William Collins

Born on the south side of Glasgow in the village of Pollokshaws in 1789, William Collins left school to work as a weaver and clerk in a local cotton mill. More

Early Offices

Thomas Nelson’s bookshop once sat in a half-timbered storefront at 7 West Bow in Edinburgh, one of many rickety buildings rising precariously from the Z-shaped street like upside-down pyramids. More

The Cat in the Hat

This iconic Dr. Seuss book is one of the bestselling children’s books of all time. More

Letter from C. S. Lewis

In this letter to Collins publisher Billy Collins, dated November 1954, C. S. Lewis—author of The Chronicles of Narnia series, Mere Christianity, and The Screwtape Letters, among others—outlines what he sees as his three types of “literary output”: “A. Religious and General. B. Fiction. C. Academic.” More

New Naturalists

William Collins V (known as Billy Collins) and the printers AdPrint came up with the idea of the New Naturalist Library in 1942. More

Letter from Agatha Christie

This letter from Agatha Christie (here signing with her second married name, Mallowan) shows the close relationship she had with Collins publisher Billy Collins. More

Education and Publishing

Beginning in 1830, the Harper brothers believed that the increasingly literate populace might clamor for turnkey collections. More

1908: Collins obtains New Zealand Post Office Box #1…

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

“The Most Beautiful Printing Ever Done”

James Harper went to Europe in 1835 to compile a set of fairy tales for publication, and Harper & Brothers enlisted Joseph A. Adams to make 81 detailed wood-cut engravings for the collection. More