The Pomona Public Library Doll Collection





The Pomona Public Library Doll Colleciton numbers over 900 dolls.  Most of the dolls are from other countries and many of them are antiques.The collection began when Miss Clara Webber, the children's librarian from 1948-1970, donated her personal collection of dolls. Many of her dolls depicted literary characters. Other people donated more foreign, literary and historical character dolls.

In 1963, the Library was willed Mrs. Sarah Lorena McArthur's collection of over 600 dolls. Mrs. Sarah Lorena McArthur, an early Pomona resident and widow of a Civil War veteran, had collected dolls from all over the world for her daughter Pearl Lorena McArthur. The dolls are made of a variety of materials, including china, wood, metal, cloth, apples and hickory nuts. Mrs. McArthur made clothes and repaired many of the dolls herself. Every doll in the collection was given a name. When her daughter predeceased her, Mrs. McArthur willed her collection to the Library.

The Pomona Public Library intended to put the dolls on public display when the new Library building was completed in 1965, but adequate display space was not available for many years. In 1999 the Friends of the Pomona Public Library purchased display cases for the dolls, with the help of a grant from Wal-Mart.

The doll cases have a lively mix of dolls. General Douglas MacArthur and William Shakespeare share space with Mary Poppins and Doctor Dolittle. An Eskimo boy shares space with a Japanese geisha. An original Kewpie smiles down on an antique bisque baby doll.

The collection has been featured in the Los Angeles Times and on display at the Ontario International Airport. Most of the dolls are on permanent display in cases throughout the main floor of the Library. The Pomona Public Library is proud of its unique collection of dolls and is pleased to have them on display for the community to enjoy.