Nineteenth-Century American
Children's Book Trade Directory

Based upon the unparalleled collection of Children's Literature held at the American Antiquarian Society, this comprehensive directory contains 2,600 entries documenting the activity of individuals and firms involved in the manufacture and distribution of childrens books in the United States chiefly between 1821 and 1876.

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Engraving from <i>The New-York
guide, in miniature</i>
 (NY, 1830), p. 39.
Nationally known firms such as McLoughlin Bros. and non-profit publishers like the American Sunday-School Union are included, as well as prominent educational pioneers such as Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, Samuel Griswold Goodrich, and William Bentley Fowle. The directory also reflects the dynamic growth of childrens book production in the major publishing centers of Boston, New York, and Philadelphia--as well as in regional markets such as Rochester, Mobile, Atlanta, Cincinnati, and San Francisco. In short, the Directory documents both a book industry and an American childrens literature that are coming of age in the midst of stunning technological advances, sweeping social change, and great economic upheaval.

Entries can be searched by: Heading (name of person or firm), Street address, City, State (two-digit postal code), Country (countries outside of the United States; used to document people/firms operating in both the United States and another country such as England); Chronological Date Range of Street Addresses; Role, and Notes. The Role index offers a drop down menu of the following terms:
  • Agent
  • Amateur printer
  • Amateur publisher
  • Binder
  • Binding designer
  • Bookseller
  • Copperplate printer
  • Editor
  • Electrotyper
  • Engraver
  • Games publisher
  • Importer
  • Ink maker
  • Lithographer
  • Lithotyper (Stereotyper)
  • Paper dealer
  • Paper manufacturer
  • Printer
  • Publisher
  • Self-publisher
  • Stationer
  • Stereotyper
  • Wholesale bookseller
  • The Note index contains more information about the entry, such as dates of books issued by the individual/firm that are held at the American Antiquarian Society. This information is particularly useful to track the activity of persons and firms operating in towns and smaller cities for which no published street directory could be located. The Note index also incdudes citations to published sources about the individual or firm whenever available.

    As many of these individuals and firms indexed also manufactured and distributed books for adults, the Directory will prove to be a crucial resource for researchers, collectors, book dealers, and virtually anyone seeking a better understanding of American publishing during the nineteenth century.

    The Nineteenth-Century American Childrens Book Trade Directory is the fruit of over a decades worth of work by AAS staff members. I am especially grateful to several individuals who played key roles in creating this resource. American Childrens Books Project Catalogers S.J. Wolfe, Nancy Noble, Helen Erwin Schinske, and Senior Catalogers Laura Wasowicz and Richard Fyffe performed initial research on the headings found in this database. In addition, Cynthia Taylor volunteered her time over five years performing directory research on many of the names entered here, as well as inputting the entries. John Stoffel skillfully provided the customized programming needed to re-cast the Directory as a web-based resource. AAS Online Services Librarian Caroline Stoffel has deftly addressed issues of user applications and computer programming logistics. Finally, I am grateful to AAS Senior Cataloger S.J. Wolfe, who initially convinced me that the creation of the Directory was both conceivable and necessary.
                    -- Laura Wasowicz, Curator of Children's Literature


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    Last updated January 18, 2011