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E. P. Dutton & Company, Inc. Records

An inventory of its records at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: --
Date: 1 May 1998

Biographical History

American book publishing company E. P. Dutton was founded by Edward Payson Dutton in Boston in 1852 as a bookseller. In 1864 Dutton opened a branch office in New York City and in 1869 relocated his headquarters there, where he began publishing as well as selling. In 1906, the company captured an important partner when it became the American distributor of the Everyman's Library series, published by the English firm J. M. Dent.

Dutton remained at the helm of his company until his death in 1923, when he was succeeded by John Macrae (who had started his career at Dutton as an office boy more than forty years before). In 1928, the publishing division was split off into a separate business, E. P. Dutton and Company, Inc., and placed in Macrae's capable hands. E. P. Dutton & Company went on to become one of the leading independent publishers in the United States; authors published included John Hunt, Cleveland Amory, Milton Glaser, Françoise Sagan, Lawrence Durrell, Luigi Pirandello, John Irving, Joyce Carol Oates, Peter Matthiessen, Gavin Maxwell, Gail Sheehy, Ruth Manning-Sanders, La Toya Jackson and Mickey Spillane. Dutton Children's Books is one of the oldest continually operating children's book publishers in the United States whose books include the Winnie-the-Pooh stories.

In 1986, the company was acquired by the Penguin Group and operates now as an imprint of Penguin.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

E. P. Dutton & Company, Inc. Records comprises 21 series: Edward P. Dutton, Memorabilia, Macrae Family, John Macrae files, Publication listings, General files, Authors, Scrapbooks, Legal files, Stocks, Financial, Production files, Publicity files, Foreign correspondence, Children's editor's files, Photographs, News clippings, Letter books, Manufacturing books, Importation books, and Miscellaneous.

The diaries and files of Edward P. Dutton, founder and namesake of the firm, recount the company's growth and development through its first half-century (ca. 1852-1900). Mr. Dutton's Memorabilia includes a map, a journal, and several albums. Some Edward P. Dutton material is also found in the Macrae Family series (see below).

The papers of John Macrae and his descendants, the Macrae family, who ran the company after Dutton's death in 1923, tell of Dutton's growth and direction up through the 1950s. This material includes account books, correspondence, memorabilia, and diaries, as well as numerous items relating to Edward P. Dutton, including correspondence, memorabilia, diaries, and his will.

Publication listings consist of catalogs of books being published for a given topic or a particular season (e.g., Holiday catalogs, Valentine's, childrens books). More than a hundred catalogs span more than 45 years.

General files comprises an assortment of subjects, from agents and authors to publicity schedules.

Authors contains material relating to six particular authors who published with Dutton: Bernt Balchen, Louis Beebe, Phillips Brooks, A. A. Milne, Mark Stein, and Francoise Sagan.

Scrapbooks contains 5 scrapbooks of clippings and other material.

The next three series contain legal and financial material. Legal files include material related to authors, contracts, copyright violations, larceny, name change, royalties, and other legal matters. Stocks consists of minute books, stockholder meeting minutes, account books, and stock ownership information. Financial includes ledgers, advertising records, account books, payroll, order books, and other financial items.

Production files relates to the production of specific titles by Dutton. Titles are given but the author's name is not always listed. At the end of this series are several boxes of book reviews in envelopes, alphabetized by title.

Publicity files contain information about and correspondence with Dutton's authors, including Jane Austen, Aubrey Beardsley, Hilaire Belloc, Algernon Blackwood, Vicente Blasco Ibáñez, Henry James, W. H. Hudson, Leonard Merrick, A. A. Milne, Dhan Gopal Mukerji, Charles G. Norris, W. Lyon Phelps. Luigi Pirandello, Ezra Pound, Katherine Pyle, Montague Summers, Henry Tracy, Jo Van Ammers-Kuller, Gore Vidal, Mary Webb, H. G. Wells, and many more. Other names of interest appearing in the collection include polar explorer Roald Amundsen, artists Boris Artzybasheff and John Vassos, architect Charles Barry, clergyman Phillips Brooks, literary critic and biographer Van Wyck Brooks, journalists John Roy Carlson and Garet Garrett, labor leader Samuel Gompers, British geneticist J.B.S. Haldane, illusionist Harry Houdini, welfare activist Vida Scudder, radiochemist Frederick Soddy, and many more.

Foreign correspondence contains correspondence with authors or publishers (Cape, Dent, Faber & Faber, Methuen, Rainbird, etc) outside the United States.

