Behind the Stacks: Church Missionary Juvenile Instructor

Cover of bound volume. -- The Church Missionary Juvenile Instructor, 1888. https://clio.columbia.edu/catalog/5254942

Cover of bound volume. — The Church Missionary Juvenile Instructor, 1888. https://clio.columbia.edu/catalog/5254942

Children’s missionary periodicals have some of the most charming, amusing, and eyebrow-raising content I’ve come across in the Burke Library’s collections. The Church Missionary Juvenile Instructor is one in particular that caught my eye with the delightful cover shown above. The Burke has fairly comprehensive holdings of this periodical, which was published in London by the Church Missionary Society from 1842 to at least the 1950’s in various title permutations. The images below give a glimpse at the editors’ efforts to engage their young audience with a visually arresting publication, a conversational tone, and encouragement of reader participation.

Green cover of bound volume; the periodical was known as the “Green Book.” -- The Church Missionary Juvenile Instructor, 1871. https://clio.columbia.edu/catalog/5255257

Green cover of bound volume; the periodical was known as the “Green Book.” — The Church Missionary Juvenile Instructor, 1871. https://clio.columbia.edu/catalog/5255257

Title page of New Series Volume 7. -- The Church Missionary Juvenile Instructor, 1871.

Title page of New Series Volume 7. — The Church Missionary Juvenile Instructor, 1871.

Editor’s letter noting the “prettier” cover, new title page illustration, and a non-change in price. -- The Church Missionary Juvenile Instructor, Jan. 1871, p.[1].

Editor’s letter noting the “prettier” cover, new title page illustration, and a non-change in price. — The Church Missionary Juvenile Instructor, Jan. 1871, p.[1].

Red cloth cover of bound volume. -- Juvenile Instructor / Church Missionary Society, 1880. https://clio.columbia.edu/catalog/5255258

Red cloth cover of bound volume. — Juvenile Instructor / Church Missionary Society, 1880. https://clio.columbia.edu/catalog/5255258

Title page of 1880 issue showing price has remained at a halfpenny. -- Juvenile Instructor / Church Missionary Society, Jan. 1880, p.[1].

Title page of 1880 issue showing price has remained at a halfpenny. — Juvenile Instructor / Church Missionary Society, Jan. 1880, p.[1].

Editor’s letter introducing green-tinted paper. -- Juvenile Instructor / Church Missionary Society, Jan. 1880, p.2.

Editor’s letter introducing green-tinted paper. — Juvenile Instructor / Church Missionary Society, Jan. 1880, p.2.

Editor’s letter noting objections to the green paper. -- Juvenile Instructor / Church Missionary Society, Dec. 1880, p.134.

Editor’s letter noting objections to the green paper. — Juvenile Instructor / Church Missionary Society, Dec. 1880, p.134.

Illustrated cover of bound volume (the endpapers inside are green). -- The Church Missionary Juvenile Instructor, 1884. https://clio.columbia.edu/catalog/5254942

Illustrated cover of bound volume (the endpapers inside are green). — The Church Missionary Juvenile Instructor, 1884. https://clio.columbia.edu/catalog/5254942

Call for entries for “Prize Clock.” The periodical frequently held this kind of design contest. -- The Church Missionary Juvenile Instructor, Jan. 1884, p.12.

Call for entries for “Prize Clock.” The periodical frequently held this kind of design contest. — The Church Missionary Juvenile Instructor, Jan. 1884, p.12.

Results of “The Bible Clock Competition.” -- The Church Missionary Juvenile Instructor, Apr. 1884, p.48.

Results of “The Bible Clock Competition.” — The Church Missionary Juvenile Instructor, Apr. 1884, p.48.

Note regarding cover options for the year’s bound volume. -- The Church Missionary Juvenile Instructor, Dec. 1884, p.137.

Note regarding cover options for the year’s bound volume. — The Church Missionary Juvenile Instructor, Dec. 1884, p.137.

The items pictured in this post are from both the open stacks and special collections at Burke. To learn more about visiting the Burke Library, please see our website for General Library Access or Special Collections Access.

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