1817

Brothers James and John Harper open the modest printing establishment of J. & J. Harper, Printers, in New York City. More
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  • The first installment of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens published in Harper’s Weekly.
  • S.S. Europe
  • The logo and address for J. & J. Harper Publishers
  • Westbow
  • Vaults in the Harper & Brothers offices where stereotyped plates were stored (circa 1855).
J. & J. Harper publishes its first book... More
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  • Vaults in the Harper & Brothers offices where stereotyped plates were stored (circa 1855).
  • The logo and address for J. & J. Harper Publishers
  • Westbow
  • S.S. Europe
  • The first installment of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens published in Harper’s Weekly.

1818

Thomas Nelson expands his secondhand bookstore into a publishing business… More
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  • Westbow
  • Title page of the Thomas Nelson edition of the Adventures of Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (1860).
  • The logo and address for J. & J. Harper Publishers
  • Employees working in the Nelson and Sons bindery.
  • The 1859 license granted to William Collins and Company, giving it permission to print the Bible.

1819

Chalmers & Collins Bookshop and Printing Works opens and prints its first book… More
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  • Charles Chalmers and Rev. Thomas Chalmers.
  • The 1859 license granted to William Collins and Company, giving it permission to print the Bible.
  • The logo and address for J. & J. Harper Publishers
  • Westbow
  • Queen Elizabeth II visiting the Collins Glasgow offices

1824

The first Collins dictionary is printed. More
Discover more:
  • Title page of an 1869 Collins atlas, printed for the Scottish School Book Association and featuring Bartholomew maps.
  • Charles Chalmers and Rev. Thomas Chalmers.
  • An advertisement for the New Naturalist Library.
  • The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World
  • An advertisement for the Collins Select Library of Christian Authors, which ran in The School Newspaper on January 2, 1882.

1830

J. & J. Harper is the first publisher to adopt the process of stereotyping, using papier-mâché molds to forge reusable metal plates of entire pages. More
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  • Vaults in the Harper & Brothers offices where stereotyped plates were stored (circa 1855).
  • The Long Short Cut by Andrew Garve (1968).
  • A sample of Fontana from the Font Specimen Book.
  • An edition of Harper’s Illuminated and New Pictorial Bible from 1846.
  • S.S. Europe
John Inman is hired by the Harper brothers as their first official “reader.” More
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  • S.S. Europe
  • The first installment of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens published in Harper’s Weekly.
  • Westbow
  • The logo and address for J. & J. Harper Publishers
  • Vaults in the Harper & Brothers offices where stereotyped plates were stored (circa 1855).

1833

J. & J. Harper is renamed Harper & Brothers to reflect the addition of brothers Fletcher and Joseph Wesley Harper to the firm. More
Discover more:
  • The first installment of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens published in Harper’s Weekly.
  • An ad promoting all of the Harper periodicals: Harper’s Weekly, Harper’s New Monthly, and Harper’s Bazaar.
  • The original agreement between Herman Melville and Harper & Brothers for Moby-Dick, dated September 12, 1851.
  • The 1859 license granted to William Collins and Company, giving it permission to print the Bible.
  • Moby Dick

1836

Harper & Brothers begins publishing books for children with the Fairy Book Collection. More
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  • An edition of Harper’s Illuminated and New Pictorial Bible from 1846.
  • December 1961 I Can Read! advertisement placed in The New Yorker.
  • A 1972 edition of William’s Doll, written by Charlotte Zolotow and illustrated by William Pène Du Bois.
  • Marketing flyer promoting the 1946 publication of Little Fur Family, written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Garth Williams.
  • Illustration from Incidents of Travel in Yucatán (1843).

1837

Harper & Brothers debuts its New England School Library, a first in packaging and distribution. More
Discover more:
  • Illustration from Incidents of Travel in Yucatán (1843).
  • December 1961 I Can Read! advertisement placed in The New Yorker.
  • An advertisement for the Collins Select Library of Christian Authors, which ran in The School Newspaper on January 2, 1882.
  • The 1859 license granted to William Collins and Company, giving it permission to print the Bible.
  • The VendAvon.

1839

Collins receives a license to publish the King James Version of the Bible. More
Discover more:
  • An edition of Harper’s Illuminated and New Pictorial Bible from 1846.
  • Title page of an 1869 Collins atlas, printed for the Scottish School Book Association and featuring Bartholomew maps.
  • An illustration from the Collins Illustrated Pocket Classics edition of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.
  • The 1859 license granted to William Collins and Company, giving it permission to print the Bible.
  • An advertisement for the New Naturalist Library.

1848

Harper & Brothers publishes the first American editions of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, and Anne Brontë's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. More
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  • Author Catharine M. Sedgwick (1832).
  • Wuthering Heights
  • Middlemarch
  • An Armed Services Edition of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (1943).
  • Jane Eyre

1850

Harper’s New Monthly Magazine launches in June, serializing Charles Dickens’s Bleak House, as well as then unknown authors Herman Melville and Mark Twain. More
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  • An ad promoting all of the Harper periodicals: Harper’s Weekly, Harper’s New Monthly, and Harper’s Bazaar.
  • The Woman in White
  • A Christmas Carol
  • Wuthering Heights
  • “A Word of Apology” from Harper & Brothers regarding the Harper fire of 1853
Thomas Nelson Jr. perfects the rotary press, one of the greatest technological advances in printing since Johannes Gutenberg’s development of movable type in the fifteenth century. More
Discover more:
  • Rotary printing press machine
  • Title page of the Thomas Nelson edition of the Adventures of Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (1860).
  • The Thomas Nelson office on Paternoster Row in London.
  • The 1859 license granted to William Collins and Company, giving it permission to print the Bible.
  • The logo and address for J. & J. Harper Publishers

