Ursula Nordstrom

When Anne Carroll Moore, the powerful and opinionated superintendent of children’s work at the New York Public Library, asked Harper & Brothers editor Ursula Nordstrom why she felt qualified to produce children’s books, Nordstrom said only this: “Well, I am a former child, and I haven’t forgotten a thing.” More

Publishing Firsts: Producing Books Electronically

Although word-processing programs and electronic typewriters had been around since the late 1960s, Harper & Row was the first to help pioneer electronic publishing with Andrew Garve’s The Long Short Cut in 1968, which was, according to the New York Times, “the first book set into type completely by electronic composition.” More

I Can Read!

Inspired by an occasion in which she attempted to find an appropriate book for a young boy who had just learned to read, Boston librarian Virginia Haviland telephoned her friend Ursula Nordstrom, the head of children’s publishing at Harper & Brothers. More

James Harper, Mayor Of New York City

With corruption rampant in New York City politics, the newly formed American Republican Party convinced James Harper, one of the brothers who had founded J. & J. Harper in 1817, to run for mayor. More

Thomas Nelson: The Beginning

In 1800, an upstart 20-year-old printer named Thomas Neilson (who later changed his name to Nelson) set off a firestorm of controversy throughout the Scottish publishing world by offering something never before seen in Great Britain: classic books produced and printed for “the common man.” 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

The New International Version of the Bible

The efforts of one man in the mid-1950s brought about the publication of the New International Version of the Bible, a contemporary English translation that provided an accurate and understandable alternative to the King James Version, which had been the dominant translation for centuries. More

From Clerk to Chairman of the Board

One summer day in 1884, Horatio Harper, grandson of founder John Harper, began talking with a bright young boy during his regular steamboat commute from Long Island to Manhattan. More

The Steam-Powered Press

For years, the Harper brothers relied on a white draft horse named Dobbin, who plodded a circular path in the basement of their offices, turning a wooden shaft that powered the Treadwell hand press two floors above, until new technology sent him out to pasture. More