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Serendipity and Children’s Literature Research in the Library

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Lucy Pearson



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


Serendipity has become a ‘sine qua non of archival research’ (Tamboukou 151), but it isless clear how it might be cultivated – or even whether such a pursuit is worthwhile. NewcastleUniversity’s 2015 masterclass on the place of the archive within children’s literature researchoffered the opportunity to explore the role of serendipity from several perspectives, exposing boththe possibilities and the limitations of serendipity in the archive. Paradoxically, serendipity isbest fostered by sustained scholarly enquiry, but it also depends on a willingness to move beyonda focus on specific outcomes. This raises questions about the future of serendipitous research inan academic world which allows increasingly little time for exploratory research and about theimpact of new technologies.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kidd K, Pearson L, Pyke S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Research in Children's Literature

Year: 2016

Volume: 9

Issue: 2

Pages: 162-178

Online publication date: 01/11/2016

Acceptance date: 22/08/2016

Date deposited: 15/11/2016

ISSN (print): 1755-6198

ISSN (electronic): 1755-6201

Publisher: Edinburgh University Press


DOI: 10.3366/ircl.2016.0200


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