IT is only by infrequent contributions that there is being
formed a body of writing on that phase of American liter-
ary history which has to do with the history of printing
in the original colonies. For generations in England and
in continental Europe the investigation of typographi-
cal origins has been a field of research in which scholars
have taken a particular delight, but although Isaiah Thomas wrote his
''History of Printing in America' more than a hundred years ago, and
although in general American bibliography, Sabin and Charles Evans
have compiled notable works which should have given impetus to this study
in the United States, yet it remains true that intensive investigations of the
printing history of the individual colonies, or of the issue of their presses,
have been undertaken with noticeable reluctance. When there have been
mentioned the works of Hildeburnfor Pennsylvania and New York, of
Roden and Littlefield for early Massachusetts, Weeks f or North Caro-
lina, of Clayton-Torrencefor Virginia, and of The John Carter Brown
Library for Rhode Island, the tale has been completed1
The typographical history of Maryland,the fourth of the English colo-
nies in which the art was established, had never been made the subject of an
especial study until the present work was undertaken. One whose interest
lay in that subject had for authority only the general history of Isaiah
Thomas, which, in its section devoted to Maryland, added inaccuracy of
statement to an inevitable poverty of detail. Writing before the provincial
1Hildeburn, C. S. R., A Century of Printing, The Issues of the Press in Pennsylvania, 1685-1784. 2 v. Phila.
1885. Sketches of Printers and Printing in Colonial New York. N.Y. 1895.
Roden, R. F., The Cambridge Printers, 1638-1692. N.Y. 1905.
Littlefield, G. E., The Early Massachusetts Press, 1638-1711. 2 v. Boston, 1907.
Weeks, S. B., The Press of North Carolina in the /8th Century. Brooklyn, 1893.
Clayton-Torrence, William, A Trial Bibliography of Colonial Virginia, 1607-1776. (Published in two sections
as parts of the "Report of the Librarian of the Virginia State Library," for 1908 and 1909.)
Rhode Island Imprints, 1727-1800. Compiled by [Miss Rebecca P. Steere] the John Carter Brown Library.