GOWANS, WILLIAM. Notes for bio-bibliographies of 19th century American literature, 1863-1868
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William Gowans: Notes for Bio-bibliography of American Literature, 1863-1868


Gowans, William, 1803-1870.

Biographical Bibliography of American authors [holograph], 1863-1868.

Physical Description
3 notebooks (2 boxes)

Organization and Arrangement
Organized into three series: I. Authors arranged alphabetically A-Et: A (2 v.); B (3 v.); C (3 v.); D (2 v.); E (1 v.; incomplete). II. American Dramatic Literature (1 v.). III. Bookplates (1 v.).

Historical/Biographical Note
William Gowans emigrated to the United States from Scotland in 1821 and after a period in Indiana settled in New York City. By the early 1830s he was the proprietor of a bookstall on Chatham Street. His last shop was at 115 Nassau Street. Gowans issued twenty-eight catalogs and a series of historical reprints (Gowans’ Bibliotheca Americana). His reputation for preferring to buy rather than to sell is perhaps born out by the 250,000 bound volumes his executors sold after his death.

Scope and Contents
Autograph notes of incomplete bibliography of American authors, with imprints recorded primarily from the period from 1800 to ca. 1860. The entries for “E” were incomplete at his death. The volume on bookplates consists of list (without any illustrations) of personal, private and institutional collections that had bookplates.

Title taken from notebook covers.

American drama. Bibliography.
American literature. Bibliography.
American literature. Bibliography. Manuscripts.
Authors, American. Bibliography.
Bookplates. United States.


Occupation (as reflected in collection)
Bibliographers. United States. 19th century.

Grolier Club, 47 East 60th Street, New York, N.Y. 10022-1098.

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