Children's editor's files consists of material relating specifically to children's books. The first section contains material relating to childrens authors published by Dutton; almost all items give both the name of the author and the title of the book(s) under discussion. Authors represented here include Borghild Dahl ( A Minnetonka Summer, Stowaway to America), Rosalie Fry ( The Mountain Door, The Riddle of the Figurehead), William Campbell Gault, known for his sports books ( Mr. Quarterback, Speedway Challenge), Jean Craighead George ( My Side of the Mountain), Janet Lambert, known for her girls' stories ( Fly Away, Cinda, Wedding Bells, We're Going Steady), A. A. Milne ( Pooh Birthday Book, The World of Pooh), Rita Ritchie ( The Golden Hawks of Genghis Khan, The Year of the Horse), John Schealer (the Zip Zip books), Rosemary Sutcliff ( Beowulf, The Hound of Ulster) and Marguerute Vance, author of historical fiction ( The Empress Josephine, Mary Stuart).

The second section in this series contains information relating to childrens' books in general, for example: American Library Association, book fairs, Children's Book Council, Child Study Association, Horn Book, and nine folders of rejections.

A small number of Photographs are mostly of Edward Dutton and his family.

News clippings concern some of Dutton's authors -- John Ray Carlson, Francoise Sagan -- as well as advertisements and publicity department releases.

Three Letter books contain Country Life Stories, a tribute to John Macrae for fifteen years in advertising (1935), and Acknowledgements.

Manufacturing books and Importation books contain domestic and foreign information, respectively.

A small amount of Miscellaneous material finishes the collection.

Two authors deserve special note. A.A. Milne published his best-selling Winnie the Pooh series in the Unites States with Dutton. This collection contains photographs of Milne's son, Christopher Robin, and the lad's original stuffed animals about which Milne wrote the Pooh books. Also included here is a typescript of Milne's autobiography. The bulk of information relating to Milne is in Milne I through Milne VIII in Publicity files (Box 47), but addition material may be found in Publication listings: The Day's Play by A.A. Milne (Box 9), Authors: Milne, A. A. (Box 11), and Childrens' editors files: Mellin - Milne and Milne-Mudro (Box 77). In addition, Production files contains material on three Milne books: Birthday Party and Other Stories (Box 18), Milne Pop up Book (Box 20), and Peace With Honor (Box 21).

The young French authoress Françoise Sagan published two best sellers, Bonjour Tristesse and A Certain Smile, with Dutton and barnstormed the United States during the mid-1950's on a Dutton publicity tour. The collection contains scrapbooks and correspondence for that campaign. Sagan material may be found in Authors: Sagan (clippings, correspondence, and a story manuscript, Boxes 11 and 12), Production files: book reviews (review of Those Without Shadows, Box 28), and News clippings: Sagan, Françoise (Oversize 2).

Arrangement of the Collection

Arrangement of the series varies. Edward P. Dutton, John Macrae files, and Foreign correspondence are arranged alphabetically by folder title. Publication listings are sorted roughly into categories (general, holiday, calendars, childrens) and within that roughly chronologically.

Authors series is a brief miscellaneous series listed alphabetically by author's name. The 50 boxes of Publicity Files and Children's Editor's Files are also alphabetized by author, but separated into 2-inch-thick handfuls, each filed in a Shaw-Walker folder labeled only with the first and last author in the folder. The inventory below lists the contents of the folders. Out of print books in the Production Files are arranged the same way, in 2-inch-thick handfuls, alphabetized here by the first words of titles. The five boxes of book reviews (Boxes 24-28) list every folder by its complete title. General Files, Legal Files, and Financial Files list every folder title alphabetically.

Remaining series are in no particular order.

The assorted, different-sized bound volumes in Edward P. Dutton (Boxes 3 and 4), Publication Listings (Boxes 7-9), and Financial (Boxes 15-18) are not arranged alphabetically. They follow a logical order by content, chronology, and the way the volumes most sensibly fit in the boxes.


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.

Related Material

The Shakespeare Memorial Booklet (1864), originally with the collection, has been sent to Rare Books for cataloging and can be located via the Classic Catalog.

Subject Headings


Dutton, Edward P.
Macrae, John.
Milne, A. A. (Alan Alexander), 1882-1956.
Sagan, Françoise, 1935-2004.

Corporate Bodies

E.P. Dutton (Firm) -- Archives.
E.P. Dutton (Firm) -- Records and correspondence.


Authors and publishers.
Publishers and publishing -- United States.

Genres and Forms

Annual reports.
Clippings (information artifacts)
Letter books.
Press releases.
Publishers' catalogs.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

E. P. Dutton & Company, Inc. Records,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Table of Contents

Edward P. Dutton


Macrae Family

John Macrae files

Publication listings

General files



Legal files



Production files

Publicity files

Foreign correspondence

Children's editor's files


News clippings

Letter books

Manufacturing books

Importation books