PRINTING IN NEW JERSEY 1754-1800: A DESCRIPTIVE BIBLIOGRAPHY
Felcone, Joseph J.
The first permanent printing office in New Jersey was established in 1754 by James Parker. Laws, proceedings of the assembly, and proclamations of the royal governors all came from Parker's press, as did numerous works for the fledgling College of New Jersey (now Princeton University). Other printers soon saw opportunity in New Jersey, so that by 1800, forty-four individuals had been either proprietors or partners in printing offices spread across the state from Sussex County to Cumberland County. Printing in New Jersey contains full descriptions of all of the known products of every eighteenth-century New Jersey press.
As a descriptive bibliography of early American imprints, this book sets a new standard for comprehensiveness. Of the 1,265 books, pamphlets, periodicals, newspapers, and broadsides included, almost a quarter of them are recorded here for the first time. Every entry receives detailed bibliographical treatment: full collations are provided, paper and type are identified, contemporary bindings are described, and advertisements in newspapers are recorded. Every located copy has been collated, and full copy-specific data, including eighteenth-century provenance, is presented. Extensive notes identify anonymous authors, provide biographical and historical context, attribute unsigned printing, and establish press runs.
The second part of the text is devoted to items that may have been printed in New Jersey but for which insufficient documentation has been found to permit a clear attribution to a New Jersey press. A third part contains works incorrectly attributed to a New Jersey press by earlier bibliographers and now removed from the New Jersey printing canon. The rich back matter supports the bibliography. The first of three appendices lists the alphabetical, chronological, and geographical distribution of printing offices in eighteenth-century New Jersey. The second appendix is a register of the New Jersey book trade that records printers, publishers, booksellers, newspaper proprietors, bookbinders, papermakers, and others engaged in any aspect of the book trade or allied arts in New Jersey from 1754 through 1800. The third appendix contains six concordances. An extensive list of manuscript collections and printed resources essential to the study of eighteenth-century New Jersey printing documents the work. The volume concludes with three indexes: an index of printers and publishers, a provenance index, and a comprehensive general index.
Joseph J. Felcone has spent a lifetime collecting, studying, and writing about New Jersey books and the early New Jersey book trade. To compile this comprehensive work, he visited and fully surveyed 115 libraries, from the major repositories in the United States and England to county and local historical societies in New Jersey, and physically examined and recorded every eighteenth-century New Jersey imprint.