Printing and Publishing History: From the Strahan Archive
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William Strahan established his printing house in London in 1739 and by 1769 had a share in both the King's Printing House and the Law Printing House. Through his partnership with Charles Eyre and his son's with Robert Spottiswoode, the company now operates as Eyre and Spottiswoode.
The 121 volumes in the British Library are an invaluable archive, mainly of business ledgers, which cover the period 1739 to 1861. They provide information on the day-to-day running of the printing house, the important state publications and perhaps most importantly, on the publication of Johnson's Dictionary, Cook's Voyages and Gibbons' Decline and Fall. A guide accompanies each order for the complete collection, containing contents of reels and a detailed listing.
Part One: Printing ledgers, cost books, accounts and memoranda, 1739-1815 (Additional MSS. 48800-48861) -- 12 reels
Part Two: Accounts, inventories, correspondence, lists of employees, notes on a strike of 1836 and other papers, 1815-1855 (Additional MSS. 48862-48918) -- 11 reels
Complete Collection: 23 reels