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Special Collections & Archives logo : Literary Annuals

SC&A includes manuscripts and archives, medieval to modern; early and finely printed books, and science fiction collections.


Literary Annuals

A collection of 200 literary annuals, keepsakes and gift-books, mostly dated 1830-1850.

Binding of The Souvenir, 1853The first literary annual was Rudolph Ackermann's Forget me not for 1823, published in November 1822, to which numerous rivals in the market for "an elegant annual token of remembrance, friendship and affection" soon sprang up.

The fashion declined in the 1840s, virtually disappearing by 1860. The literary and artistic value of the contributions to annuals was described by Thackeray as "a little sham sentiment ... employed to illustrate a little sham art" but they exemplify the rapidly developing arts of book illustration, production and binding of the period.

In addition to the Liverpool poet Felicia Heman's contributions to Fisher's Drawing room scrapbook, there were Liverpool connections with The Juvenile keepsake, a present for all seasons, published by Edward and Henry Lacey, Liverpool; The sacred offering, a poetical annual edited in part by Mrs Jevon and printed by D. Marples & Co., Liverpool and The winter's wreath, printed by George Smith, Liverpool.

Juvenile annuals, including the gloomy Friendship's gift on the sorrows of orphans and bereaved mothers, are included in the Children's Books transferred from the Education Library.


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