1.   Historical note

2.   Scope and content

3.   Provenance

4.   Processing note

5.   Inventory

6.   Subjects

    List of finding aids

    R.I.H.S. Library page

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 Tyson's Book Shop Records

 Providence, R.I. book store

 Records, 1925-1969

 Size: 1.5 linear feet

 Catalog number: MSS 99

 Processed by: Rick Stattler, August 1995

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            James A. Tyson opened the Progressive Publishing Company at 51 Empire Street in Providence circa 1924. In 1926, the name was changed to Tyson's Book Shop, which became an important rare and antiquarian book store. Tyson continued to operate the store through 1969. Two of Tyson's nieces, Edith Saxon and Doris Kitchen, briefly ran the shop, before it passed into the hands of Mariette Bedard, who subsequently moved the shop to 334 Westminster St. She continues to operate it as Tyson's Old and Rare Books.

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Scope and content:

            This collection consists of business records kept by James A. Tyson for the book shop between 1925 and 1969. It is valuable as a document of the rare book trade. It can also provide valuable information on the provenance of the many collections purchased or appraised by Tyson.

            The records contain extensive sales receipts from 1958 through 1969 (1960, 1963 and 1964 are missing); a nearly complete run of ledgers from 1925 through 1969 which sometime list individual sales and purchases; a file on donations to libraries; receipts for books purchased by Tyson between 1965 and 1969; and scattered correspondence. Records of extensive estate inventories and appraisals performed by Tyson are found throughout the collection, though a few were collected into a small file.

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            The collection was donated by Charles H. Saxon of Warwick, Rhode Island in 1991.

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Processing note:

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Box 1

1. Miscellaneous correspondence, etc., 1925-1934

2. Miscellaneous correspondence, etc., 1944-1968

3. Corr. with lottery ticket collector Phillip Nordell, 1944-67

4. Donation acknowledgments, 1953-57, 1965-69

5. Receipts for books purchased, estates appraised, etc., 1965-69

6. Appraisals, 1966-69

7. Sales receipts, 1958

8. Sales receipts, 1959

9. Sales receipts, 1961

10. Sales receipts, 1962

11. Sales receipts, 1965

12. Sales receipts, 1966

13. Sales receipts, 1967

14. Sales receipts, 1968

15. Sales receipts, 1969

16. Ledgers, 1925, 1925-28, 1929-34

17 .Ledgers, 1933-36

18. Ledgers, 1937-38, 1939-40, 1941-43, 1944-46

Box 2

1. Ledgers, 1947-50, 1953-56

2. Rhode Island tax receipts, 1947-56

3. Sales ledger, 1960-1969

4. Ledgers, 1965-1969 (5 vol.)

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Booksellers and bookselling - Rhode Island - Providence

Lottery tickets

Progressive Publishing Company

Tyson, James A.

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