1853

On December 10, the Harper & Brothers New York City office suffers a destructive fire, leaving the establishment in ruins. Almost immediately, the company decides to rebuild. More
Discover more:
  • An illustration depicting the Harper fire of 1853.
  • The Adams Power Press.
  • “A Word of Apology” from Harper & Brothers regarding the Harper fire of 1853
  • The 1859 license granted to William Collins and Company, giving it permission to print the Bible.
  • An 1885 letter from Henry Hoyns to the Harper brothers requesting a raise after being promoted to the stock desk.
William Collins introduces new steam presses, allowing Collins and Sons to publish Shakespeare and The Pilgrim’s Progress in affordable editions available to the masses. More
Discover more:
  • The 1859 license granted to William Collins and Company, giving it permission to print the Bible.
  • An advertisement for the Collins Select Library of Christian Authors, which ran in The School Newspaper on January 2, 1882.
  • The logo and address for J. & J. Harper Publishers
  • Westbow
  • Charles Chalmers and Rev. Thomas Chalmers.

1854

Thomas Nelson becomes the first British publishing house to have a branch in the United States when it opens an office at 131 Nassau Street in New York City. More
Discover more:
  • The 1859 license granted to William Collins and Company, giving it permission to print the Bible.
  • The Thomas Nelson office on Paternoster Row in London.
  • Westbow
  • The logo and address for J. & J. Harper Publishers
  • Australian author Banjo Paterson, best known for writing “The Man from Snowy River.”

1856

The first Collins Atlas is published. More
Discover more:
  • Title page of an 1869 Collins atlas, printed for the Scottish School Book Association and featuring Bartholomew maps.
  • Charles Chalmers and Rev. Thomas Chalmers.
  • Title pages of several books featured in Harper’s Family Library in the 1830s, including The History of the Bible and The Lives of Celebrated Travelers.
  • An advertisement for the Collins Select Library of Christian Authors, which ran in The School Newspaper on January 2, 1882.
  • The Collins U.K. warehouse, circa 1948

1860

Harper & Brothers pay Wilkie Collins £750 for The Woman in White, which heralds the firm's entry into the crime fiction genre. More
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  • The Woman in White
  • The Case of the Velvet Claws by Erle Stanley Gardner (William Morrow, 1933) and The Corpse in the Green Pyjamas by R. A. J. Walling (Avon Books, 1941).
  • Author Catharine M. Sedgwick (1832).
  • Bleak House
  • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

1862

Collins becomes the publisher for the Scottish School Book Association and Irish National Schools, by 1875 buying out the Scottish School Book Association and supplying books directly to schools. More
Discover more:
  • Title pages of several books featured in Harper’s Family Library in the 1830s, including The History of the Bible and The Lives of Celebrated Travelers.
  • Title page of an 1869 Collins atlas, printed for the Scottish School Book Association and featuring Bartholomew maps.
  • An advertisement for the Collins Select Library of Christian Authors, which ran in The School Newspaper on January 2, 1882.
  • Charles Chalmers and Rev. Thomas Chalmers.
  • The Case of the Velvet Claws by Erle Stanley Gardner (William Morrow, 1933) and The Corpse in the Green Pyjamas by R. A. J. Walling (Avon Books, 1941).
Thomas Nast begins documenting the Civil War and politics through caricature in Harper’s Weekly. More
Discover more:
  • Illustrations by Thomas Nast.
  • An illustrated cover of Harper’s Weekly just after the outbreak of the Civil War, dated July 20, 1861.
  • An ad promoting all of the Harper periodicals: Harper’s Weekly, Harper’s New Monthly, and Harper’s Bazaar.
  • Author Catharine M. Sedgwick (1832).
  • Two classic Avon romance titles, Sweet Savage Love by Rosemary Rogers (1974) and Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss (1977).

1863

Harper & Brothers takes a clear stand in favor of abolition with the publication of Fanny Kemble’s Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838–1839. More
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  • An illustrated cover of Harper’s Weekly just after the outbreak of the Civil War, dated July 20, 1861.
  • Letter to Eleanor Roosevelt regarding a new autobiographical book
  • A snippet of the first installment of Middlemarch by George Eliot, which was serialized in Harper’s Weekly (December 16, 1871).
  • Author Catharine M. Sedgwick (1832).
  • An ad promoting all of the Harper periodicals: Harper’s Weekly, Harper’s New Monthly, and Harper’s Bazaar.

1871

Harper’s Weekly serializes Middlemarch by Mary Ann Evans, who worked under the male pseudonym George Eliot. More
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  • A snippet of the first installment of Middlemarch by George Eliot, which was serialized in Harper’s Weekly (December 16, 1871).
  • Middlemarch
  • Author Catharine M. Sedgwick (1832).
  • An ad promoting all of the Harper periodicals: Harper’s Weekly, Harper’s New Monthly, and Harper’s Bazaar.
  • Tess of the d’Urbervilles

1877

Thomas Nelson introduces the Royal Readers and Royal School series in response to the enactment of compulsory schooling laws and increased demand for instructional books. More
Discover more:
  • Employees working in the Nelson and Sons bindery.
  • Title pages of several books featured in Harper’s Family Library in the 1830s, including The History of the Bible and The Lives of Celebrated Travelers.
  • The logo and address for J. & J. Harper Publishers
  • Title page of an 1869 Collins atlas, printed for the Scottish School Book Association and featuring Bartholomew maps.
  • The Thomas Nelson office on Paternoster Row in London.

