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A & C Black Collection

History Archive - A & C Black Collection

The publishing house of Adam and Charles Black was founded in 1807 when Adam Black opened his own bookshop shortly after his twenty-third birthday.. In 1851, the firm bought the copyright of Sir Walter Scott's Waverley novels for £27,000. During the years 1827–1903 the firm published the 7th, 8th and 9th editions of the Encyclopædia Britannica.

Originally the company was based in Edinburgh where many booksellers were also publishers and all publishers were booksellers. In June 1889 the company made the huge move from Scotland to London — taking up residence in 4,5,6 and 7 Soho Square, together known as the Soho Bazaar.

The Black's Guides were travel guide books published by the Adam and Charles Black firm of Edinburgh (later London) beginning in 1839. Later the firm also published the A. & C. Black Colour Books: Twenty Shilling Series (1901–21), a series of high-quality travel books illustrated in color by various artists. Pricing. 20/- in the early nineteen hundreds was more than the average weekly wage.

The series' style tended towards the "colloquial, with fewer cultural pretensions" than its leading competitor Baedeker Guides. Contributors included David T. Ansted, Charles Bertram Black, and A. R. Hope Moncrieff. The A. & C. Black's 20/- series used water-colour artists and was the first to use the new "three colour" process for colour plates. The books were lavish in their use of colour illustrations with most volumes having 70 or more colour plates.

In the 20/- series the three elements of a book - the text; the illustrations and the cover - come together beautifully. The text was not closely associated with the illustrations, authors were not expected to describe the illustrations and were specifically required to produce "bright readable descriptions not overloaded with statistics"

The standard print run for the 20/- series was 3000 and yet, despite this, some titles with the same print run are much harder to find today. In addition to the 20/- standard edition most of the books published up to about 1906 were also produced in De-Luxe Limited editions (typically priced at two guineas) and a very few "super De-Luxe" editions with original watercolours (originally priced at five guineas).

Dust wrappers appeared from about 1905 and some published before this date had wrappers produced for them. They were not, in general, attractive and were meant to do exactly what dust-wrappers are supposed to do - protect the book. But all these dust jackets do is cover up the real beauty of the covers so they are often not found or change the value of the books.

Making of the Nations. Each volume in this hardback series, published by Adam and Charles Black in London, contained "32 full-page illustrations from original paintings and from photographs, also maps, plans, and other illustrations in the text".

References:

Alexander Nicolson, ed. (1885), Memoirs of Adam Black (2nd ed.), Edinburgh: A. and C. Black.

