William Collins (publisher)

William Collins (12 October 1789 – 2 January 1853) was a Scottish schoolmaster, editor and publisher who founded William Collins, Sons, now part of HarperCollins.[1][2]

Collins was born at Pollokshaws in Glasgow on 12 October 1789. He was a millworker who established a company in 1819 for printing and publishing. The business eventually published pamphlets, sermons, hymn books and prayer books as well as a wide range of office products.[3] By 1824 he had produced the company's first dictionary, the Greek and English Lexicon. He also obtained a licence to publish the Bible in the 1840s. In 1856, the first Collins atlas was published.[2] He died on 2 January 1853 at Rothesay, Buteshire.[1]

His son Sir William Collins served as Lord Provost of Glasgow.


  1. ^ a b "Collins family". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/54685. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ a b History HarperCollins, 2010.
  3. ^ http://www.collinsdebden.co.uk/TheHistoryofCollins/

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