1886

David Angus and George Robertson form a bookselling partnership in Sydney, going on to publish Australian authors like Banjo Paterson and Henry Lawson to much acclaim and success. More
Discover more:
  • The Angus & Robertson bookshop in Sydney (1916).
  • The logo and address for J. & J. Harper Publishers
  • Australian author Banjo Paterson, best known for writing “The Man from Snowy River.”
  • Letter from “Padington”

1888

Collins opens its first branch in Auckland, New Zealand. More
Discover more:
  • The logo and address for J. & J. Harper Publishers
  • The 1940 destruction of the Collins Bridewell Place offices.
  • Tess of the d’Urbervilles
  • Title page of an 1869 Collins atlas, printed for the Scottish School Book Association and featuring Bartholomew maps.
  • Letter from “Padington”

1891

Enabled by the 1891 International Copyright Treaty, Harper & Brothers purchases the rights to Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. More
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  • The first installment of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens published in Harper’s Weekly.
  • An ad promoting all of the Harper periodicals: Harper’s Weekly, Harper’s New Monthly, and Harper’s Bazaar.
  • Middlemarch
  • Bleak House
  • The Woman in White

1895

Mark Twain signs an exclusive contract with Harper & Brothers, which serializes Joan of Arc in its periodicals and publishes it as a book one year later. More
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  • The Complete Works of Mark Twain: Authorized Edition
  • An ad promoting all of the Harper periodicals: Harper’s Weekly, Harper’s New Monthly, and Harper’s Bazaar.
  • Author Catharine M. Sedgwick (1832).
  • Jane Eyre
  • Bleak House

1902

Collins publishes the first Gem, a Pocket Pronouncing Dictionary that has 608 pages and is 2½" x 4½" in size. More
Discover more:
  • Title page of an 1869 Collins atlas, printed for the Scottish School Book Association and featuring Bartholomew maps.
  • An advertisement for the New Naturalist Library.
  • An illustration from the Collins Illustrated Pocket Classics edition of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.
  • William Collins II.
  • A sample of Fontana from the Font Specimen Book.

1903

Collins is the first to publish a series of illustrated, shilling-priced pocket size classics with the introduction of Collins Illustrated Pocket Classics. Included in this series are a maroon cloth-bound David Copperfield, many other Charles Dickens favorites, Sir Walter Scott’s Kenilworth, George Eliot’s Adam Bede, and Charlotte Brontë’s Shirley. More
Discover more:
  • An illustration from the Collins Illustrated Pocket Classics edition of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.
  • Wuthering Heights
  • An advertisement for the New Naturalist Library.
  • Moby Dick
  • Jane Eyre

1908

During a time of expansion for Collins in New Zealand, the company obtains New Zealand Post Office Box #1 (which it continues to use to this day) and moves to a new building on Wyndham Street, which at eight stories high, was then Auckland’s tallest building. More
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  • Australian author Banjo Paterson, best known for writing “The Man from Snowy River.”
  • William Collins II.
  • Title page of an 1869 Collins atlas, printed for the Scottish School Book Association and featuring Bartholomew maps.
  • The 1940 destruction of the Collins Bridewell Place offices.
  • Westbow

1917

Harper & Brothers releases a series of 12 Bubble Books, the first-ever book and phonograph record “bundle,” featuring nursery rhymes like “Jack and Jill” and “Simple Simon.” More
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  • December 1961 I Can Read! advertisement placed in The New Yorker.
  • An edition of Harper’s Illuminated and New Pictorial Bible from 1846.
  • Letter from John Donovan submitting the manuscript for I'll Get There. It Better Be Worth the Trip.
  • Ursula Nordstrom.
  • A 1972 edition of William’s Doll, written by Charlotte Zolotow and illustrated by William Pène Du Bois.

1923

Harper & Brothers sells the buildings and grounds at Franklin Square and moves its publishing enterprise to 49 East 33rd Street in New York City. More
Discover more:
  • An 1885 letter from Henry Hoyns to the Harper brothers requesting a raise after being promoted to the stock desk.
  • The logo and address for J. & J. Harper Publishers
  • A 1923 New York Times advertisement placed by Harper & Brothers regarding its move from Franklin Square to 49 East 33rd Street in New York City.
  • Nostromo
  • The Adams Power Press.
The Harper Prize Novel is introduced as a competition to discover unknown authors, and receives more than 700 submissions in its first year. The first winner, The Able McLaughlins by Margaret Wilson, is later awarded the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel (1924). More
Discover more:
  • Author Catharine M. Sedgwick (1832).
  • Editions of Color by Countee Cullen (1925), The Known World by Edward P. Jones (2003), Annie Allen by Gwendolyn Brooks (1949), and a 1978 edition of Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (1934).
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude
  • An Armed Services Edition of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (1943).
  • A page from the Fall 1937 Harper & Brothers catalog touting This Is My Story by Eleanor Roosevelt.

