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Way and Williams Collection

 Collection
Identifier: MSS 0237

Scope and Contents

The Way and Williams manuscripts collection dates from 1895 to 1990 and contains correspondence, legal materials, photographs, typescripts, printed materials, and a scrapbook.

Dates

  • 1895 - 1990

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the creators of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information. Please see our Sensitive Materials Statement.

Biographical or Historical Information

Way and Williams, Publishers was officially established in 1895 by Washington Irving Way, a bibliophile, native of Canada and former railroad executive, and Chauncey Williams, a Wisconsin native reared in England and a former advertiser. The firm had its predecessor in W. Irving Way and Company, a small publishing-bookselling company begun by Way in 1892. The new firm designated itself "Way and Williams, Publishers, Importers, and Booksellers."

Way and Williams joined 53 other publishing firms in Chicago, but were determined to be unique. They shared a vision of producing finely printed books in limited editions. Although the firm lasted only three years (1895-1898) and produced only sixty-six books, many of its titles are visually impressive and represent the work of some of the major artists and book designers of the period. There was a heavy emphasis on British imports among the earlier titles, but gradually the emphasis shifted to American writers; and many prominent authors saw their books come to life with a Way and Williams imprint.

The firm published both well-known and relatively obscure authors, many of them from the Chicago literary scene. Among the better-known writers represented by the firm were Kate Chopin, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Allen White, Octave Thanet (Alice French), Edgar Lee Masters, and L. Frank Baum; and their works were often shown to advantage by the artistic input of Bruce Rogers, Maxfield Parrish, Will Bradley, and Frank Hazenplug, among others.

In December 1896, Chauncey Williams became the sole owner of the firm, although the name of Way and Williams remained. Irving Way subsequently reestablished his old firm, W. Irving Way, Publisher and Seller of Books.

Extent

1.35 Linear Feet (4 boxes (1 unprocessed))

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Way and Williams, Publishers was established in 1895 by Washington Irving Way and Chauncey Williams. Although the firm lasted only three years (1895-1898) and produced only sixty-six books, many of its titles represent the work of some of the major artists and book designers of the period.

The Way and Williams manuscripts collection dates from 1895 to 1990 and contains correspondence, legal materials, photographs, typescripts, printed materials, and a scrapbook.

Method of Acquisition

Acquisition of Way and Williams materials began in 1975 with the gift of ten books from former Jackson Library Director Charles Adams; all books are now in the Special Collections division. The scrapbook was a gift from John M. Williams. One box of materials came from Joe Kraus, a former librarian in Illinois and author of A History of Way and Williams: with a bibliography of their publications, 1895-1898. A complete list of donors is located in the archives.

Offensive Language Statement

The UNC Greensboro University Libraries collects, preserves, and makes accessible unique and historical materials for learning and research. The nature of historical materials is such that some material may represent positions, norms, and values that are offensive and objectionable. These materials represent the opinions and actions of their creators. By providing access to these records in our reading room and through our digital collections, we recognize that archives and rare books can play a vital role in holding those creators accountable and in helping us learn from the past.

Our finding aids and other collection descriptions may occasionally re-use language provided by creators or former holders of the materials, but we strive to place outdated or offensive terminology in context. That said, we recognize that we may not always make the right decision and welcome feedback from all sources so we can learn and adjust our practices. Please contact us at scua@uncg.edu if you encounter problematic language in our finding aids or other collection description. We will review the language and, as appropriate, update it in a way that balances preservation of the original context with our ongoing commitment to describing materials with respectful and inclusive language.

Processing Information

Processed by Archives staff.

Creator

Title
Way and Williams Collection
Author
Archives staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
eng

Repository Details

Part of the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives Repository

Contact:
P.O. Box 26170
320 College Ave.
Greensboro NC 27402-6170 US
336-334-5246