenth-century mother provided basic primary and moral instruction for her child. (From: Elizabeth Johnson, For Your Amusement and Instruction: The Elisabeth Ball Collection of Historical Children's Materials, 1987.)


Johnson, Jane, 1708-1759


ca. 1740-1759


Lilly Library LMC 1649
PURL: http://purl.dlib.indiana.edu/iudl/findingaids/lilly/InU-Li-VAA1275