1924

“Queen of Crime” Agatha Christie joins the house of Collins, and two years later publishes her seminal Hercule Poirot novel, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. More
Discover more:
  • And Then There Were None
  • Agatha Christie.
  • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
  • A 1961 edition of The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis.
  • The Hobbit

1926

Goodnight Moon
The Department of Books for Boys and Girls is established at Harper & Brothers. More
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  • Virginia Kirkus.
  • Little House on the Prairie
  • The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  • Stuart Little
  • Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik. Pictures bt Maurice Sendak. an I CAN READ book. (Cover)
William Morrow is founded and publishes its first book, On to Oregon! by Honoré Morrow. More
Discover more:
  • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
  • Riders of the Purple Sage
  • Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey (1912).
  • The logo and address for J. & J. Harper Publishers
  • The Case of the Velvet Claws by Erle Stanley Gardner (William Morrow, 1933) and The Corpse in the Green Pyjamas by R. A. J. Walling (Avon Books, 1941).

1927

Harper & Brothers signs Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World. More
Discover more:
  • A 1946 edition of Brave New World (1934), which features a special introduction by Aldous Huxley.
  • Brave New World
  • neil gaiman
  • Down and Out in Paris and London
  • American Gods

1930

Collins establishes the Collins Crime Club, which continues for six decades. Members receive quarterly newsletters that list the best new releases as selected by a panel of experts. More
Discover more:
  • The Case of the Velvet Claws by Erle Stanley Gardner (William Morrow, 1933) and The Corpse in the Green Pyjamas by R. A. J. Walling (Avon Books, 1941).
  • And Then There Were None
  • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
  • Original cover design for a Collins Crime Club title
  • The Woman in White

1931

Pat and Bernard Zondervan start a religious publishing firm out of their mother’s farmhouse. More
Discover more:
  • Women of the Old Testament by Abraham Kuyper, the first book published by Zondervan, circa 1933.
  • The Zondervan brothers
  • Bernie and Pat Zondervan outside their Grand Rapids headquarters
  • The 1859 license granted to William Collins and Company, giving it permission to print the Bible.
  • The Zondervans on their silver anniversary

1932

The Canadian branch of William Collins and Sons is founded in Toronto by Franklin F. Appleton. More
Discover more:
  • Canadian White Circle Pocket Editions of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (1946) and Two Solitudes by Hugh MacLennan (circa late 1940s).
  • Internal memo from Collins Canada announcing a hot air balloon publicity stunt
  • A planning meeting at Collins Canada, circa 1940s
  • Australian author Banjo Paterson, best known for writing “The Man from Snowy River.”
  • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
Virginia Kirkus, inaugural department editor of Harper’s Department of Books for Boys and Girls, launches Laura Ingalls Wilder with the publication of Little House in the Big Woods. More
Discover more:
  • Little House on the Prairie
  • A 1972 edition of William’s Doll, written by Charlotte Zolotow and illustrated by William Pène Du Bois.
  • Virginia Kirkus.
  • Shel Silverstein’s original artwork for a “Union for Children’s Rights” from A Light in the Attic (1981).
  • Charlotte’s Web

1936

Collins is the first major publishing house to create its own font. More
Discover more:
  • An illustration from the Collins Illustrated Pocket Classics edition of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.
  • An edition of Harper’s Illuminated and New Pictorial Bible from 1846.
  • A sample of Fontana from the Font Specimen Book.
  • An advertisement for the New Naturalist Library.
  • Title page of an 1869 Collins atlas, printed for the Scottish School Book Association and featuring Bartholomew maps.

1937

J. B. Lippincott publishes Zora Neale Hurston’s masterpiece, Their Eyes Were Watching God. More
Discover more:
  • Editions of Color by Countee Cullen (1925), The Known World by Edward P. Jones (2003), Annie Allen by Gwendolyn Brooks (1949), and a 1978 edition of Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (1934).
  • Native Son
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God
  • A leader of his people tells The Montgomery Story. Stride Toward Freedom by Martin Luther King, Jr. (Cover)
  • Black Boy
Harper & Brothers publishes This Is My Story by Eleanor Roosevelt. More
Discover more:
  • Letter to Eleanor Roosevelt regarding a new autobiographical book
  • Profiles in Courage
  • The Downing Street Years
  • A Time to Heal by Gerald R. Ford (1979).
  • A page from the Fall 1937 Harper & Brothers catalog touting This Is My Story by Eleanor Roosevelt.

1938

Harper & Brothers publishes Richard Wright’s debut story collection, Uncle Tom’s Children. More
Discover more:
  • Black Boy
  • Native Son
  • The Known World
  • A leader of his people tells The Montgomery Story. Stride Toward Freedom by Martin Luther King, Jr. (Cover)
  • Editions of Color by Countee Cullen (1925), The Known World by Edward P. Jones (2003), Annie Allen by Gwendolyn Brooks (1949), and a 1978 edition of Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (1934).

1941

Avon Books is established by New York businessman Joseph Meyers in association with Edna B. Williams. Now renowned for widely popularizing the historical romance category, the publisher originally begins with a focus on paperback reprints. More
Discover more:
  • The Case of the Velvet Claws by Erle Stanley Gardner (William Morrow, 1933) and The Corpse in the Green Pyjamas by R. A. J. Walling (Avon Books, 1941).
  • The VendAvon.
  • Two classic Avon romance titles, Sweet Savage Love by Rosemary Rogers (1974) and Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss (1977).
  • An advertisement for Is Sex Necessary? by James Thurber and E. B. White, published in The New York Times on January 19, 1930.
  • The Hospital in Buwambo by Anne Vinton, Harlequin’s first reprint (1957) of a Mills & Boon romance.

