Ruth E. Adomeit|
Early Manuscripts Early Printed Books
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19th Century Continental Europe 19th Century Great Britain 19th Century America
20th Century Western Europe 20th Century Eastern Europe 20th Century United States
Modern & Contemporary Presses A Gallery of Books James Weygand & the Indiana Kid
America in the Nineteenth Century
American miniature book production prior to the twentieth century in one sense mirrored British and Continental publishing, but also differed in that it presented the growing sense of the United States as an important nation in the world. This new self-awareness is especially apparent in textbooks and educational works, with histories of the new country, biographies of famous individuals, and a representation of an emerging national literature being presented. Other standard types of miniatures such as almanacs and works of description and travel mirrored their British counterparts, but were adapted to the New World. Religious works and foreign and classical literature were borrowed with little or no change. The American Tract Society was very influential in mass producing and distributing miniature religious texts, as were other religious tract societies.
As the modern publishing industry emerged, various types of collaboration between British and American publishers came into being, causing similar or identical texts to appear in British and American editions as the nineteenth century progressed. The more ephemeral works, however, including advertising and proprietary publications, offer a unique view of nineteenth century American life.