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Introduction

Scope & Content Note

Subject Terms

Processing Information

Copyright

Restrictions on Access

Preferred Citation

Container List

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Guide to the Mary E. Abshire Collection

The Happy Prince, Little Leather Library, Mary E. Abshire CollectionMary E. Abshire Collection, 1850s-1930s
0.5 cubic feet (1 document box)
Location: 0163
Accession #: H.14

Introduction
This collection contains 28 of the Little Leather Library books of popular literature which were advertised during the 1920s, in addition to an 1898 Kendalls’ Perfected Receipt Book Illustrated for prescribing recipes for disease and illness, and an American Indian Intertribal Cookbook.

Biography/History

Little Leather Library:
The Little Leather Library Corporation of New York was founded in 1915 by Albert Boni, Harry Scherman, and Maxwell Sackheim. The books were initially used as premiums in Whitman’s Sampler. These small 4 inch by 3 inch books were perfect for what was to become one of the first attempts to mass-market inexpensive books in the United States. This pioneering effort eventually led to the establishment of Book of the Month Club, Modern Library publishing company, which ultimately spawned Random House Publishers as a subsidiary company.

Initially the books were sold individually through retail stores with the Woolworth's chain being the largest. The publishers were extremely creative in their marketing of these books from placing them in Whitman's Sampler boxes to redeeming them by sending in a number of Florida Orange Wrappers. There is some indication that single volumes were included as promotional items in cereal boxes as a means of advertising the collection.

The first versions of the Little Leather Library volumes were bound in real leather. By the early 1920s the Little Leather Library was being advertised in popular magazines and sold directly by mail order. The books were advertised on the back covers of Mentor Magazine and Pictorial Review as well as National Geographic Magazine for ten different months from January 1921 to October 1924. By then the genuine leather covers originally used had been replaced with an early type of imitation leather consisting of latex coated canvas on the outside with flocking on the inside. This change was due to the war effort (WWI) which needed the leather for helmets, etc.

A set of 30 books was sold for $2.97 and a set of 100 books was priced at $9.97.

Source: Little Leather Library Corporation, Robert K. Haas History, UnearthlyBooks.com

Scope & Content Note  

This collection contains a rodeo postcard of the cowboys of the 101 Ranch in 1908 and 101 Ranch Bucks, one $5 and one for $10. The collection contains 28 "Little Red Books" on various subjects and by various authors. Some of the subjects include speeches and addresses written by Abraham Lincoln, and speeches and letters by George Washington. Some of the authors represented are Shakespeare, Poe, Thoreau, Browning, Wilde, and other popular authors of the time. All of the "Little Red Books" are of the Little Leather Library printed by Robert K. Haas in the 1920s and are in poor condition. They should be handled as little as possible.

Subject Terms  

Subject Headings:
101 Ranch
Cookbook
Cooking
Diseases--Causes and theories of causation.
Diseases--Handbooks, manuals, etc.
Essays
Fiction
Literature
Maps--Oklahoma
Medical book of remedies
Medicine
Native American--Cooking
Poetry--American
Poetry--English
Postcard

Processing Information  

This collection was accessioned on April 10, 1980, after having been loaned to the Museum since 1965 and 1966. The final guide was created and posted online on September 23, 2009 by archivist Laura Anne Heller.

Ownership & Literary Rights  

The Mary E. Abshire Collection is the property of the Donald C. & Elizabeth M. Dickinson Research Center, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Literary right, including copyright, belongs to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, with the exception of copyrighted artwork images and published literary works, which are the property of the respective copyright holders. It is the responsibility of the researcher, and his/her publisher, to obtain publishing permission from individuals pictured, relevant copyright holders, and the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.

Restrictions on Access  

The collection is open for research. It is advisable for researchers to discuss their proposed research with staff prior to visiting the Center.