1943

Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, a story about growing up poor in turn-of-the-century Brooklyn, shines a light on first- and second-generation Americans living in poverty. More
Discover more:
  • An Armed Services Edition of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (1943).
  • Author Catharine M. Sedgwick (1832).
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  • A page from the Fall 1937 Harper & Brothers catalog touting This Is My Story by Eleanor Roosevelt.

1946

William Morrow establishes its first children’s imprint, Morrow Junior Books, and develops successful children’s author Beverly Cleary. More
Discover more:
  • Virginia Kirkus.
  • Beezus and Ramona
  • Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary. Illustrated by Louis Darling (Cover)
  • Letter from “Padington”
  • Charlotte’s Web

1949

Harper & Brothers publishes Annie Allen by Gwendolyn Brooks, which wins the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry and makes Brooks the first African American writer to receive the award. More
Discover more:
  • Editions of Color by Countee Cullen (1925), The Known World by Edward P. Jones (2003), Annie Allen by Gwendolyn Brooks (1949), and a 1978 edition of Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (1934).
  • Black Boy
  • The Known World
  • A leader of his people tells The Montgomery Story. Stride Toward Freedom by Martin Luther King, Jr. (Cover)
  • Native Son
Harlequin Books is founded in Winnipeg by Richard Bonnycastle, Doug Weld, and Jack Palmer. More
Discover more:
  • The Hospital in Buwambo by Anne Vinton, Harlequin’s first reprint (1957) of a Mills & Boon romance.
  • The Hospital in Buwambo
  • Canada Post stamp honoring Harlequin
  • An advertisement for Is Sex Necessary? by James Thurber and E. B. White, published in The New York Times on January 19, 1930.
  • A collection of titles published by Harlequin.

1952

Caedmon Audio, the first company to sell audio versions of works by writers such as Dylan Thomas, e. e. cummings, and Robert Frost, is founded. More
Discover more:
  • Dylan Thomas: The Caedmon Collection audiobook.
  • The logo and address for J. & J. Harper Publishers
  • The Long Short Cut by Andrew Garve (1968).
  • An advertisement for Is Sex Necessary? by James Thurber and E. B. White, published in The New York Times on January 19, 1930.
  • The VendAvon.

1953

William Collins and Sons purchases the religious publishing firm of Geoffrey Bles, Ltd., gaining the rights to the works of C. S. Lewis, including his Chronicles of Narnia fantasy books. More
Discover more:
  • A 1961 edition of The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis.
  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia #1)
  • Michael Bond
  • The Inklings.
  • Mere Christianity

1954

Publisher George Allen & Unwin, later purchased by HarperCollins, publishes the 9,250-page manuscript of The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien. More
Discover more:
  • The Hobbit
  • The Fellowship of the Ring
  • J. R. R. Tolkien.
  • A letter from J. R. R. Tolkien to his editor regarding the first chapter of his “sequel” to The Hobbit, titled “A Long-expected Party”—which would become the first chapter of The Fellowship of the Ring.
  • A 1961 edition of The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis.

1956

Harper & Brothers publishes Profiles in Courage by John F. Kennedy, which wins the Pulitzer Prize in 1957 and helps propel the young senator to the White House. More
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  • New York Times advertisement for Profiles in Courage from May 19, 1957.
  • A Time to Heal by Gerald R. Ford (1979).
  • Profiles in Courage
  • An Armed Services Edition of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (1943).
  • A New York Times advertisement announcing the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, which ran on July 17, 1960.

1957

The I Can Read! series launches with the publication of Little Bear, written by Else Holmelund Minarik and illustrated by Maurice Sendak, and becomes the number one beginning reader series in the United States. More
Discover more:
  • Virginia Kirkus.
  • Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik. Pictures bt Maurice Sendak. an I CAN READ book. (Cover)
  • The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  • December 1961 I Can Read! advertisement placed in The New Yorker.
  • Amelia Bedilia

1958

After leading the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955 and becoming the voice of the civil rights movement, the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. selects Harper & Brothers to publish Stride Toward Freedom, his memoir about the Montgomery bus boycott. More
Discover more:
  • Black Boy
  • Editions of Color by Countee Cullen (1925), The Known World by Edward P. Jones (2003), Annie Allen by Gwendolyn Brooks (1949), and a 1978 edition of Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (1934).
  • Native Son
  • A leader of his people tells The Montgomery Story. Stride Toward Freedom by Martin Luther King, Jr. (Cover)
  • Lawrence Hill
Collins publishes the first English translation of Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. More
Discover more:
  • Doctor Zhivago
  • Queen Elizabeth II visiting the Collins Glasgow offices
  • Judith Kerr.
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude
  • The Gulag Archipelago

1960

J. B. Lippincott publishes the Pulitzer Prize–winning To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, one of the most influential books on race in America, which goes on to sell more than 40 million copies. More
Discover more:
  • A New York Times advertisement announcing the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, which ran on July 17, 1960.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • The Lippincott logo from 1937.
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  • Author Catharine M. Sedgwick (1832).

