Lydia Bailey: A Checklist of Her Imprints

Paperback | March 30, 2016

byKaren Nipps

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Little known today, Lydia Bailey was a leading printer in Philadelphia for decades. Her career began in 1808—when her husband, Robert, died, leaving her with the family business to manage—and ended in 1861, when she retired at the age of eighty-two. During her career, she operated a shop that at its height had more than forty employees, acted as city printer for over thirty years, and produced almost a thousand imprints bearing her name. Not surprisingly, sources reveal that she was closely associated with many of her now better-known contemporaries both in the book trade and beyond, people like her father-in-law, Francis Bailey; Mathew Carey; Philip Freneau; and Harriet Livermore. Through a detailed examination and analysis of various sources, Karen Nipps portrays Bailey’s experience within the context of her social, political, religious, and book environments.

Lydia Bailey is the first monograph on a woman printer during the handpress period. It consists of a historical essay detailing Bailey’s life and analyzing her role in the contemporary book trade, followed by a checklist of her known imprints. In addition, appendixes offer further statistical information on the activities of her shop. Together, these provide rich material for other book historians as well as for historians of the early Republic, gender, and technology.

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Little known today, Lydia Bailey was a leading printer in Philadelphia for decades. Her career began in 1808—when her husband, Robert, died, leaving her with the family business to manage—and ended in 1861, when she retired at the age of eighty-two. During her career, she operated a shop that at its height had more than forty employees...

Karen Nipps is Head of the Rare Book Team at Harvard University’s Houghton Library.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:328 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:March 30, 2016Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271055723

ISBN - 13:9780271055725

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Contents

List of Figures

Acknowledgments

Lydia Bailey – Mistress of Her Situation

Setting the Stage

The Early Years

The Trade

Patronage

Her Way

Checklist of Lydia Bailey Imprints

Methodology

Forms

Bibliographies Cited

Abbreviations and Location Symbols

The Checklist

Appendices

1. Unlocated Imprints

2. Bailey’s Journal

3. Names from Journal

4. Primary Material Relating to Lydia Bailey

Index

Editorial Reviews

“Philadelphia is a city of printers and publishers, from Benjamin Franklin to J. B. Lippincott, but until the publication of this fine checklist and perceptive essay, we have lacked a serious study of the woman who served as the city printer from 1813 until the mid-1850s.”

—Matthew Shaw, The Library