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G. & C. Merriam Company records

Ms. Coll. 1201

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Repository:
University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Title:
G. & C. Merriam Company records
Date [inclusive]:
1834-1875
Call Number:
Ms. Coll. 1201
Extent:
0.25 linear feet
Language:
English
Abstract:
Small collection of records regarding the G. & C. Merriam Company spanning the years from 1834 to 1875. The papers comprise chiefly correspondence to the G. & C. Merriam Company.
Cite as:
G. & C. Merriam Company records, 1834-1872, Ms. Coll. 1201, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania
PDF Version:

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Biography/History

The G. & C. Merriam Company booksellers and publishers was established in 1831 in Springfield, Massachusetts by brothers George and Charles Merriam. They were the sons of Daniel Merriam of the Merriam family printers and booksellers in Worcester, Massachusetts. The G. & C. Merriam Company primarily published law books, editions of the Bible, and schoolbooks. After the death of Noah Webster in 1843 his estate sold the sheets of An American dictionary of the English language to the firm J. S. & C. Adams. Subsequently, G. & C. Merriam Company purchased the rights from J. S. & C. Adams and simultaneously gained the right to publish revisions. A new and revised edition of the American dictionary was published in 1847.

Scope and Contents

A small collection of business records regarding the G. & C. Merriam Company. The collection is comprised principally of business correspondence in addition to receipts, invoices, orders for Webster's dictionary, booksellers' promotional materials, and an insurance claim. A majority of the correspondence discusses purchase requests with book lists and shipping arrangements. Blelock & Co., E. and L. Merriam, Elizabeth Davis Truman, Merriam and Cooke, and Eratus H. Pease are notable correspondents among the several booksellers represented in the collection. Some letters are written on printed book announcements or book lists such as an 1837 letter from Chauncey Goodrich. Letters from missionaries notably J. H. Chandler and Edward M. Dodd requesting dictionaries for schools or individual converts are included. A personal note dated 1856 probably to George Merriam from L. B. Towsley concerning the American Sunday School Mission is written on one of the mission's newsletters. An insurance claim dated 1860, by San Francisco insurance underwriter John C. Hoyt provides a detailed account of twenty-eight Webster's dictionaries that sustained water damage aboard the ship Asa Eldridge en route from New York to San Francisco. There are two folders of paid receipts one concerns the G. & C. Merriam Company and the other is for Merriam, Chapin & Company. Promotional materials and price lists from other booksellers are included in the collection. Some printed ephemera are also in the collection in the form of hanging cards with measurements ranging from 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" to 10 1/2" x 6 3/4". These cards were probably the work of George Merriam, who believed in disseminating his favorite principles and ideas by distributing them to the public. The cards have biblical quotations and in some cases rules to live by such as "The art of living together." Each card has "G. & C. Merriam Springfield, Mass." printed at the bottom.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts,  February 2017

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Donna Brandolisio

Access Restrictions

This collection is available for research use.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Source of Acquisition

Sold by Eclectibles (Tolland, Connecticut), 2015-2017.

Sold by Robert C. Meyers (eBay), 2017.

Sold by David Katz, 2017.

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Related Materials

Separated Materials note

A list of books wanted by the Amherst Anti-Slavery Social Library sent by Warren S. Howland to the G. & C. Merriam Company dated February 23, 1838 is housed in the oversize Miscellaneous Manuscripts. See: Misc Mss (Large) Box 3 Folder 3 for more information.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)
  • G. & C. Merriam Company.
Form/Genre(s)
  • Business records
  • Correspondence
  • Fliers (printed matter)
  • Invoices
  • Manuscripts, American--19th century
  • Receipts (financial records)
Subject(s)
  • Booksellers and Bookselling--History--19th century--Sources
  • Booksellers and bookselling--Massachusetts--Springfield--19th century
  • English language--Dictionaries--United States--History--19th century--Sources
  • Publishers and publishing--History--19th century--Sources
  • Publishers and publishing--Massachusetts--Springfield--19th century

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

A. H. Andrews & Co., 1866. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 32

A. Hutchinson & Company, 1848. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 33

A. L. Bancroft & Company letter to J. D. Haines(?), 1872. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 1

B. B. Mussey and Company, 1831. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 34

Blelock & Co., 1867. 2 items (2 leaves).

