UCLA Children's Book Collection
A digital archive of children's books from The University of California. These books date from 1728 to 1999.
From the website: Children's literature emerged as a distinct and independent genre only a little more than two centuries ago. Prior to the mid-eighteenth century, books were rarely created specifically for children, and children's reading was generally confined to literature intended for their education and moral edification rather than for their amusement. Religious works, grammar books, and "courtesy books" (which offered instruction on proper behavior) were virtually the only early books directed at children.