Available Books

Book Title Date
A & C Black - Abbotsford Painted and Described Abbotsford Painted and Described 1905
A & C Black - Algeria and Tunis, Painted and Described Algeria and Tunis, Painted and Described 1906
A & C Black - Alpine Flowers and Gardens, Painted and Described Alpine Flowers and Gardens, Painted and Described 1910
A & C Black - Australia, Painted and Described Australia, Painted and Described 1910
A & C Black - Beautiful Wales Painted and Described Beautiful Wales Painted and Described 1905
A & C Black - Belgium, Painted and Described Belgium, Painted and Described 1908
A & C Black - Birds of Britain Birds of Britain 1907
A & C Black - Bonnie Scotland Painted and Described Bonnie Scotland Painted and Described 1912
A & C Black - Brabant and East Flanders, Painted and Described Brabant and East Flanders, Painted and Described 1907
A & C Black - Bruges and West Flanders, Painted and Described Bruges and West Flanders, Painted and Described 1906
A & C Black - Burma, Painted and Described Burma, Painted and Described 1905
A & C Black - Canada, Painted and Described Canada, Painted and Described 1907
A & C Black - Canterbury Painted and Described Canterbury Painted and Described 1907
A & C Black - Constantinople Painted and Described Constantinople Painted and Described 1906
A & C Black - Cornwall Painted and Described Cornwall Painted and Described 1915
A & C Black - Deeside Painted and Described Deeside Painted and Described 1911
A & C Black - Dutch Bulbs and Gardens, Painted and Described Dutch Bulbs and Gardens, Painted and Described 1909
A & C Black - Edinburgh Painted and Described Edinburgh Painted and Described 1904
A & C Black - Egypt, Painted and Described Egypt, Painted and Described 1902
A & C Black - Egyptian Birds Egyptian Birds 1909
A & C Black - Familiar London Painted by Rose Barton Familiar London Painted by Rose Barton 1904
A & C Black - Florence & Some Tuscan Cities Painted and Described Florence & Some Tuscan Cities Painted and Described 1905
A & C Black - Galloway Painted and Described Galloway Painted and Described 1908
A & C Black - Gardens of England, Painted and Described Gardens of England, Painted and Described 1911
A & C Black - Geneva, Painted and Described Geneva, Painted and Described 1908
A & C Black - Germany, Painted and Described Germany, Painted and Described 1912
A & C Black - Greece Painted and Described Greece Painted and Described 1906
A & C Black - Happy England Painted and Described Happy England Painted and Described 1909
A & C Black - Highlands and Islands of Scotland Painted and Described Highlands and Islands of Scotland Painted and Described 1907
A & C Black - Hungary, Painted and Described Hungary, Painted and Described 1909
A & C Black - Ireland Painted and Described Ireland Painted and Described 1907
A & C Black - Isle of Man Painted and Described Isle of Man Painted and Described 1909
A & C Black - Isle of Wight Painted and Described Isle of Wight Painted and Described 1908
A & C Black - Jamaica, Painted and Described Jamaica, Painted and Described 1906
A & C Black - Kashmir, Painted and Described Kashmir, Painted and Described 1911
A & C Black - Kew Gardens, Painted and Described Kew Gardens, Painted and Described 1908
A & C Black - La Côte d'Émeraude, Painted and Described La Côte d'Émeraude, Painted and Described 1912
A & C Black - Lancashire Painted and Described Lancashire Painted and Described 1921
A & C Black - Lausanne, Painted and Described Lausanne, Painted and Described 1909
A & C Black - Liege and the Ardennes, Painted and Described Liege and the Ardennes, Painted and Described 1908
A & C Black - Liverpool Painted and Described Liverpool Painted and Described 1907
A & C Black - London to the Nore Painted and Described London to the Nore Painted and Described 1905
A & C Black - Malta, Painted and Described Malta, Painted and Described 1910
A & C Black - Middlesex Painted and Described Middlesex Painted and Described 1907
A & C Black - Montreux, Painted and Described Montreux, Painted and Described 1908
A & C Black - Morocco, Painted and Described Morocco, Painted and Described 1904
A & C Black - Moscow, Painted and Described Moscow, Painted and Described 1912
A & C Black - Naples, Painted and Described Naples, Painted and Described 1904
A & C Black - New Zealand, Painted and Described New Zealand, Painted and Described 1908
A & C Black - Norfolk and Suffolk Painted and Described Norfolk and Suffolk Painted and Described 1921
A & C Black - North Devon Painted and Described North Devon Painted and Described 1906
A & C Black - Northern Spain, Painted and Described Northern Spain, Painted and Described 1906
A & C Black - Norway, Painted and Described Norway, Painted and Described 1905
A & C Black - Nuremberg, Painted and Described Nuremberg, Painted and Described 1905
A & C Black - Oxford Painted and Described Oxford Painted and Described 1903
A & C Black - Pompeii, Painted and Described Pompeii, Painted and Described 1910
A & C Black - Provincial Russia, Painted and Described Provincial Russia, Painted and Described 1913
A & C Black - Rome, Painted and Described Rome, Painted and Described 1905
A & C Black - Russia, Painted and Described Russia, Painted and Described 1913
A & C Black - Scottish Life and Character Scottish Life and Character 1906
A & C Black - Sicily, Painted and Described Sicily, Painted and Described 1911
A & C Black - South America, Painted and Described South America, Painted and Described 1912
A & C Black - South Devon Painted and Described South Devon Painted and Described 1907
A & C Black - Southern India, Painted and Described Southern India, Painted and Described 1914
A & C Black - Southern Spain, Painted and Described Southern Spain, Painted and Described 1908
A & C Black - St. Petersburg, Painted and Described St. Petersburg, Painted and Described 1910
A & C Black - Surrey Painted and Described Surrey Painted and Described 1906
A & C Black - Surrey Painted and Described Surrey Painted and Described 1922
A & C Black - Sussex Painted and Described Sussex Painted and Described 1906
A & C Black - The Alps, Painted and Described The Alps, Painted and Described 1904
A & C Black - The Armies of India, Painted and Described The Armies of India, Painted and Described 1911
A & C Black - The British Empire The British Empire 1912
A & C Black - The Canary Islands, Painted and Described The Canary Islands, Painted and Described 1911
A & C Black - The Channel Islands Painted and Described The Channel Islands Painted and Described 1904
A & C Black - The Clyde River and Firth Painted and Described The Clyde River and Firth Painted and Described 1907
A & C Black - The English Lakes Painted and Described The English Lakes Painted and Described 1908
A & C Black - The Heart of Scotland Painted and Described The Heart of Scotland Painted and Described 1909
A & C Black - The Holy Land, Painted and Described The Holy Land, Painted and Described 1902
A & C Black - The Homes of Tennyson Painted and Described The Homes of Tennyson Painted and Described 1905
A & C Black - The Inns of Court Painted and Described The Inns of Court Painted and Described 1909
A & C Black - The Italian Lakes, Painted and Described The Italian Lakes, Painted and Described 1912
A & C Black - The New Forest Painted and Described The New Forest Painted and Described 1904
A & C Black - The Ramparts of Empire The Ramparts of Empire 1910
A & C Black - The Rivers and Streams of England Painted and Described The Rivers and Streams of England Painted and Described 1909
A & C Black - The Riviera Painted & Described The Riviera Painted & Described 1907
A & C Black - The Royal Navy, Painted and Described The Royal Navy, Painted and Described 1907
A & C Black - The Savage South Seas, Painted and Described The Savage South Seas, Painted and Described 1907
A & C Black - The Story of the British Navy The Story of the British Navy 1913
A & C Black - The Tower of London Painted and Described The Tower of London Painted and Described 1908
A & C Black - The Upper Engadine Painted and Described The Upper Engadine Painted and Described 1907
A & C Black - The West Indies, Painted and Described The West Indies, Painted and Described 1905
A & C Black - The Wye Painted and Described The Wye Painted and Described 1910
A & C Black - Tibet and Nepal, Painted and Described Tibet and Nepal, Painted and Described 1905
A & C Black - Tyrol, Painted and Described Tyrol, Painted and Described 1908
A & C Black - Wessex Painted and Described Wessex Painted and Described 1906
A & C Black - Westminster Abbey Painted and Described Westminster Abbey Painted and Described 1904
A & C Black - Winchester Painted and Described Winchester Painted and Described 1910
A & C Black - Windsor Painted and Described Windsor Painted and Described 1908
A & C Black - Yorkshire Coast and Moorland Scenes Painted and Described Yorkshire Coast and Moorland Scenes Painted and Described 1904
A & C Black - Yorkshire Dales and Fells Painted and Described Yorkshire Dales and Fells Painted and Described 1906
A & C Black - Yorkshire Painted and Described Yorkshire Painted and Described 1925
A & C Black - Yorkshire Vales and Wolds Painted and Described Yorkshire Vales and Wolds Painted and Described 1908
A & C Black - Venice, by Mortimer Menpes Venice, by Mortimer Menpes 1904
A & C Black - Italy Italy 1913

