New Exhibit: Girls' Series Books

The Special Collections Research Center invites you to visit its current exhibit, “A New Look at Old Friends: An Exhibit of Vintage Series Books for Girls,” now on display in the 4th Floor atrium of Belk Library and Information Commons. The exhibit is a reprise of the original installation in 2012, curated by Dr. Elaine J. O'Quinn and members of the Special Collections Research Center.  In 2022, we will celebrate ten years since the collection's dedication.  The exhibit will be on display through Spring 2022.

Exhibit cases from the right

The exhibit features books from the Elaine J. O’Quinn Girls’ Studies Collection in the Special Collections Research Center.  On display are a variety of materials related to girls’ series books from the mid-1800s through the early 20th century. Featured series include Nancy Drew, Cherry Ames, Beverly Gray, and Elsie Dinsmore, among many others. Dr. Elaine J. O'Quinn is a Professor in the English department who teaches and researches about adolescent literature, and she has generously donated her collection to Special Collections and loaned us several items for the exhibit. 


Cherry Ames Army Nurse cover


Little Prudy cover


Each display case visually explores three interrelated approaches to girls’ series books. The first case, “Fans,” showcases the marketing and fan following of girls’ series books. The second case, “Collectors,” displays a selection of collectible books and literature for collectors. The final case, “Scholars,” highlights how girls’ series books are studied in academia.

Cover of The Mystic Ball

Cover of Ruth Fielding at College


The O'Quinn Collection is available for use in the Cratis Williams Reading Room located in the Special Collections Research Center, Room 432, at the top of the grand staircase.   To schedule an appointment or more information, call 828-262-4041 or email

Cover of Cherry Ames Army Nurse
Published: Jul 6, 2021 4:44pm