Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

R.R. Bowker company
Publishers' Weekly Collection
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
7 boxes and 2.8 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-7


Consists of correspondence and printed matter of Publishers' Weekly, the periodical published by the R. R. Bowker Company.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of correspondence and printed matter of Publishers' Weekly, the periodical published by the R. R. Bowker Company, and correspondence of Frederic G. Melcher, company president and editor of the weekly. The collection contains material relating to the book publishing industry's problems during World War II, especially paper shortages; the industry's response to the demands of the war, for example, helping to provide libraries for military personnel; and its dealings with public and private groups such as the War Production Board, Office of War Information, Office of the Alien Property Custodian, the Victory Book Committee, the Book Industry Committee for Roosevelt, and the Council on Books in Wartime. There is also material from the early Roosevelt years (1933-1934), such as records of hearings by the National Recovery Administration on a code of fair practices and competition for the booksellers' trade industry and the textbook publishers.



Collection Creator Biography:

R.R. Bowker company

The company was founded by Frederick Leypoldt, a German immigrant who worked as a bookseller and recognized the need for good bibliographic information to make the book business more efficient. In 1870 Leypoldt issued the first edition of his Annual American Catalogue, a precursor to Books In Print. In 1872 he published the first issue of Publishers Weekly, and in 1876 the first issue of Library Journal. In 1878 Leypoldt's company was acquired by Richard Rogers Bowker. Leypoldt and Bowker also founded such standard book-industry reference sources as Literary Marketplace and Ulrich's International Periodicals Directory. The company has been bought and sold a couple of times since the 1960s.

Collection History

Processing Information

Folder list prepared by Alicia Corona '14 in 2011.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Publishers' Weekly Collection; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-7