Preferred Citation  

Mary E. Abshire Collection, Box ##, Folder ##, Dickinson Research Center, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Container List  

Series 1: Little Leather Library/"Little Red Books"
Box/Folder # Accession # Description
01/01 H.14.34.01-.03 Little Red Books [3]
H.14.34.01 The Happy Prince and Other Tales, Oscar Wilde. Robert K. Haas, Inc., Publishers (Formerly Little Leather Library Corporation), New York, NY: (ca. 1924)
H.14.34.02 The “Bab” Ballads, W.S. Gilbert. Robert K. Haas, Inc., Publishers (Formerly Little Leather Library Corporation), New York, NY: (ca. 1924)
H.14.34.03 Enoch Arden and Other Poems, Alfred Lord Tennyson. Robert K. Haas, Inc., Publishers (Formerly Little Leather Library Corporation), New York, NY: (ca. 1924)
01/02 H.14.34.04-.06 Little Red Books [3]
H.14.34.04 The Courtship of Miles Standish, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Robert K. Haas, Inc., Publishers (Formerly Little Leather Library Corporation), New York, NY: (ca. 1924)
H.14.34.05 A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare. Robert K. Haas, Inc., Publishers (Formerly Little Leather Library Corporation), New York, NY: (ca. 1924)
H.14.34.06 Speeches & Addresses of Abraham Lincoln. Robert K. Haas, Inc., Publishers (Formerly Little Leather Library Corporation), New York, NY: (ca. 1924)
01/03 H.14.34.07-.09 Little Red Books [3]
H.14.34.07 The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson. Robert K. Haas, Inc., Publishers (Formerly Little Leather Library Corporation), New York, NY: (ca. 1924)
H.14.34.08 Short Stories, Guy De Maupassant. Robert K. Haas, Inc., Publishers (Formerly Little Leather Library Corporation), New York, NY: (ca. 1924)
H.14.34.09 The Man Without a Country, Edward Everett Hale. Robert K. Haas, Inc., Publishers (Formerly Little Leather Library Corporation), New York, NY: (ca. 1924)
01/04 H.14.34.10-.12 Little Red Books [3]
H.14.34.10 A Child’s Garden of Verses, Robert Louis Stevenson. Robert K. Haas, Inc., Publishers (Formerly Little Leather Library Corporation), New York, NY: (ca. 1924)
H.14.34.11 The Ballad of Reading Gaol and Other Poems, Oscar Wilde. Robert K. Haas, Inc., Publishers (Formerly Little Leather Library Corporation), New York, NY: (ca. 1924)
H.14.34.12 The Coming of Arthur, Alfred Lord Tennyson. Robert K. Haas, Inc., Publishers (Formerly Little Leather Library Corporation), New York, NY: (ca. 1924)
01/05 H.14.34.13-.15 Little Red Books [3]
H.14.34.13 The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, with an essay on Omar Khayyam by Edward Fitzgerald. Robert K. Haas, Inc., Publishers (Formerly Little Leather Library Corporation), New York, NY: (ca. 1924)
H.14.34.14 Will O’ the Mill and Markheim, Robert Louis Stevenson. Robert K. Haas, Inc., Publishers (Formerly Little Leather Library Corporation), New York, NY: (ca. 1924)
H.14.34.15 Speeches & Letters of George Washington. Robert K. Haas, Inc., Publishers (Formerly Little Leather Library Corporation), New York, NY: (ca. 1924)
01/06 H.14.34.16-.18 Little Red Books [3]
H.14.34.16 Lays of Ancient Rome, Thomas Babington Macaulay, Robert K. Haas, Inc., Publishers (Formerly Little Leather Library Corporation), New York, NY: (ca. 1924)
H.14.34.17 Poems and Plays, Robert Browning, Robert K. Haas, Inc., Publishers (Formerly Little Leather Library Corporation), New York, NY: (ca. 1924)
H.14.34.18 Essays, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert K. Haas, Inc., Publishers (Formerly Little Leather Library Corporation), New York, NY: (ca. 1924)