1961

The first Beginner Books by Dr. Seuss are published by Collins in the UK. This series includes The Cat in the Hat (which had been previously published by Collins in 1958 and was an immediate success) and Green Eggs and Ham. More
Discover more:
  • Letter from “Padington”
  • An early cover layout for A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond, published by Collins in 1958.
  • What Do People Do All Day?
  • A 1961 edition of The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis.
  • Michael Bond

1962

Harper & Brothers merges with textbook publisher Row, Peterson & Co. to form Harper & Row. More
Discover more:
  • The logo and address for J. & J. Harper Publishers
  • Title page for Open the Door by Mabel O’Donnell, illustrated by Florence and Margaret Hoopes, which was part of the Alice and Jerry Reading Program.
  • Editions of Color by Countee Cullen (1925), The Known World by Edward P. Jones (2003), Annie Allen by Gwendolyn Brooks (1949), and a 1978 edition of Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (1934).
  • An advertisement for Is Sex Necessary? by James Thurber and E. B. White, published in The New York Times on January 19, 1930.
  • A Time to Heal by Gerald R. Ford (1979).

1963

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak is published. It is awarded the 1964 Caldecott Medal. More
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  • Where the Wild Things Are
  • Virginia Kirkus.
  • Shel Silverstein’s original artwork for a “Union for Children’s Rights” from A Light in the Attic (1981).
  • Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik. Pictures bt Maurice Sendak. an I CAN READ book. (Cover)
  • The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

1964

Harper & Row publishes The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, a “moving story about the love of a tree for a boy.” More
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  • Virginia Kirkus.
  • Shel Silverstein’s original artwork for a “Union for Children’s Rights” from A Light in the Attic (1981).
  • Where the Wild Things Are
  • Charlotte’s Web
  • Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik. Pictures bt Maurice Sendak. an I CAN READ book. (Cover)

1969

After founding the religious publishing firm Royal Publishing in 1962, Sam Moore acquires Thomas Nelson and Sons and adopts the company’s name. More
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  • The Thomas Nelson office on Paternoster Row in London.
  • The NKJV translation committee at work.
  • Women of the Old Testament by Abraham Kuyper, the first book published by Zondervan, circa 1933.
  • Sam Moore with Ronald Reagan
  • A selection of Bibles (including the NIV and NKJV) published by HarperCollins Christian Publishing.

1970

Zondervan publishes The Late Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey, which becomes the number one nonfiction bestseller of the decade. More
Discover more:
  • A selection of Bibles (including the NIV and NKJV) published by HarperCollins Christian Publishing.
  • Women of the Old Testament by Abraham Kuyper, the first book published by Zondervan, circa 1933.
  • The 1859 license granted to William Collins and Company, giving it permission to print the Bible.
  • The Zondervan brothers
  • The Beginner’s Bible
Harper & Row publishes the first English translation of One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, establishing him as a leading young Latin American writer and a dominant and innovative figure on the global literary scene. More
Discover more:
  • Telegram dated October 21, 1982, in which Harper editor Cass Canfield Jr. congratulates Gabriel García Márquez on winning the Pulitzer Prize for One Hundred Years of Solitude.
  • Telegram regarding the publication of One Hundred Years of Solitude
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude
  • Editions of Color by Countee Cullen (1925), The Known World by Edward P. Jones (2003), Annie Allen by Gwendolyn Brooks (1949), and a 1978 edition of Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (1934).
  • The cover of the Fall 1993/Winter 1994 Amistad catalog.
Harlequin acquires Mills & Boon and brings Harlequin books beyond bookstores and into supermarkets, drugstores, and other places women frequent. More
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  • Lawrence Heisey, a former soap salesman who was appointed president of Harlequin in 1971.
  • An advertisement for Is Sex Necessary? by James Thurber and E. B. White, published in The New York Times on January 19, 1930.
  • The Hospital in Buwambo by Anne Vinton, Harlequin’s first reprint (1957) of a Mills & Boon romance.
  • A collection of titles published by Harlequin.
  • Prince Charles reading a Harlequin Mills & Boon title

1971

William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist becomes the first horror story to reach number one on the New York Times bestseller list and helps initiate the modern horror film movement. More
Discover more:
  • The Exorcist
  • neil gaiman
  • The War of the Worlds
  • Brave New World
  • The Dispossessed

1972

Harper & Row moves from 49 East 33rd Street, where it had been since 1923, to the new “Harper & Row” building designed by Emery Roth at 10 East 53rd Street. More
Discover more:
  • The logo and address for J. & J. Harper Publishers
  • The 1859 license granted to William Collins and Company, giving it permission to print the Bible.
  • Editions of Color by Countee Cullen (1925), The Known World by Edward P. Jones (2003), Annie Allen by Gwendolyn Brooks (1949), and a 1978 edition of Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (1934).
  • First edition of I’m OK—You’re OK by Thomas A. Harris from 1969.
  • Westbow
Avon launches the historical romance genre when it publishes Kathleen Woodiwiss’s The Flame and the Flower, a historical romance with a strong female lead and sexual situations that go a step beyond the tame romances of earlier eras. More
Discover more:
  • Two classic Avon romance titles, Sweet Savage Love by Rosemary Rogers (1974) and Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss (1977).
  • An advertisement for Is Sex Necessary? by James Thurber and E. B. White, published in The New York Times on January 19, 1930.
  • The Case of the Velvet Claws by Erle Stanley Gardner (William Morrow, 1933) and The Corpse in the Green Pyjamas by R. A. J. Walling (Avon Books, 1941).
  • Cally Taylor
  • The VendAvon.

