Listed below is a selection from the many excellent books and magazines which deal with historical American prints. Many of these publications contain thorough bibliographies that provide useful guidance for further reading in a particular area.
Most of these books should be available through your local library. For those wishing to obtain books for their personal collection, many dealer members of the AHPCS offer for sale both new and out-of-print publications and would be happy to recommend other publications in your area of interest.
Gascoigne, Bamber. How to Identify Prints: A Complete Guide to Manual and Mechanical Processes from Woodcut to Ink Jet. Thames & Hudson. London. 1986.
An invaluable work discussing in detail what distinguishes one type of print from another, with excellent glossaries.
Ivins, W.M. Jr. How Prints Look. Photographs with a Commentary. New York. 1943.
Twyman, Michael. A History of Chromolithography. Printed Colour for All. British Library. London. 2013.
GENERAL HISTORY OF PRINTMAKING
Griffiths, Antony. Prints and Printmaking. An Introduction to the History and Techniques. University of California Press. Berkeley. 1996.
Organized according to the different techniques of printmaking. Very useful appendices, including a listing of abbreviations found on prints and an extensive glossary of printmaking terms.
Hults, Linda C. The Print in the Western World. An Introductory History. University of Wisconsin. Madison. 1996.
A survey of Western printmaking from the 15th century to the present day. A bibliography follows the chapter “American and Mexican Printmaking to the Mid-1940s.” Includes a glossary of printmaking terms.
CURRIER AND IVES
Berkoff, Marshall R. Currier & Ives – The New Best 50. AHPCS. Milwaukee. 1991.
Reproduces in color “The New Best 50” large and “The New Best 50” small Currier & Ives prints as voted by members of the AHPCS. Includes a bibliography of books about Currier & Ives. Purchase this item!
Conningham, Frederic A., updated by Colin Simkin. Currier & Ives Prints. An Illustrated Check List. Crown. New York. 1970.
The standard reference to Currier & Ives prints, listing some 7,000 titles with measurements.
Currier & Ives. A Catalogue Raisonne. Gale Research Company. Detroit. 1984.
Descriptions of 7,450 Currier and Ives prints, trade cards etc., including some not listed in Conningham.
Peters, Harry T. Currier & Ives. Printmakers to the American People. New York. Arno Press. 1976.
Bannon, Lois & Taylor Clark. Handbook of Audubon Prints. Pelican. Gretna. 1998.
Braun, Robert. Identifying Audubon Bird Prints. Originals, States, Editions, Restrikes, and Facsimiles and Reproductions. AHPCS, 2001.
An updated reprint of Robert Braun’s seminal article from Imprint [Volume 21, Number 2.]. This publication includes all the information needed to identify, for any Audubon print, whether it is an original or a reproduction, and if an original, what edition it is. This reprint has been updated by the author to include newer reproductions and is illustrated fully in color. Purchase this item!
Braun, Nancy and Robert. An Audubon Concordance. Migration Through the Plate Numbers. AHPCS. Fairfield, Connecticut. 1999.
Comparative tables for the Havell, octavo, and Bien Audubon bird prints, including titles, plate numbers, common and scientific bird and plant names, other images appearing in the prints, and the first naturalists to have described these birds. Purchase this item!
Tyler, Ron. Audubon’s Great National Work. The Royal Octavo Edition of the Birds of America. University of Austin. Austin. 1993.
A study of the octavo editions, describing how they were produced and their importance in the history of American ornithology.
GENERAL NATURAL HISTORY
Blum, Ann Shelby. Picturing Nature. American Nineteenth-Century Zoological Illustration. Princeton University Press. Princeton, N.J. 1993.
Feduccia, Alan. Catesby’s Birds of Colonial America. University of North Carolina. Chapel Hill, N.C. 1985.
An excellent book on the fundamental importance of Mark Catesby’s Natural History, with illustrations of all Catesby’s birds, with the original text.
Beam, Philip C. Winslow Homer’s Magazine Engravings. Harper & Row. New York. 1979.
Barnhill, Georgia Brady; Diana Korzenik; Caroline F. Sloat (editors). The Cultivation of Artists in Nineteenth-Century America. American Antiquarian Society. Worcester, MA. 1997.
Bennett, Whitman. A Practical Guide to American Nineteenth Century Color Plate Books. Haydn Foundation for the Cultural Arts. New York. 1980.
Deak, Gloria Gilda. Picturing America 1497-1899. Princeton University Press. Princeton, N.J. 1988.
A two-volume work with detailed descriptions of over 1000 prints, maps, and drawings in The New York Public Library’s collection “Bearing on the New World Discoveries and on the Development of the Territory That Is Now the United States”. Extensive bibliography.
Ebert, John & Katherine. Old American Prints for Collectors. Scribner’s. New York. 1974.
A most readable book introducing the variety of American prints from the 17th century to the late 19th century. Useful appendices and bibliography.
