The Inland Printer

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1. Introduction

The Inland Printer is without question the single greatest resource for the study of the American printing industry during the period where it was one of the largest industries in the world.

Note: If you are interested specifically in type, Maurice Annenberg's A Typographical Journey through the Inland Printer: 1883-1900 (Baltimore, MD: Maran Press, 1977) remains an exceedingly convenient, well-done reference.

2. Reprints by Decades

The Inland Printer began publication in October, 1883. At first there were 12 montly numbers per volume, and each volume consequently spanned a year-end. The size of a volume was increasing, however, so starting with Volume 10 (October 1892), they went to 6 monthly numbers, with volumes running October-March and April-September.

Sold by The Inland Printer Co. to Tradepress Publishing Corp. in 1941. [1]

Acquired by Maclean-Hunter Publishing Corp. in 1945. [1]

At some point after Vol. 142 No. 1 (October 1958) but before Vol. 142, No. 6 (March 1959) (my collection is incomplete O'Brien [1] says Nov. 1958) it combined with American Printer and Lithographer and became known as: The Inland and American Printer and Lithographer The publication schedule remained the same, and the volume numbering continued.

After Vol. 147, No. 4 (July 1961) but by Vol. 147, No. 6 (September 1961) (again, my collection is incomplete) they restyled themselves Inland Printer / American Lithographer.

With Vol. 182, No. 4 (January, 1979) it became American Printer and Lithographer. [1] [2] The volume numbering continued unchanged.

Became The American Printer in January 1982. [1]

Ceased publication in August 2011. [1]

(Often library and other catalogs will file the entire run under a later name.)

The presentation here is divided into human-comprehensible numeric (= starting at 0) decades, but individual volumes are not split when they span a decade end (they're grouped with the decade the volume started in.

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3. Notes

The presentation here is incomplete.

I have scanned a few volumes, and my scans are higher-resolution. But I lack the more sophisticated software available to Google for processing scans, so for now I'll not be using my own scans.

Google Books has scanned many volumes of The Inland Printer in conjunction with various university libraries which hold the originals. Some of these are available via Google Books. Unfortunately, there are two issues with these. First, only a subset of those which might legally be available are in fact available; Google lags in verifying public domain status for things which are in fact in the public domain. Second, while the Google Books PDFs are minor miracles of efficient text representation, they are (therefore) not at full scanning resolution.

However, many of the university libraries associated with this project have formed a consortium The Hathi Trust to preserve and present their copies of the Google scans (and also other scanning projects). Generally, (a) they present more volumes, and (b) they present these volumes at a higher resolution.

The problem is that (c) at present they allow access only one page at a time. There is, however, a program,, which will grab an entire volume in an automated way. The only (further) difficulty is that some of the page images are in JP2 (JPEG 2000) format, which is still not as widely supported as it should be.

So what I've done for each volume from the Hathi Trust presented here is:

This is something that I need to do anyway for my own research (for myself, I view my assembled PDFs locally on my own computer). So I'll have these versions in any case. Uploading them to The Internet Archive takes time (slow rural net connection), but not much work.

4. Footnotes

Source: O'Brien, Katherine. "American Printer: 1883-2011: It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday." Blog entry formerly at This is no longer online, but may be recovered via "The Wayback Machine" at The Internet Archive.

Confirmed by my own collection and/or research.

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