Lydia Bailey: A Checklist of Her Imprints by Karen NippsLydia Bailey: A Checklist of Her Imprints by Karen Nipps

Lydia Bailey: A Checklist of Her Imprints

byKaren Nipps

Paperback | March 30, 2016

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 295 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


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.

Karen Nipps is Head of the Rare Book Team at Harvard University’s Houghton Library. Karen Nipps is Head of the Rare Book Team at Harvard University’s Houghton Library.
Title:Lydia Bailey: A Checklist of Her ImprintsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:328 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.2 inPublished:March 30, 2016Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271055723

ISBN - 13:9780271055725

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents


List of Figures


Lydia Bailey – Mistress of Her Situation

Setting the Stage

The Early Years

The Trade


Her Way

Checklist of Lydia Bailey Imprints



Bibliographies Cited

Abbreviations and Location Symbols

The Checklist


1. Unlocated Imprints

2. Bailey’s Journal

3. Names from Journal

4. Primary Material Relating to Lydia Bailey


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