Fowble, Sherry. Two Centuries of Prints in America, 1680-1880: A Selective Catalogue of the Winterthur Museum Collection. Winterthur Museum / University Press of Virginia. Charlottesville. 1987.
Last, Jay T. The Color Explosion: Nineteenth-Century American Lithography. Hillcrest Press. Santa Ana, Calif. 2005.
Marzio, Peter C. The Democratic Art. Pictures of a 19th Century America. Godine. Boston. 1979.
An invaluable study of American chromolithography, its technique, publishers, and artists. Excellent bibliography.
Peters, Harry T. American on Stone. Doubleday, Doran. New York. 1931.
The classic work on lithography in America. Peters also wrote California on Stone (1935) and Currier and Ives, Printmakers to the American People (1929-1931).
Pierce, Sally with Catharina Slautterback and Georgia B. Barnhill. Early American Lithography. Images to 1830. Boston Athenaeum Library. Boston. 1997.
A scholarly catalogue co-produced by the Boston Athenaeum and the American Antiquarian Society, surveying the formative period of American lithography.
Princeton University Library. Early American Book Illustrators and Wood Engravers, 1670-1870; a catalogue of a collection of American books, illustrated for the most part with woodcuts and wood engravings in the Princeton University Library. With an introductory sketch of the development of early American book illustration by Sinclair Hamilton and a foreword by Frank Weitenkampf. Princeton, N.J. 1958.
Proceedings of the North American Print Conference. View a listing of titles in this series, which explore in depth various subject areas of printmaking in North America.
Reilly, Bernard F. Jr. American Political Prints, 1766-1876: A Catalog of the Collections in the Library of Congress. G.K. Hall. Boston. 1991.
Reps, John W. Views and Viewmakers of Urban America. University of Missouri. Columbia, MO. 1984.
The standard reference of lithographic views of towns and cities in the United States and Canada, covering the period 1825 to 1925.
Shadwell, Wendy J. American Printmaking. The First 150 Years. Museum of Graphic Art. New York. 1969.
A profusely illustrated catalogue of prints produced in America to 1820.
Smith, Steven E. et al. American Book and Magazine Illustrators to 1920. Gale Research. Detroit. 1998. Reviewed in Imprint (Volume 23, Number 2) 1998.
Stauffer, David McNeely; Mantle Fielding & Thomas Hovey Gage. American Engravers upon Copper and Steel. Oak Knoll Books. New Castle, DE. 1994.
Taft, Robert. Artists and Illustrators of the Old West 1850-1900. Scribner’s. New York. 1953.
Tyler, Ron. Prints of the West. Fulcrum. Golden, Colorado. 1994.
An excellent general reference based on prints in the Library of Congress.
Moreland, Carl & David Bannister. Antique Maps. A Collector’s Handbook. Phaidon-Christie’s. Oxford. 1989.
Ristow, Walter W. American Maps and Mapmakers. Commercial Cartography in the Nineteenth Century. Wayne State University Press. Detroit. 1985.
Schwartz, Seymour I. and Ralph E. Ehrenberg. The Mapping of America. Abrams. New York. 1980.
NORTH AMERICAN PRINT CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS PUBLICATIONS
A selection of titles in this series that explore various subject areas of printmaking in North America in depth.
Elton W. Hall (ed.) American Maritime Prints: The Proceedings of the Eighth Annual North American Print Conference held at the Whaling Museum, New Bedford, Massachusetts, May 6-7, 1977. Published at the Whaling Museum by the Old Dartmouth Historical Society. New Bedford, MA. 1985.
Tyler, Ron (ed). Prints of the American West: Papers presented at the Ninth Annual North American Print Conference. Amon Carter Museum. Fort Worth, Texas. 1983.
Reaves, Wendy Wick (ed). American Portrait Prints: Proceedings of the Tenth Annual American Print Conference. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution / University Press of Virginia. Charlottesville. 1984.
Ward, Gerald W. R. (ed). The American Illustrated Book in the Nineteenth Century (proceedings of the 14th North American Print Conference 1982). University Press of Virginia. Charlottesville. 1987.
O’Gorman, James F. (ed). Aspects of American printmaking, 1800-1950 (revised papers from the 17th North American Print Conference 1985). Syracuse University Press. Syracuse, N.Y. 1988.
Tyler, Ron (ed). Prints and printmakers of Texas: Proceedings of the Twentieth Annual North American Print Conference (1988). Texas State Historical Association. Austin. 1997.
Larson, Judy L. with the assistance of Cynthia Payne (ed). Graphic arts & the South: Proceedings of the 1990 North American Print Conference. University of Arkansas Press. Fayetteville. 1993.
Welsh, Caroline Mastin (ed). Adirondack Prints and Printmakers: The Call of the Wild. The Adirondack Museum / Syracuse University Press. Syracuse, N.Y. 1998.