Search:

About This Search

Library Course Guide for: LIVES OF A TEXT

American Bibliographies

American Bibliographies

For your final assignment, here are some bibliographies that you might consult:

Evans, Charles, 1850-1935
American Bibliography
http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b2170722
The classic American bibliography of imprints through 1820. Many authors have broken out sections, such as music http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b1140066 which can be helpful for specific topics. Searching Evans as an author will bring many of these to light. It is usually called “Evans” in dealers' catalogs.

A checklist of imprints for…
http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b1347843
This set is composed of one volume for each year, beginning in 1821; it picks up where Evans leaves off, and goes up to about 1847. It is usually referred to as Early American Imprints, 2 nd Series, or “Shaw-Shoemaker”, for its editors. You may see it referred to that way in dealers' catalogs.

Bibliographical Society of America
http://josiah.brown.edu/search~S7/a?SEARCH=bibliographical+society+of+america
See this Josiah link by works issued by the Society. Their journal, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America is a good source of bibliographies on many topics related to Americana : http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b1228878

American book prices current
http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b2048835
Goes up to about 2004; prices for books paid at auction. There are cumulations every few years. A good guide to how scarce a title is. If you see in a dealer's catalog “No title has been sold at auction for the last 15 years”, this is where he is getting the information.

Blank, Jacob, 1906-1974
Bibliography of American Literature
http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b1159388
Known as “BAL”, and cited thus in catalogs, it is a 9 volume set of very extensive bibliographic information for major 18 th and 19 th century American authors. If you are going to collect Hawthorne , Melville, etc., this is one of your bibles. The final volume was dedicated to research libraries, specifically including Brown, “in recognition of their role in collecting and preserving our national literature.” BAL is also available online, as part of LION: http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b2639647

Author bibliographies:
In addition to BAL, look for specific bibliographies for any author: using the Josiah subject search, type in your author's name. Many will have a subject subdivision called “Bibliography”. See for example:

Melville Herman 1819 1891 Bibliography
http://josiah.brown.edu/search~S7/d?SEARCH=melville+herman+1819-1891+bibliography

Hawthorne , Nathaniel 1804 1864 Bibliography
http://josiah.brown.edu/search~S7/d?SEARCH=hawthorne+nathaniel+1804-1864+bibliograpy

Bibliographies of specific subjects:
There are of course many of these. For general Americana , see particularly the next two:

Tanselle, G. Thomas
Guide to the Study of United States Imprints
http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b2172482
This includes sections on such things as cookbooks, almanacs, all sorts of things. It's a bit old now (1971), but it will cite many scarce early bibliographies.

Howes, Wright
U.S. iana (1650-1950) : a selective bibliography in which are described 11,620 uncommon and significant books relating to the continental portion of the United States
http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b2169381
The title says it all.

Rosenbach, A. S. W.
Early American Children's Books
http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b1631678
This of course would be fun to collect; one reason I cite it here is that Rosenbach was a legendary Philadelphia bookman who published bibliographies on many subjects relating to Americana . Check him out if you are looking for a topic.

Jacob Blank
Peter Parley to Penrod. a bibliographical description of the best-loved American juvenile books
http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b2170841
Another great bibliography by Blank, this time of American children's books

Monaghan, Jay
Lincoln Bibliography, 1839-1939
http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b2182953
When you see in a dealer's catalog the notation “Not in Monaghan” they are telling you it's pretty scarce, and that the leading Lincoln bibliographer didn't turn it up.

Parrish, T. Michael
Confederate Imprints
http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b1747297
If you really want to torture yourself, see how many of these you can locate. Scarce!!!

Mott, Frank Luther
A History of American Magazines
http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b1908651
You can use this as a guide to assembling a collection of periodicals of general interest, or on specific topics. It is also available online: http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b4164182
The dealer Periodyssey is a good source for 19 th century American magazines:
http://www.oldmagazines.com/
There is a sample issue of it on the book truck in the John Hay reading room.

American humor magazines and comic periodicals / edited by David E.E. Sloane
http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b1231516
An interesting aspect of American publishing; probably hard to find.

Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964
Guide to Life and literature of the Southwest. Rev. and enl. in both knowledge and wisdom.
http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b2172901
A good introduction to bibliography of the American west.

Thompson, Ralph, 1904-
American literary annuals & gift books, 1825-1865
http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b2153433
These are the “Token Books” that we've been talking about. The Howard Mott catalogs and M & S Rare Books might have some.

Kirkham, Edwin Bruce, 1938-
Indices to American literary annuals and gift books, 1825-1865 / compiled by E. Bruce Kirkham and John W. Fink
http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b1034901
This lists complete contents, so if you are collecting specific authors, here's a place to finw which gift books they were published in. You will note the “H” written in pencil next to most of the titles; this indicates that there's a copy in the Harris Collection at the John Hay.

Roden, Robert F., d. 1934
Later American plays, 1831-1900; being a compilation of the titles of plays by American authors published and performed in America since 1831.
http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b1878748
The Dramatis Personae catalogs may have some of these; there are a couple on the truck.

