The First White House Library
Edited by Catherine M. Parisian
Publication date:12 April 2010
Length of book:416 pages
PublisherPenn State University Press
Published in association with the Bibliographical Society of America and the National First Ladies’ Library
Although many early U.S. presidents were avid readers and book collectors—George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson, to name a few—they usually brought their own books to the White House and removed them at the end of their terms. It was not until 1850 that Millard and Abigail Fillmore established the first official White House collection. This catalogue of the library that they assembled not only reveals much about their own preoccupations and interests and those of the age they lived in, but also provides insight into American library history, reading history, and book trade and distribution networks.
Aside from the editor, the contributors are William Allman, Elizabeth Thacker-Estrada, and Sean Wilentz. For more information about the National First Ladies Libraries visit http://www.firstladies.org.
—Kenneth E. Carpenter, former Assistant Director for Research Resources in the Harvard University Library and the Harvard College Library