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Joel Munsell Collection

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Bannister, Henry S.
Title: Joel Munsell Collection
Inclusive Dates: 1861-1958
Quantity: 0.5 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the American printer and antiquarian, founder of Albany, New York, firm which bore his name. Collection includes Munsell family genealogy, letter to William Leete Stone, letters about Munsell, invoices and receipts, photographic portraits, and biographer David S. Edelstein's research on the life and work of Joel Munsell.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Joel Munsell (1808-1880) was an American printer and antiquarian, and the founder of the Albany, New York, firm which bore his name. He was particularly interested in the history and application of the art of printing; his extensive collection of works on that subject was in part purchased by the New York State Library.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Joel Munsell Collection, compiled by Henry S. Bannister, comprises the papers of Joel Munsell and other members of the Munsell family, along with David Edelstein's research files and notes relating to his biography of Munsell.

Joel Munsell papers include a family genealogy, Munsell's diary, correspondence, a manuscript of an essay, an item printed by Munsell for James B. Jermain, photographs, receipts, and miscellaneous material.

David Edelstein's files consist of sixteen correspondence and subject files relating to his research for and the publication of his book Joel Munsell: Printer and Antiquarian (Columbia University, 1950).

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Arrangement of the Collection

The collection as a whole is arranged in alphabetical order; within that, correspondence is in chronological order. David Edelstein's files may be found at the end of the collection.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Subject Headings


Edelstein, David Simeon, 1913-
Edelstein, David Simeon, 1913- -- Joel Munsell: printer and antiquarian.
Munsell, Joel, 1808-1880.
Stone, William Leete, 1835-1908.

Corporate Bodies

Joel Munsell's Sons.


Biographers -- United States.
Printers -- New York (State) -- Albany.
Printers -- United States.
Publishers and publishing -- New York (State) -- Albany.
Publishers and publishing -- United States.

Genres and Forms

Genealogies (histories)
Receipts (financial records)
Research notes.



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Joel Munsell Collection
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Davis S. Edelstein files, gift of Davis S. Edelstein.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: [Summit record]
Date: 24 Feb 1994
Revision history: 23 Mar 2010 - converted to EAD (MRC); 26 Mar 2013 - correspondence (MRC)

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Joel Munsell papers
Box 1 Genealogy of Munsell family, annotated
Box 1 Joel Munsell's diary 1848-1878 - transcribed by Emma Munsell Hevenor
Box 1 Letters 1847-1886 (gaps)
named correspondents are P. Canfield, James C. Wetmore, Frederick Morrison, Lt. James H. Clark, H. A. Houghton, J. Dimon, William Leete Stone (with picture of Munsell affixed to verso), and W. D. Haar; includes postcard from Munsell's Sons, Printers and Publishers
Box 1 Manuscript circa 1846
Essay written by Munsell for the New York Historical Society on the early history of printing in Albany; also copies of two letters about the article
Box 1 Munsell imprint 1873
"To the children and children's children and family friends of Mrs. Catherine Ann Jermain, this brief record is inscribed, at the wish of her husband. Christmas, 1873" ; also includes Munsell's invoice to the publisher, James B. Jermain, and 5 associated invoices related to the printing of the work
Box 1 Photographic portraits of Munsell 1830, 1834, 1870, undated (7 items)
Carte-de-visite (1870?) by S. J. Thompson, State St., Albany, with caption "aet. 62"
Photograph of 1834 miniature painted on ivory
Silver print, undated
Albumen photograph portrait, undated
Photograph of silhouette of Munsell, circa 1830
Photograph of 1834 miniature painted on ivory
Engraving of Munsell, inscribed "Yours truly, J. Munsell"
Box 1 Receipts, bills
Box 1 Miscellaneous
Deed of sale, Joseph Northrup of Hosick to Thomas Osborn of Hosick, $150 for six acres of land, dated 14 May 1810 and witnessed by Hez. [Hezekiah] Munsell
David Edelstein files
Box 1 American Antiquarian Society
Box 1 Book reviews
Box 1 Columbia University
Box 1 Greenfield and Northfield, Massachusetts
Box 1 Hevenor, Emma Munsell (3 folders)
Box 1 Hough, Franklin Benjamin
Box 1 Muller, Harriet M.
Box 1 Munsell family, miscellaneous
Box 1 New York State Library
Box 1 Silver, Rollo
Box 1 Warshaw collection
Box 1 Individuals, A-Z
Box 1 Historical societies, A-Z (alphabetical by place)
Box 1 Miscellaneous, A-Z

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