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New York State Printing and Publishing Collection

A description of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 3 Nov 2011

Biographical History

Printing in New York state has a long history. The first newspaper in the state, the New-York Gazette, printed its first issue on November 8, 1725. Notable early American writers and poets, including Washington Irving and Mark Twain, worked or wrote for various newspapers in New York State. The first African-American newspaper, Freedom's Journal, was published in New York City on March 16, 1827. Printing followed people as villages and towns were established along the Hudson Valley, spreading north and west from New York City during the late 18th and early 19th century. In addition to newspapers, early printers focused on broadsides (notices of sales, auctions, social gatherings), pamphlets (often religious or political in nature), and forms for financial and legal transactions (e.g. indentures or land sales). Books were often published via subscription -- a publisher would circulate a prospectus and interested parties would subscribe; these subscription fees then paid the cost of printing and binding the book.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The New York State Printing and Publishing Collection consists of printed ephemera from printers, publishers, and booksellers in New York State. Types of material include broadsides, leaflets, pamphlets, legal and financial forms, job printing specimens, sales catalogs, and so on. It also contains non-printed items related to printers or publishers in New York State such as lists of books sold, printers' requests for payment, and so on. Where possible, the inventory includes location, name of printer or publisher, and type of material.

Arrangement of the Collection

Since this is a geographically-based collection, material is arranged alphabetically by city or town.


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

Special Collections Research Center has a number of books, pamphlets, serials and other items related to the history of printing in New York State which are cataloged in the Rare Books Collection. Please be sure to search the Classic Catalog for these related materials.

Subject Headings

Corporate Bodies

Columbia University.
Roycroft Shop.


Booksellers and bookselling -- New York (State)
Printers -- New York (State)
Printing -- Specimens.
Printing industry -- New York (State)
Publishers and publishing-- New York (State)


New York (State)

Genres and Forms

Book catalogs.
Broadsides (notices)
Forms (documents)
Sales catalogs.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

New York State Printing and Publishing Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Purchase, various, 2009-2014.

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