Charles Henry Taylor
Charles Henry Taylor (1867-1941), the publisher of the Boston Globe, was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society in 1912, the institution’s centennial year. During his three decades of membership Taylor proved to be one of the AAS’s greatest benefactors, donating thousands of books, manuscripts, newspapers, and prints, as well as generously funding major acquisitions.
Taylor’s initial gifts were American newspapers, with a focus on Boston. Soon, his American lithograph collection began to arrive at the Society. Taylor was intrigued by all aspects of lithography, from printing to publishing to distribution. The extent of his giving was tremendous. In 1928 alone, Taylor sent to the Society 383 volumes and 155 pamphlets illustrated with lithographs, 1,010 separately published prints, and 940 pieces of lithographed sheet music.
Taylor also donated many significant manuscript collections, including those of artists Bass Otis and David Claypoole Johnston. Then there are the books: he donated first editions, cookbooks, eighteenth-century tracts, 350 children’s titles, and, of course, anything lithographically illustrated. Taylor’s gifts continued until his death, prompting this memorial tribute from AAS librarian Clarence S. Brigham: “Not since Isaiah Thomas has any one donor given the Library so great a mass of historical material.”