In this paper we examine the politics of print and digital archives and their implications for research in the field of historical children's literature. We use the specific example of our comparative, collaborative project 'From Colonial to Modern: Transnational Girlhood in Australian, New Zealand and Canadian Print Cultures, 1840-1940' to contrast the strengths and limitations of print and digital archives of young people's texts from these three nations. In particular, we consider how the failure of some print archives to collect ephemeral or non-canonical colonial texts may be reproduced in current digitising projects. Similarly, we examine how gaps in the newly forged digital "canon" are especially large for colonial children's texts because of the commercial imperatives of many large-scale digitisation projects. While we acknowledge the revolutionary applications of digital repositories for research on historical children's literature, we also argue that these projects may unintentionally marginalise or erase certain kinds of children's texts from scholarly view in the future (Author abstract).