Brown University Library Special Collections

The Shakespearian Advertiser

Posted by Karen A. Eberhart on March 19, 2012

The charming Shakespearian Advertiser printing blocks collection (Ms.2011.044) has recently been cataloged.  The Shakespearian Advertiser was published by Harlen P. Boyce in Providence, RI in 1871.  The preface to the booklet states its purpose: “It combines information as to where our wants of all kinds may be supplied in the best manner, and at the fairest prices; with illustrations of a higher class of humor than is usually presented to the public by the so called comic papers.”  The “higher class of humor” was composed of comic illustrations based upon quotes from plays by William Shakespeare.  The illustrations were interspersed between advertisements for Rhode Island and Massachusetts businesses.  The publishers hoped the comic illustrations would entice people to look through the entire booklet and pass it along to friends.  A clever promotional tool of the 19th century still employed today.  To see the finding aid go to the RIAMCO website.

Wood block #18, The Shakespearian Advertiser printing blocks collection (Ms.2011.044), 1871.

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