Vizetelly & Co. Letters
Vizetelly and Company Letters and Documents, 1785, 1838–1854 (bulk 1840–1842 and 1851–1853)
This collection comprises over 100 letters sent to Vizetelly and Company—the London firm of printers, engravers, and publishers—and one of its founders, James Vizetelly, between 1838 and 1854. Most of the letters are in French from French editors, printers, and prominent publishers, including Béthune et Plon, L. Curmer, Pagnerre Éditeur, and Melchior Yvan.
The letters document the growing demand for illustrated books and Vizetelly and Company's involvement in producing everything from fairy tales and historical novels, to handbooks for fashionable hobbies, treatises, and even "exotic" literature.
The letters also reflect the tension involved in creating each book and, in one instance, reveal an important moment in the history of printing. In this letter sent by a printing machine producer in Brussels on December 1853, the producer informs his client, Vizetelly, that he has invented and licensed a new and faster machine that prints both text and engravings on both sides of a sheet of paper simultaneously.