Paul Leicester Ford

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Island 2



At the same time that Ford was working hard to organize and catalogue numerous manuscripts, he was also involved in reprinting texts for scholarly use. Shown here is Pamphlets on the Constitution of the United States: Published during Its Discussion by the People, 1787-1788. Brooklyn, N.Y.: n.p., 1888 (#4 of 500). One page presentation inscription to Rosalie Barr.
This interesting collection of 14 pamphlets published during the years of 1787-88 included both Federalist and anti-Federalist texts. Up to this point, anti-Federalist tracts had remained in a state of oblivion.

Writings of Christopher Columbus: Descriptive of the Discovery and Occupation of the New World.
New York: C.L. Webster and Co., 1892.
Signed by Ford to Rosalie Barr, September 22, 1892.

To amass the necessary information to edit these documents, Ford visited several European libraries.

Historical Printing Club

Ford was also involved in a printing club, which was quite the rage within educated circles in the latter part of the nineteenth century. Along with his father, Gordon Lester Ford, and his older brother, Worthington, Ford set out to make available to scholars and libraries important but little known works and manuscripts. The source of much of this material was the family library. These separate texts were ultimately included in fifteen volumes of Winnowings in American History. Shown here is a pamphlet edited by Ford entitled An Account of a Plan for Civilizing the North American Indians, Proposed in the Eighteenth Century. By John Daniel Hammerer. Winnowings in American History: Indian Tracts, 1. Brooklyn, N.Y.: n.p., 1890.

Orderly Book of the "Maryland Loyalists Regiment," June 18th, 1778 to October 12th, 1778.
Brooklyn, N.Y.: Historical Printing Club, 1891. (#63 of 250)

This book was probably the first Loyalist orderly book published. Its vivid descriptions of camp conditions, day-to-day existence, and regulations governing camp life, during the Revolution made it a very important historical text.

The Library Journal and librarianship

From 1890-93, Ford co-edited the Library Journal, shown here. His growing renown as an editor and bibliographer qualified him for such a position, but his friendships with Richard Rogers Bowker, the publisher of Publisher's Weekly and theLibrary Journal, and Melvil Dewey, the president of the New York Library Club and creator of the Dewey Decimal Classification System, certainly helped him gain this position. During his tenure on the magazine, Ford advocated the most progressive ideas of the day: free access to book shelves, cooperative buying on the part of libraries, the formation of union catalogs, the collecting and indexing of neglected research materials, and the introduction of inter-library loans.

"The James Lorimer Graham Library."
James Lorimer Graham, Jr. January 17th, 1894.
N.p.: Century Association, 1894. 14-28.

In this speech given to the members of the Century Association, Ford recounted his experiences cataloguing the Graham collection and stated through this process he had grown to know not only Graham's books but also Graham.


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