If none of these hit your topic, email me for suggestions!

For your final assignment, here are some bibliographies that you might consult:

Evans, Charles, 1850-1935
American Bibliography
http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b2170722
The classic American bibliography of imprints through 1820. Many authors have broken out sections, such as music http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b1140066 which can be helpful for specific topics. Searching Evans as an author will bring many of these to light. It is usually called “Evans” in dealers' catalogs.

A checklist of imprints for…
http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b1347843
This set is composed of one volume for each year, beginning in 1821; it picks up where Evans leaves off, and goes up to about 1847. It is usually referred to as Early American Imprints, 2 nd Series, or “Shaw-Shoemaker”, for its editors. You may see it referred to that way in dealers' catalogs.

Bibliographical Society of America
http://josiah.brown.edu/search~S7/a?SEARCH=bibliographical+society+of+america
See this Josiah link by works issued by the Society. Their journal, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America is a good source of bibliographies on many topics related to Americana : http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b1228878

American book prices current
http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b2048835
Goes up to about 2004; prices for books paid at auction. There are cumulations every few years. A good guide to how scarce a title is. If you see in a dealer's catalog “No title has been sold at auction for the last 15 years”, this is where he is getting the information.

Blank, Jacob, 1906-1974
Bibliography of American Literature
http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b1159388
Known as “BAL”, and cited thus in catalogs, it is a 9 volume set of very extensive bibliographic information for major 18 th and 19 th century American authors. If you are going to collect Hawthorne , Melville, etc., this is one of your bibles. The final volume was dedicated to research libraries, specifically including Brown, “in recognition of their role in collecting and preserving our national literature.” BAL is also available online, as part of LION: http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b2639647

Author bibliographies:
In addition to BAL, look for specific bibliographies for any author: using the Josiah subject search, type in your author's name. Many will have a subject subdivision called “Bibliography”. See for example:

Melville Herman 1819 1891 Bibliography
http://josiah.brown.edu/search~S7/d?SEARCH=melville+herman+1819-1891+bibliography

Hawthorne , Nathaniel 1804 1864 Bibliography
http://josiah.brown.edu/search~S7/d?SEARCH=hawthorne+nathaniel+1804-1864+bibliograpy

Bibliographies of specific subjects:
There are of course many of these. For general Americana , see particularly the next two:

Tanselle, G. Thomas
Guide to the Study of United States Imprints
http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b2172482
This includes sections on such things as cookbooks, almanacs, all sorts of things. It's a bit old now (1971), but it will cite many scarce early bibliographies.

Howes, Wright
U.S. iana (1650-1950) : a selective bibliography in which are described 11,620 uncommon and significant books relating to the continental portion of the United States
http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b2169381
The title says it all.

Rosenbach, A. S. W.
Early American Children's Books
http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b1631678
This of course would be fun to collect; one reason I cite it here is that Rosenbach was a legendary Philadelphia bookman who published bibliographies on many subjects relating to Americana . Check him out if you are looking for a topic.

Jacob Blank
Peter Parley to Penrod. a bibliographical description of the best-loved American juvenile books
http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b2170841
Another great bibliography by Blank, this time of American children's books

Monaghan, Jay
Lincoln Bibliography, 1839-1939
http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b2182953
When you see in a dealer's catalog the notation “Not in Monaghan” they are telling you it's pretty scarce, and that the leading Lincoln bibliographer didn't turn it up.

Parrish, T. Michael
Confederate Imprints
http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b1747297
If you really want to torture yourself, see how many of these you can locate. Scarce!!!

Mott, Frank Luther
A History of American Magazines
http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b1908651
You can use this as a guide to assembling a collection of periodicals of general interest, or on specific topics. It is also available online: http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b4164182
The dealer Periodyssey is a good source for 19 th century American magazines:
http://www.oldmagazines.com/
There is a sample issue of it on the book truck in the John Hay reading room.

American humor magazines and comic periodicals / edited by David E.E. Sloane
http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b1231516
An interesting aspect of American publishing; probably hard to find.

Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964
Guide to Life and literature of the Southwest. Rev. and enl. in both knowledge and wisdom.
http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b2172901
A good introduction to bibliography of the American west.

Thompson, Ralph, 1904-
American literary annuals & gift books, 1825-1865
http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b2153433
These are the “Token Books” that we've been talking about. The Howard Mott catalogs and M & S Rare Books might have some.

Kirkham, Edwin Bruce, 1938-
Indices to American literary annuals and gift books, 1825-1865 / compiled by E. Bruce Kirkham and John W. Fink
http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b1034901
This lists complete contents, so if you are collecting specific authors, here's a place to finw which gift books they were published in. You will note the “H” written in pencil next to most of the titles; this indicates that there's a copy in the Harris Collection at the John Hay.

Roden, Robert F., d. 1934
Later American plays, 1831-1900; being a compilation of the titles of plays by American authors published and performed in America since 1831.
http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b1878748
The Dramatis Personae catalogs may have some of these; there are a couple on the truck.

If none of these hit your topic, email me for suggestions!