Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
J.P. Horn & Co. and Campion & Company were Philadelphia publishers during the early 20th century. The companies appear to have worked together during the years and possibly even shared storefront facilities.
Campion & Company was established in October 1902 at 1305 Walnut Street in Philadelphia. Over the years, the company changed location several times: moving to 1316 Walnut Street in 1909 and to 1313 Walnut Street in 1919. According to an account in Publishers' Weekly in 1920, Campion & Company occupied "the largest store in Philadelphia devoted exclusively to books" (Publishers' Weekly, Volume 97). The company was run by George R. Nell and Edward B. Campion, both of whom previously had worked with Henry T. Coates & Company, and W.H. Campion, who previously had worked with Porter & Coates. An ad for Campion & Company indicates that "a specialty of Campion & Company is 'Talked About Books,' and those rare, finely embellished volumes that appeal to bibliophiles, and to lovers of the best in literature." Campion & Company's fine and rare book business was conducted by J.P. Horn & Company.
J.P. Horn & Co.'s date of establishment is unknown, however, J.P. Horn was involved in the book trade and in business with the Campions as early as 1902 with the firm Campion & Horn which was located at 1001 Chestnut Street. It appears that J.P. Horn & Co. had premises at 1001 Chestnut Street until at least 1917, but by 1920, it had moved to 1313 Walnut Street and by 1929, it had moved to 1905 Walnut Street. An advertisement for J.P. Horn & Co. in 1921 indicates that the company specialized in "First Editions, Sporting Books, Colored Plates, Alken, Rowlandson, Beardsley and other esteemed illustrators ... a comprehensive stock of sets of the great authors, in all bindings ... [and] Best editions of the Poets, Historians, Biographers, and Private Press Books," (Publishers' Weekly, Volume 100). It also states that J.P. Horn & Co. purchased libraries, collections, and single volumes. The letters of Madame de Sevigne, by Marie de Rabutin-Chantal Sevigne which was published by J.P. Horn & Co. appears to have been extremely popular. The New York State Library's Auction Catalogs collection, 1750-1983 indicates that J.P. Horn & Company was sold at an auction held at Henkels Auction House on November 13, 1930.
Publishers' Weekly, Volume 97, April 10, 1920, page 1178.
Publishers' Weekly, Volume 100, October 1, 1921, advertisement.
This is a collection of business records of Philadelphia publishers J.P. Horn & Co. and Campion & Company. Materials include payment books, account books, records of sales by agents, invoice books, order books and miscellaneous correspondence regarding orders.
The bulk of the material documents J.P. Horn & Company and its business activities from 1914 to 1931. The company's journals list income, as well as expenses, including commissions, salaries, taxes, rent, interest and discount, and general expenses. In 1929, a list of employees is included in the account of salaries. The ledger book of sales receipts includes receipts which list books purchased, cost, purchaser name and address, and date. There are several letters, dating from August 1930 to May 1931 which document finances. If, as it is believed from auction records, that J.P. Horn & Co. was sold in November of 1930, some of these letters may have arrived after the company had closed.
Campion & Company is documented exclusively from 1929 to 1931 in a ledger book of sales receipts which includes receipts listing books purchased, cost, purchaser name and address, and date. It is unclear how Campion & Company's finances were absorbed into J.P. Horn & Co.'s books, if at all. One letter, dated October 7, 1930, indicates that goods from Campion & Company had not been received, and J.H. Ward Hinkson was canceling his order.
This collection provides an interesting glimpse into the finances of two publishing companies in Philadelphia during the early decades of the 20th century; but it also provides a window into the reading habits and purchases made by individuals, companies, and libraries. Researchers interested in books acquired and sold in Philadelphia from 1914 to 1930 may find this collection valuable.
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Date
- 2014 October 17
- Access Restrictions
This collection is open for research use. Researchers should be aware that bindings on most of the volumes are fragile and should use caution when handling the material.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.