1973

William Collins and Sons secures the rights to Soviet dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago, an eye-opening work that exposes in startling detail the horrors of the communist regime in Russia. More
Discover more:
  • Perestroika: New Thinking for Our Country and the World
  • The Gulag Archipelago
  • Gorky Park
  • The Downing Street Years
  • Doctor Zhivago

1975

Thomas Nelson commissions 130 scholars, pastors, and lay Christians to create the New King James Version (NKJV) of the Bible, aiming to “retain the purity and stylistic beauty” of the original King James produced in 1611. More
Discover more:
  • A selection of Bibles (including the NIV and NKJV) published by HarperCollins Christian Publishing.
  • The NKJV translation committee at work.
  • The 1859 license granted to William Collins and Company, giving it permission to print the Bible.
  • Title page of the Thomas Nelson edition of the Adventures of Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (1860).
  • The Thomas Nelson office on Paternoster Row in London.

1978

Zondervan publishes the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible, a contemporary English translation that provides an accurate and understandable alternative to the King James Version. More
Discover more:
  • A selection of Bibles (including the NIV and NKJV) published by HarperCollins Christian Publishing.
  • The 1859 license granted to William Collins and Company, giving it permission to print the Bible.
  • The Zondervan brothers
  • Women of the Old Testament by Abraham Kuyper, the first book published by Zondervan, circa 1933.
  • Original editorial correspondence regarding Joni Eareckson Tada
Harper & Row publishes the first book in Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City series after it is serialized in the San Francisco Chronicle. The series highlights gay issues and becomes a cultural icon for generations of readers. More
Discover more:
  • Two classic Avon romance titles, Sweet Savage Love by Rosemary Rogers (1974) and Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss (1977).
  • Tales of the City
  • An advertisement for Is Sex Necessary? by James Thurber and E. B. White, published in The New York Times on January 19, 1930.
  • Telegram dated October 21, 1982, in which Harper editor Cass Canfield Jr. congratulates Gabriel García Márquez on winning the Pulitzer Prize for One Hundred Years of Solitude.
  • Telegram regarding the publication of One Hundred Years of Solitude

1987

Harper & Row is acquired by The News Corporation Limited. More
Discover more:
  • The logo and address for J. & J. Harper Publishers
  • An advertisement for Is Sex Necessary? by James Thurber and E. B. White, published in The New York Times on January 19, 1930.
  • The cover of the Fall 1993/Winter 1994 Amistad catalog.
  • Telegram regarding the publication of One Hundred Years of Solitude
  • Telegram dated October 21, 1982, in which Harper editor Cass Canfield Jr. congratulates Gabriel García Márquez on winning the Pulitzer Prize for One Hundred Years of Solitude.

1988

Zondervan is acquired by Harper & Row. More
Discover more:
  • Women of the Old Testament by Abraham Kuyper, the first book published by Zondervan, circa 1933.
  • The Committee on Bible Translation scholars.
  • The logo and address for J. & J. Harper Publishers
  • A selection of Bibles (including the NIV and NKJV) published by HarperCollins Christian Publishing.
  • The Thomas Nelson office on Paternoster Row in London.

1989

News Corporation acquires William Collins Ltd., and brings together Collins, Harper & Row, Gower Publishing, Times Books, Bartholomew, and Angus & Robertson in a new worldwide group called Harper & Collins. More
Discover more:
  • The logo and address for J. & J. Harper Publishers
  • First edition paperback of Sharpe’s Eagle by Bernard Cornwell (1981).
  • The 1940 destruction of the Collins Bridewell Place offices.
  • A Bear Called Paddington
  • Mere Christianity

1990

On May 29, 1990, HarperCollins becomes the new global name for the combined Harper & Row and Collins. More
Discover more:
  • The logo and address for J. & J. Harper Publishers
  • The 1859 license granted to William Collins and Company, giving it permission to print the Bible.
  • The Harper “fire” and Collins “water” colophons, which were combined to create today’s “fire and water” HarperCollins logo.
  • The 1940 destruction of the Collins Bridewell Place offices.
  • Middlemarch

1992

John Gray’s Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus is published and becomes one of the bestselling nonfiction books of the 1990s, launching an era of gender and relationship dialogue. More
Discover more:
  • First edition of I’m OK—You’re OK by Thomas A. Harris from 1969.
  • Handwritten letter from John Gray regarding his manuscript for Men Are from Mars, Women are from Venus
  • The Lippincott logo from 1937.
  • Flow
  • The Woman in White
HarperCollins begins publishing operations in India, represented by Rupa & Co, a small independent publisher. In 2003, HarperCollins India enters a joint venture agreement with the Living Media group, the largest media conglomerate in India. More
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  • M J Akbar
  • V. Raghunathan
  • Namita Gokhale
  • The Hours
  • Sanjay Suri

1993

Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher publishes The Downing Street Years, which recounts her eleven and a half years at London’s 10 Downing Street, the official prime minister’s residence, with HarperCollins. More
Discover more:
  • The Downing Street Years
  • Profiles in Courage
  • Letter to Eleanor Roosevelt regarding a new autobiographical book
  • Two classic Avon romance titles, Sweet Savage Love by Rosemary Rogers (1974) and Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss (1977).
  • A page from the Fall 1937 Harper & Brothers catalog touting This Is My Story by Eleanor Roosevelt.

