The juvenile collection began in 1944 with a donation by Rosemary Vincent Shaw, class of 1922. It was considerably augmented by the gift from Mrs. William Churchill Hammond Sr. of her son William Churchill Hammond Jr.'s books. The Hammond family has had a long-standing association with Mount Holyoke College. Mr. Hammond Sr. was professor of music 1891-1936 and his son, Mr. Hammond Jr., served as a trustee 1951-1961. The collection now consists of more than 1,600 volumes, spanning 1797 to the present.
Many of the books in the collection are noteworthy for their illustrations, such as those by Arthur Rackham, Peter Spier, Beatrix Potter, Randolph Caldecott, Walter Crane, Kate Greenaway, Boutet de Monvel, and the winners of the Randolph Caldecott Medal. Other books are winners of the John Newbery Medal, awarded annually since 1922 for excellence in writing for children.
The collection contains a mixture of 19th-century didactic stories, science books for children, general fiction and biographical stories. Most of the material is in English, but there are also books in German and French. The selection of late 20th-century pop-up books show the change in perception of the importance of the paper engineer's contribution to the finished work.