Chapbooks are pocket-sized, cheap publications of a popular nature purchased either at booksellers in towns or from chapmen (from early English 'ceap' meaning trade) and pedlars in rural areas. Intended for people with little money to spare, they were generally printed on poor paper often using old and battered type and woodblocks. For the most part, chapbooks were printed on a single sheet of paper (or a portion of it) folded to make from 8 to 32 pages. The term was first used in 1824, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The genre encompasses many kinds of printed material, including pamphlets, tracts, nursery rhymes, songs, and folk tales.
Donated by Susan Hagius. The collection is made up of original chapbooks from England published in the nineteenth century. The one box of 42 chapbooks includes song books, lesson books, fortune telling guides, natural histories, histories, and other ephemera.
The research material in the collection is available to view by appointment.