Oliver and Boyd

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Oliver and Boyd
StatusDefunct
Founded1807/08
FounderThomas Oliver and George Boyd
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Headquarters locationEdinburgh
Publication typesEducational, scientific and medical books

Oliver and Boyd (also commonly referred to as Oliver & Boyd) was a British publishing and printing firm that traded from 1807/08 until 1990.[1] The firm has been described as a "stalwart in Scottish publishing".[2]

History[edit]

Building on Tweeddale Court
The grave of Thomas Oliver, Grange Cemetery

Oliver and Boyd was founded in Edinburgh by two partners Thomas Oliver (1776-1853)[3] and George Boyd (died 1843). The exact foundation year is not known but is believed have been either 1807 or 1808.[4]

The firm operated from the 1820s until the 1970s at the same address in Tweeddale Court,[5] near the Royal Mile in Edinburgh[4] (the old "Oliver and Boyd" sign remains above the front door of the Tweeddale Court building to this day).[5] It was one of the "auld" firms to survive in the area after the crash of 1825-26.[2]

By the 1830s the firm was not only publishing but also printing and bookbinding under the same roof at Tweedale Court, an innovative practice for Edinburgh in that period.[4] By 1836 the firm carried out printing there on a "massive scale". Prior to Oliver & Boyd, printing and publishing in Scotland had been a cottage industry with the printing done on wooden presses and it was only in 1800 that the iron press had been invented.[6][7]

In the years 1811-1841, Oliver and Boyd issued a number of catalogue's for the firm's juvenile books " selling from a halfpenny upwards"[3] and also printed and published "abridged histories in fancy covers and songbooks".[1]

When Thomas Oliver retired and George Boyd died in 1843, the firm remained under family control with George's nephew Thomas Jamieson Boyd[8] being appointed as managing partner in 1843 and then acting as senior partner from 1869 to 1894.[2] In this period the firm gained a reputation in the fields of education[9] and medical textbook publishing and had a strong presence in the British colonial markets.[1][2]

In 1896 Oliver and Boyd was taken over by three "well-established"[2] Edinburgh booksellers, George and James Thin and John Grant.[7][1]

During the 20th century the firm maintained its reputation as "educational and general publishers of high standing".[10]

In 1962 the firm was acquired by the Financial Times group and later Longmans acquired its publishing operations.[7][1] Oliver and Boyd ceased operations in 1990.

Book series[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e British Museum: Term Details - Oliver & Boyd (Biographical details), britishmuseum.org. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e David Finkelstein, "Publishing 1830-80", in: Bill Bell, ed., The Edinburgh History of the Book in Scotland, Volume 3: Ambition and Industry 1800–1880, Edinburgh University Press, p. 97. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  3. ^ a b Thomas Oliver (1775-1853) Archived 2016-08-12 at the Wayback Machine, gaedin.co.uk. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  4. ^ a b c James Mitchell, Oliver & Boyd, nls.uk. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  5. ^ a b Tweeddale Court Archived 2018-02-13 at the Wayback Machine, cityofliterature.com. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  6. ^ Edinburgh’s Publishing Heritage Archived 2018-10-10 at the Wayback Machine, cityofliterature.com. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  7. ^ a b c Print room at Oliver & Boyd Archived 2015-10-26 at the Wayback Machine, flickr.com. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  8. ^ "Boyd, Thomas Jamieson (DNB12)" Archived 2016-04-06 at the Wayback Machine, wikisource.org. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  9. ^ W. McDowall, Caesar's Gallic War: First Book: With Vocabulary and Notes, Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, 1892, "Educational Books" listing (24 page publisher's advertisement). Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  10. ^ Lord Robbins, "The Financial Times Limited: Broadened Scope of Company's Activities", The Observer, 2 June 1963, p. 5.
  11. ^ Writers and Critics (Oliver & Boyd) - Book Series List, publishinghistory.com. Retrieved 22 June 2019.

External links[edit]