1 2

Bliss, John; regarding ink, 1835. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 35

Bogel, William; request for catalog on verso of Franklin Drug Store printed circular, 1856. 1 item (1 leaf)).

1 31

Brown, Taggard, and Chase, 1858. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 36

Carter, William, 1857. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 37

Chadwick, Albert G. (1810-1873), printer, 1845. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 50

Chandler, J. H. (John Hassett), 1813-1891; request for Webster's dictionaries for his mission in Siam, 1854. 1 item (1 leaf + 1 calling card).

1 3

Chaplin, H. W.; regarding proofing errors, 1871. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 38

Chesebrough, Amos S. (Amos Sheffield), (1813-1895), 1837. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 51

Davis, E., 1842. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 52

Dodd, Edward M. (Edward Mills), 1824-1865; request for dictionary for a convert in Malta, 1853. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 4

Dorr, Howland & Co., 1833. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 5

D.T. & J.B. Morton, booksellers and druggists, 1869. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 6

E. and T. Merriam (Firm), 1841. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 7

Edward Smith, publisher, 1834. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 8

Fisher & Lowrance, 1868. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 9

Fiske, William; regarding a coffin plate, 1858. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 39

Gillett, Robert; regarding books for Ellington School, 1844. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 40

Goodrich, Chauncey, 1798-1858; letter on a printed book list with prices, 1837. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 10

Gould and Lincoln, 1851. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 11

Hale, David, 1791-1849; regarding paper samples, 1846. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 41

Hoyt, John C., insurance claim for damaged dictionaries, 1859-1860. 1 item (1 bifolium with 2 leaves affixed).

1 12

Independent Order of Odd Fellows; signed by William H. Barnes, 1870. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 13

Ives, Matthew, Jr., 1836. 1 item (1 leaf).

1

J. H. Simmons & Co., 1858. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 14

Little, B., 1834. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 54

M. C. Younglove & Company, 1857. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 15

Merriam & Cooke, 1841-1843. 3 items (3 leaves).

1 16

Merriam and Mirick, 1843-1847. 2 items (2 leaves).

1 55

N. F. Smith, bookseller, 1867. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 42

Parrish, Ariel, (1806 or 1807-1885), 1838. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 56

Pease, Erastus H., 1807-, 1834-1843. 4 items (4 leaves).

1 17

Randall, J. K., 1853. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 18

Sanborn & Carter; publishers, Portland Maine, 1852. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 43

Schwarz, Louis; importer, 1866. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 19

Sessions, Lane and Company, 1843. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 57

Smith & Whilden; agents for Southern Baptist Publishing Society, 1856. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 20

Smith, H. B., 1852. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 58

Smith, Rufus, 1840. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 44

Stickney, John N.; regarding paper; see also David Hale, 1847. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 45

T. & J. W. Johnson (Firm); Philadelphia booksellers, 1851. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 46

Towsley, L. B. of the American Sunday School Union; personal letter to George Merriam, 1856. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 21

Truman, Elizabeth Davis 1810?-1885; (E. D. Truman bookseller), 1847. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 22

Turner, Edward, 1851. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 23

Voorhies, John Stevens, 1809-1865, 1851. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 47

W. & S.B. Ives (Firm), 1848. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 24

Weed, Jared 1785?-1859; regarding a mortgage, 1848. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 59

Williams, W. Thorne, 1855. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 48

Wortham & Cottrell, 1858. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 25

G. & C. Merriam Compay receipts, 1840-1859. 18 items (18 leaves).

1 26

Merriam, Chapin & Co. receipts, 1851-1855. 6 items (6 leaves).

1 27

Leavitt, Strebeigh & Co.; book trade sale circular, 1870. 1 item (1 bifolium).

1 28

Wilson, Hinkle & Co.; printed special price list of "Eclectic Educational Series", 1875. 1 item (1 bifolium).

1 29

Printed hanging trade cards with quotation and rules to live by, 1870s. 14 items (14 cards).

1 30

Printed advertisement, G. & C. Merriam Company, 1867. 1 item (1 leaf).

1 49