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South Carolina Declaration of Secession, Charleston, 1860

Confederate imprints are books, pamphlets, broadsides, newspapers, periodicals or sheet music printed in the Confederate States of America in a location which, at the time, was under Confederate and not Union control. Confederate imprints are important as sources of the history of the Civil War and many institutional libraries have formed large collections of these works. A number of checklists and bibliographies of them have been published, one of which catalogs 9,457 imprints.[1]


Printing in the SouthEdit

Prior to Secession, the South manufactured relatively few books, but imported them heavily from Northern cities such as New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. In 1860, there were only four major book publishers in the South, although there were numerous small job printers. Of even greater concern was the fact that the South manufactured little of its own paper and ink. After Secession, these were no longer available from the North, and the South began to expand its own printing and manufacture of paper and ink. Shortages of these supplies, however, were chronic and often severe.[2]

Confederate sheet music, Danville, Virginia c. 1864

Important collectionsEdit

The following institutions have significant collections of Confederate imprints:

Bibliographies of Confederate imprintsEdit

  • Crandall, Marjorie Lyle. Confederate Imprints: A Checklist Based Principally on the Collection of the Boston Athenaeum. Boston: The Boston Atheneaum, 1955.digitized version
  • Harwell, Richard. Confederate belles-lettres, a bibliography and a finding list of the fiction, poetry, drama, songsters, and miscellaneous literature published in the Confederate States of America. Hattiesburg, Miss.: The Book Farm, 1941.
  • Harwell, Richard. Cornerstones of Confederate Collecting. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press for the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia, 1953.
  • Harwell, Richard. More Confederate Imprints. Richmond: Virginia State Library, 1957.
  • Harwell, Richard. In Tall Cotton: The 200 Most Important Confederate Books. Austin: Jenkins Pub. Co., 1978.
  • Harwell, Richard. Confederate Imprints. Wendell, N.C.: Broadfoot's Bookmark, 1982.
  • Parrish, T. Michael and Robert M. Willingham, Jr. Confederate Imprints: A Bibliography of Southern Publications from Secession to Surrender. Austin, TX : Jenkins Publishing Co. & Katonah, NY: Gary A Foster, n.d.
  • Rudolph, E. L. Confederate Broadside Verse: A Bibliography and Finding List of Confederate broadside ballads and songs. New Braunfels, Texas: Book Farm, 1950.

See alsoEdit


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