1996

George R.R. Martin redefines the fantasy genre with his epic series, A Song of Ice and Fire, published by HarperCollins in the UK. More
Discover more:
  • A Game of Thrones
  • The Fellowship of the Ring
  • The Hobbit
  • Magician
  • neil gaiman

1999

HarperCollins acquires William Morrow, mass market romance imprint Avon, independent publisher Ecco Press, and Amistad Press, the pre-eminent publisher of African-American authors. A year later Collins acquires independent press 4th Estate. More
Discover more:
  • The logo and address for J. & J. Harper Publishers
  • The Case of the Velvet Claws by Erle Stanley Gardner (William Morrow, 1933) and The Corpse in the Green Pyjamas by R. A. J. Walling (Avon Books, 1941).
  • The cover of the Fall 1993/Winter 1994 Amistad catalog.
  • The 2nd Avon Fantasy Reader (1947).
  • An advertisement for Is Sex Necessary? by James Thurber and E. B. White, published in The New York Times on January 19, 1930.

2000

Gao Xingjian becomes the first Chinese author to win the Nobel Prize for Literature after HarperCollins Australia publishes his novel Soul Mountain. More
Discover more:
  • Papillon
  • Anthony Doerr
  • The Year of Magical Thinking
  • Winner of The Man Booker Prize 2012: Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel (Cover).
  • The Known World

2003

HarperCollins becomes the first major trade publisher to partner with an e-book loan service catering to public libraries. More
Discover more:
  • Two classic Avon romance titles, Sweet Savage Love by Rosemary Rogers (1974) and Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss (1977).
  • An advertisement for the Collins Select Library of Christian Authors, which ran in The School Newspaper on January 2, 1882.
  • The Adams Power Press.
  • An illustration depicting the Harper fire of 1853.
  • The Long Short Cut by Andrew Garve (1968).

2008

HarperCollins India publishes The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga, which wins the 2008 Man Booker Prize. More
Discover more:
  • The White Tiger
  • People of the Book
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude
  • Matt Haig
  • Winner of The Man Booker Prize 2012: Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel (Cover).

2011

HarperCollins acquires Thomas Nelson, a world-leading publisher and provider of inspirational and Christian content. More
Discover more:
  • The Thomas Nelson office on Paternoster Row in London.
  • Grace for the Moment
  • Heaven Is For Real
  • lee strobell
  • Bob Goff

2012

Thomas Nelson and Zondervan combine to create HarperCollins Christian Publishing, a new Christian division within HarperCollins. More
Discover more:
  • The Thomas Nelson office on Paternoster Row in London.
  • A selection of Bibles (including the NIV and NKJV) published by HarperCollins Christian Publishing.
  • The Purpose Driven Life
  • Bob Goff
  • Jen Hatmaker
Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel, published by HarperCollins in the UK, wins the Man Booker Prize. Mantel becomes the first woman ever to win the prize twice, having first won for Wolf Hall in 2009. More
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  • Winner of The Man Booker Prize 2012: Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel (Cover).
  • Wolf Hall
  • Hilary Mantel
  • Bel Canto
  • The Collectors’ Preview Edition of A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin, Book One of A Song of Ice and Fire.
HarperCollins India becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of HarperCollins Publishers. More
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  • Sanjay Suri
  • M J Akbar
  • Namita Gokhale
  • V. Raghunathan
  • The White Tiger

2013

HarperCollins is the first major publisher to partner with digital book subscription services. More
Discover more:
  • An illustration depicting the Harper fire of 1853.
  • A 1972 edition of William’s Doll, written by Charlotte Zolotow and illustrated by William Pène Du Bois.
  • December 1961 I Can Read! advertisement placed in The New Yorker.
  • The Long Short Cut by Andrew Garve (1968).
  • The Adams Power Press.

2014

HarperCollins acquires Harlequin Enterprises from Torstar. More
Discover more:
  • Canada Post stamp honoring Harlequin
  • Anne O'Brien
  • Virgin River
  • A collection of titles published by Harlequin.
  • The Hospital in Buwambo by Anne Vinton, Harlequin’s first reprint (1957) of a Mills & Boon romance.
HarperCollins moves its global headquarters from 10 East 53rd Street to 195 Broadway in lower Manhattan. More
Discover more:
  • The logo and address for J. & J. Harper Publishers
  • Official City Hall portrait of James Harper
  • The 1859 license granted to William Collins and Company, giving it permission to print the Bible.
  • Westbow
  • S.S. Europe

2015

HarperCollins expands from a primarily English-language publisher to one publishing in 17 languages, with operations in 18 countries around the world. More
Discover more:
  • The logo and address for J. & J. Harper Publishers
  • Australian author Banjo Paterson, best known for writing “The Man from Snowy River.”
  • The 1859 license granted to William Collins and Company, giving it permission to print the Bible.
  • Middlemarch
  • Agatha Christie.

2017

HarperCollins Publishers celebrates its 200th anniversary. More
Discover more:
  • The logo and address for J. & J. Harper Publishers
  • The 1859 license granted to William Collins and Company, giving it permission to print the Bible.
  • Westbow
  • Australian author Banjo Paterson, best known for writing “The Man from Snowy River.”
  • A Christmas Carol