Archive of George Bell & Sons Ltd

George Bell founded his publishing company in 1839, specialising in educational books. He gained a reputation for books on art, architecture and archaeology but continued to be known chiefly for his educational output. During the 1850s he also ventured into children's literature and in later decades expanded into poetry and dictionaries. The firm became George Bell & Sons in 1873.

The collection consists of correspondence, ledgers & miscellaneous records 1813–1976, although the nineteenth century records are rather fragmentary. Some material is included from the subsidiary firm The Chiswick Press, purchased in 1880.

The Icons of Childhood project, funded by the Museums Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) under the Designation Development Fund, is a new University of Reading Special Collections project which seeks to preserve and create access to the George Bell and Records of Ladybird Books collections.

More information

  • A handlist, with index, of the original deposit is available at the Special Collections Service
  • A full description is available from the Archives Hub
  • Manuscript numbers MSS 1640, 3741
publishing history correspondence, business records bell george

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