Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Guide to the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Publishing

Collection ID:
Warshaw, Isadore, 1900-1969
circa 1800-1966
Physical Description:
6.07 Cubic feet
consisting of 13 boxes, 1 folder, 4 oversize folders, 6 map case folders.
A New York bookseller, Warshaw assembled this collection over nearly fifty years. The Warshaw Collection of Business Americana: Publishing forms part of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Subseries 1.1: Subject Categories. The Subject Categories subseries is divided into 470 subject categories based on those created by Mr. Warshaw. These subject categories include topical subjects, types or forms of material, people, organizations, historical events, and other categories. An overview to the entire Warshaw collection is available here: Warshaw Collection of Business Americana

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
Publishing covers several related aspects of printing including the physical production, the commercial and retail part of the industry, and the broader concept of publishing. This overlaps with subscription services, bookselling, stationary, photography, book binding, type and typesetting, and the paper industry amongst others.
Scope and Contents
This subject category- Publishing- consists primarily of catalogues, invoices, receipts, circulars, subscription information, advertising materials, and correspondence relating to publishers and booksellers. The bulk of the material dates from the second half of the 19th century and is from businesses located in the northeastern United States; there are a few items from Canada and Europe. Many businesses referred to themselves as both booksellers and publishers. Some of these companies also sold stationery and other writing materials, art supplies, and gift items. William J. Hamersley of Hartford Connecticut was such a bookseller and a substantial amount of material from his business is part of this collection.
Such major publishing companies as Bobbs-Merrill, R.R. Bowker, Curtis, Dodd-Meade, Dou-bleday, Harper Brothers, Houghton-Mifflin, Lippincott, MacMillan, G.P. Putnam, The Roycrofters, Scribner, and Street and Smith are represented in this collection. Some are book publishers, others published periodicals, and some published both books and magazines. However, the great majority of the businesses represented in this collection served a local market. The publications in this collection are concerned with the business of publishing and bookselling. Among the oversized materials are a number of large and graphic advertising posters.
Publishers and Booksellers includes catalogues, invoices, receipts, circulars, subscription information, advertising, and correspondence from publishers and booksellers. Materials are arranged in alphabetical order by the name of the company.
William J. Hamersley Papers includes information about William J. Hamersley (1808-1876) a prominent bookseller in Hartford, Connecticut and is divided into two subseries. According to Geer's Hartford City Directory for 1858-9 his store was located at 23 Main Street. Mr. Hamersley was also the editor of The Hartford Independent Press and served twice as Hartford's mayor. His son William Hamersley became a prominent attorney and jurist. Both men were friends of Mark Twain. Subseries one consists primarily of invoices and receipts from publishers and booksellers that Hamersley did business with, listed alphabetically. The materials date from about 1850 to 1860. Subseries 2 consist of business expense records and miscellaneous business materials; also present are miscellaneous household expenses. These are for food and provisions, home repair and decoration as well as board for his sons, possibly at school. Also included are lists of medical supplies ordered by Dr. Andrew Hamersley. His relationship to William J. Hamersley is unknown.
Publications relating to Publishing consists of periodicals pertaining to new books and literature, business aspects of publishing and bookselling, and printing technology. An article about plagiarism, a biography, and a publication by the New York Public Library are also included.
Miscellaneous Materials Relating to Publishing consists of agent circulars, correspondence, import/export documents, etc. and is arranged by type of material.

Vanessa Broussard-Simmons and Nicole Blechynden
Funding for partial processing of the collection was supported by a grant from the Smithsonian Institution's Collections Care and Preservation Fund (CCPF).
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
Publishing is a portion of the Business Ephemera Series of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Accession AC0060 purchased from Isadore Warshaw in 1967. Warshaw continued to accumulate similar material until his death, which was donated in 1971 by his widow, Augusta. For a period after acquisition, related materials from other sources (of mixed provenance) were added to the collection so there may be content produced or published after Warshaw's death in 1969. This practice has since ceased.
Processing Information
In 2016, with funding provided by the Smithsonian Institution's Collections Care and Preservation Fund, the Archives Center at the National Museum of American History implemented the use of minimal level processing standards to increase information about and facilitate access to more of our collections. A large portion of stored material from the original acquisition received minimal level processing, which resulted in additions to this Subject category. This effort included basic arrangement and replacement of non-archival housing for long-term stability, but staples and other fasteners have not all been removed. Revisions to the encoded finding aid were made to reflect the added content in context to the previously processed material.
Minimal level processing and enhancement of the machine-readable finding aid completed by Nicole Blechynden, September 2017.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access note
Collection is open for research. Some items may be restricted due to fragile condition.
Preferred Citation note
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Publishing, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Conditions Governing Use note
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

Materials in the Archives Center
Materials in the Archives Center
Archives Center Collection of Business Americana (AC0404)

Forms Part Of

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Business ephemera Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ephemera Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012