Works on the history of South African children's literature written in English focus either on bibliography (Davies 1992; Heale 1995, 1996), themes (Jenkins 1993, 2002) or even aspects such as character (Jenkins 2006). However, there is no evidence of a history of the publishing of English children's books in South Africa. This article investigates possible methodological approaches to such a publishing history, within the context of the multi- and interdisciplinary field of book history. The focus is on empirical and quantitative approaches to book history, based on the tradition of historical and enumerative bibliography (Eliot 2002:283).
These approaches are then applied to a study of English children's fiction published in South Africa between 1900 and 1961. This section includes a production profile and a producer profile, as well as an analysis of each. The article concludes by presenting the advantages and disadvantages of using empirical and quantitative approaches in the study of the history of publishing South African children's books in English.