The First White House Library by Catherine M. ParisianThe First White House Library by Catherine M. Parisian

The First White House Library

EditorCatherine M. Parisian

Paperback | July 7, 2014

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Published in association with the Bibliographical Society of America and the National First Ladies’ Library

Although many early U.S. presidents were avid readers and book collectors—George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson, to name a few—they usually brought their own books to the White House and removed them at the end of their terms. It was not until 1850 that Millard and Abigail Fillmore established the first official White House collection. This catalogue of the library that they assembled not only reveals much about their own preoccupations and interests and those of the age they lived in, but also provides insight into American library history, reading history, and book trade and distribution networks.

Aside from the editor, the contributors are William Allman, Elizabeth Thacker-Estrada, and Sean Wilentz. For more information about the National First Ladies Libraries visit

Catherine M. Parisian is Assistant Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Catherine M. Parisian is Assistant Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
Title:The First White House LibraryFormat:PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 10 × 7 × 1.15 inPublished:July 7, 2014Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271037148

ISBN - 13:9780271037141

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Table of Contents


List of Illustrations


Mary Regula


List of Abbreviations

Millard Fillmore and His Library

Sean Wilentz

The White House Collection: The Mind of the Common Man

Catherine M. Parisian

Abigail Powers Fillmore: First Lady of the Library

Elizabeth Lorelei Thacker-Estrada

Creating a Room for the Collection

William G. Allman

Millard Fillmore and His Booksellers

Catherine M. Parisian

Bibliographical Methods

Catherine M. Parisian

Catalogue of the First White House Library

Catherine M. Parisian

Appendix A: A List of the Books Purchased for the First White House Library in 1850

Appendix B: A Subject Index of Books in the First White House Library Catalogue

Appendix C: Edward Everett’s Recommendations for the First White House Library

Selected Works Cited

General Index

Editorial Reviews

“This book's greatest strength is the information it provides about the individual titles Fillmore collected for the first White House Library. For those interested in the history of either the White House or Millard Fillmore, the catalogue's numerous insights into the selection process and detailed discussion of which editions were most likely included in the collection will also be useful.”—Carli Spina, RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage