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

Doctor Zhivago

Collins was the first to publish this epic romantic drama by the Nobel Prize winner in English. More

Original contract for Thorn-Apple Tree

Grace Campbell’s debut novel, Thorn-Apple Tree, was one of the earliest works of fiction written by a Canadian to be published by William Collins Sons & Co. Canada Ltd. More

Queen Elizabeth II visiting the Collins Glasgow offices

Billy Collins, William Collins Sons & Co.’s incumbent chairman, greets Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at the Collins Glasgow offices as part of the company’s celebration of its 150th anniversary in 1969. More

Caedmon Records and Audiobooks

In 1952, Barbara Cohen and Marianne Roney, a pair of recent college graduates, wrote a letter to Welsh poet Dylan Thomas that contained an unusual business proposal. More

George R. R. Martin

It was in 1993 that George R. R. Martin–already an acclaimed author of science fiction and horror novels, and well known for his work in Hollywood as a screenwriter on The Twilight Zone and Beauty and the Beast–decided he needed a broader outlet for his creativity and conceived of A Song of Ice and Fire, a truly monumental fantasy series. More

Publishing Firsts: Stereotyping

The Harper brothers first began publishing in the early 1800s, when emerging technologies were fundamentally changing the process of printing–replacing the painstaking compositing, inking, and pulling processes needed for each page. More

Social Change: Thomas Nast, Illustrator

Illustrator Thomas Nast first made his name documenting the Civil War in all its gruesome reality, but he is best known for developing the political cartoon form and our modern depictions of Santa Claus. More

Publishing Firsts: The VendAvon

Chips, cookies, sodas–and books–from a vending machine. Avon’s entertaining comic books—western, horror, romance, war, science fiction, and gangster titles, mostly—appealed to readers of all ages from 1945 through the mid-1950s. More