01/07 H.14.34.19-.21 Little Red Books [3]
H.14.34.19 Tales of Sherlock Holmes, Sir A. Conan Doyle, Robert K. Haas, Inc., Publishers (Formerly Little Leather Library Corporation), New York, NY: (ca. 1924)
H.14.34.20 The Greatest Thing in the World, Henry Drummond, Robert K. Haas, Inc., Publishers (Formerly Little Leather Library Corporation), New York, NY: (ca. 1924)
H.14.34.21 The Tempest, William Shakespeare, Robert K. Haas, Inc., Publishers (Formerly Little Leather Library Corporation), New York, NY: (ca. 1924)
01/08 H.14.34.22-.24 Little Red Books [3]
H.14.34.22 The Gold-Bug, Edgar Allan Poe, Robert K. Haas, Inc., Publishers (Formerly Little Leather Library Corporation), New York, NY: (ca. 1924)
H.14.34.23 Dreams, Olive Schreiner, Robert K. Haas, Inc., Publishers (Formerly Little Leather Library Corporation), New York, NY: (ca. 1924)
H.14.34.24 Friendship & Other Essays, Henry David Thoreau, Robert K. Haas, Inc., Publishers (Formerly Little Leather Library Corporation), New York, NY: (ca. 1924)
01/09 H.14.34.25-.27 Little Red Books [3]
H.14.34.25 The Ancient Mariner and Other Poems, Samuel T. Coleridge, Robert K. Haas, Inc., Publishers (Formerly Little Leather Library Corporation), New York, NY: (ca. 1924)
H.14.34.26 Fifty Best Poems of England, Robert K. Haas, Inc., Publishers (Formerly Little Leather Library Corporation), New York, NY: (ca. 1924)
H.14.34.27 Barrack-Room Ballads, Rudyard Kipling, Robert K. Haas, Inc., Publishers (Formerly Little Leather Library Corporation), New York, NY: (ca. 1924)
01/10 H.14.34.28 Little Red Books [1]
H.14.34.28 Fifty Best Poems of America, Robert K. Haas, Inc., Publishers (Formerly Little Leather Library Corporation), New York, NY: (ca. 1924)
Series 2: Miscellaneous Books & Ephemera
Box/Folder # Accession # Description
01/11 H.14.44 Kendalls’ Perfected Receipt Book Illustrated, B.J. Kendall, M.D. "A valuable collection of recipes for the diseases of man and domestic animals, with an Appendix giving the cause, symptoms and best method of treating diseases. It has various departments for cooking, cooking for the sick, toilet articles, miscellaneous receipts, etc., etc. A plain, practical book, giving the most successful prescriptions and recipes for each disease. Published by the Kendall Publishing Co., Saratoga Springs, N.Y., copyright 1898." [1]
01/12 H.14.82, .86-.90 101 Ranch Ephemera: Postcard, “Bucks,” and Correspondence, 1908, 1924, 1966. [6]
01/13 H.14.83-.84 American Indian Intertribal Cookbook; Southern Cook Book of Famous Southern Dishes [2]
H.14.83 American Indian Intertribal Cookbook, American Friends Service Committee, Intertribal Friendship House, 51 Ninth Street, Oakland. "These recipes were collected from the ladies of Intertribal Friendship House, sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee. Copies are available at Intertribal Friendship House, 51 - 9th Street, Oakland." n.d. [1]
H.14.84 Southern Cook Book of Famous Southern Dishes compiled by Gray & Dudley Hardware Co., Nashville, Tenn. "This book contains the best receipts of delicious southern dishes, valuable information pertaining to the house, things every housekeeper should know. It was compiled in the interest of every housekeeper and fully explains the great merit of our Southern-Made Cooking Stoves. Washington Stoves: Southern Made for Southern Trade." (ca. 1930s) [1]
01/14 H.14.85 Railroad Map of Oklahoma, Published by the State, 1922, Corporation Commission, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. [1]
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