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Elihu Geer collection

Call Number: MS 1405

Scope and Contents

The Elihu Geer Collection consists of cashbooks, correspondence, daybooks, invoices, journals, ledgers, and other materials, documenting the financial operation of Elihu Geer's printing and stationery businesses in Hartford, Connecticut. The bulk of material dates from 1838, when Geer founded his printing establishment, to 1864. Material relating to the publication of theCongregationalistand theHartford Journal,a pro-Whig daily, is included in the collection.

The various account books are arranged by record type and detail the growth of Geer's printing business from its beginnings. Daybooks, cashbooks, and journals trace daily income from printing and advertising and expenditures for papers, ink, other supplies, and labor, while ledgers record accounts with individual customers and suppliers. There are job books, which detail printing orders and prices and workmen's books, which detail accounts with journeymen, apprentices, agents, and carriers. There are also three bound volumes of mounted invoices for stock in the printing office and stationery store and regular inventories of store stock and printing supplies. Invoices often are on illustrated letterheads from wholesalers in New York, Boston, and London. Registers of bills payable and receivable record Geer's financial obligations and loans, while the yearly trial balances in folder 20 summarize the progress of business development through profit and indebtedness statements.

The correspondence relates primarily to the establishment and operation of theHartford Journal.Copies of Geer's outgoing letters are in cashbook B (folder 4) and in his letterbook (folder 38). The letterbook copies are in faint handwriting, some are also in Geer's shorthand. (Folder 53 contains a notebook of Geer's shorthand symbols.) For the newspaper and theCongregationalistthere are also lists of subscribers by location and alphabetically arranged accounts. These lists also detail arrangements for the distribution of the papers.

Among the other materials in the collection are a few early items including an unidentified cashbook of the late 1820s (folder 54) and Geer's own notebook from his study of double entry bookkeeping at E. Perkins school (folder 46). Printing samples, such as circulars, letterhead stationery and forms, and catalogs, from Geer's printing office are in folder 47, and a sample book of typeface styles is in folder 52. Materials after 1864 for Geer's business interests are very fragmentary. Folder 48 contains a receipt book for domestic and personal expenses from 1862 to 1875. All receipts are from Hadlyme, Connecticut.

The Elihu Geer Collection in 1985.


  • 1827-1881


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.


Arranged by record type.


7.5 Linear Feet (16 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The collection consists of cashbooks, correspondence, daybooks, invoices, journals, ledgers and other materials documenting the financial operations of Elihu Geer's printing shop and stationery business in Hartford, Connecticut. Material relating to his publication of the Hartford Journal and the Congregationalist is also included in the collection.

Biographical / Historical

Elihu Geer was a printer and publisher in Hartford, Connecticut. He operated a printing shop and stationery store. Geer also published the Hartford Journal from 1843-1844 and Geer's Hartford Directory.

Guide to the Elihu Geer Collection
Under Revision
compiled by Diane E. Kaplan William E. Brown, Jr. and Kathleen Wilson
April 1986
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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