Images

Image Name
On the Fjord, Sundalsoren
Villa Pliniana, Lago di Como
Cervo
The Valley from Rogers Pass
The Old Bridge of Invercauld
Bishop King's House - Mr. John Fulleylove, R.I
A Golden Afternoon, Danby
Near Pevensey
Interior of the Dome of the Chain, looking North
Chalets and Church. Riederalp
Toledo. Bridge of Alcantara, from the Illescas Road
A Flemish Country Girl
Moonlight in the Val Formazzafrom the Tosa Falls
Cooking in a Hot Spring
Westminster
Bosham
The Horseshoe Bend, Redscar
A Sunny Afternoon in Runswick
A Croft near Loch Etive, Argyllshire
In the Hooker Valley
Mouth of the Sind Valley
La Perrelle, Guernsey
Where the Duneaton Water joins the Clyde (near Abington)
6th Gurkha Rifles
Tea Sellers at a Country Railway Station
Back Cover
Prayer in the Desert
Chioggia
Mosque of Sidi Okba, Kairouan
The Areopagus and the Theseum
On the Ismailia Canal, near Tel-el-Kebir
Port Askaig, Islay
Isola Pescatori from Baveno, Lago Maggiore
Stuttgart - Courtyard of old Palace
Bell Inn, Holbom
On the Road to Argan Forest
An Old Church, Rio
Temple of Saturn from the Basilica Julia in the Forum
New Year's Custom : Choosing a Bride
At the Head of Lake Wakatipu
A Stormy Evening; the Dunes
Aberdeen from the Harbour Entrance
The Place Verte, Antwerp
The Pass of Kylemore
Rosneath House
A Caravan on the Sahara
Le Perron Liegeois, Liege
Arundel Castle
Cart Track over the Moor. Late November
A Little Bit of Old Rio
Albert Dock: Twilight
A Trooper of the Governor's Bodyguard
Tower at Bergeggi
A Hebridean Crofter's House
The Morven Hills from Appin, Argyllshire
Ingova's Head-hunters, British Solomon Islands
Tibetan Boy in his Gold-embroidered Hat
A Cabin at Ballyshannon
A Country Mayor of the Toula District
A Little Boy learning to Pray
Puddletown. The
The Valley of the Dee above Balmoral
Wild Strawberries
The Tavy, Tavistock, Devon
The New Tack
The Ottawa at Vaudreuil
South Doorway of Cathedral, Palermo
An Autumn Day at Guisborough
A Tuscan Villa
A Bazaar
The Old Weir
A Rumanian Maiden
Moonrise at Sunset, from La Croix Blanche, Mont St. Michel
Title Page
Robin Hood's Bay
Evening on the Island of Vianna, Rio Harbour
Thirlmere and Helvellyn
Loading a Cart with Wine-flasks
Pitt River and Golden Ear Mountains
A Muhammadan Officer
The Undercliff near Ventnor
Henrik Ibsen
Back Cover
Looe
Castleacre Priory, Norfolk
Title Page
St. Peter's, Cheesehill, Winchester
Wastdalehead Church
The Jetty, Becton Gas Works
Wareham. The
Sousse
Melrose, Roxburghshire
Terrace of the Kremlin, Moscow
Cordova - Fountain in the Patio de los Naranjos
Native of British New Guinea, showing the manner of wearing the hair
Grill in the Mosque of Sultan Kelaun

Maps

Map Name
South America, Painted and Described - Sketch Map of South America (1912)
The Canary Islands, Painted and Described - Sketch Map of the Canary Islands (1911)
Kashmir, Painted and Described - Sketch Map of Kashmir (1911)
Canada, Painted and Described - Sketch Map of the Dominion of Canada and Newfoundland (1907)

Topics

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