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W. W. Norton & Company

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W. W. Norton & Company
Founded1923; 101 years ago (1923)
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters location500 Fifth Avenue, New York City, New York
Distributionself-distributed (US)
Penguin Random House (Canada trade)
Nelson Canada (Canada textbooks)
John Wiley & Sons (UK, Australia)[1][2]
Key peopleJulia A. Reidhead
Publication typesBooks
Norton Professional
Norton Young Readers
No. of employees500
Official websitewwnorton.com
500 Fifth Avenue, the headquarters of W. W. Norton and Company

W. W. Norton & Company is an American publishing company based in New York City. Established in 1923, it has been owned wholly by its employees since the early 1960s. The company is known for its Norton Anthologies (particularly The Norton Anthology of English Literature) and its texts in the Norton Critical Editions series, both of which are frequently assigned in university literature courses.[3]

History and overview[edit]

The roots of the company date to 1923, when William Warder Norton founded the firm with his wife Mary Dows Herter Norton, and became its first president. In the 1960s, Mary Norton offered most of her stock to its leading editors and managers.[4] Storer D. Lunt took over in 1945 after Norton's death, and was succeeded by George Brockway (1957–1976), Donald S. Lamm (1976–1994), W. Drake McFeely (1994–2017),[5] and Julia A. Reidhead (2017–present). Reidhead was vice president and publishing director of Norton's College division and a former editor of the Norton Anthologies.[6]

Imprints of W. W. Norton include Norton Professional Books (professional works in mental health, well-being, architecture and design, and education), Countryman Press (lifestyle and instructional books, including healthy-living, cookbooks, and hiking guides), Liveright (20th century classics and new works), and Norton Young Readers (books for preschoolers to young adults).

In 2023, the company turned 100 years old.[7]


Norton Anthologies[edit]

Norton Anthologies collect canonical works from various literatures; perhaps the best known anthology in the series is the Norton Anthology of English Literature, which, as of 2018, is in its 10th edition. Norton Anthologies offer general headnotes on each author, a general introduction to each period of literature, and annotations for every anthologized text.

Norton Critical Editions[edit]

Like Oxford World's Classics and Penguin Classics, Norton Critical Editions provide reprints of classic literature and in some cases, classic non-fiction works. However, unlike most critical editions, all Norton Critical Editions are sourcebooks that provide a selection of contextual documents and critical essays along with an edited text. Annotations to the text are provided as footnotes, rather than as endnotes.

The States and the Nation[edit]

The States and the Nation series was published in celebration of the United States Bicentennial. It comprised 51 volumes, one for each state and the District of Columbia. The series was administered by the American Association for State and Local History via a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.[8]

Notable authors[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "International Representatives". Retrieved 2020-07-25.
  2. ^ "Contact". W. W. Norton & Company Ltd. Retrieved 2020-07-25.
  3. ^ McLemee, Scott (2001-05-04). "Making the Cut". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 2020-07-25.
  4. ^ "Who We Are". W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. Retrieved 2020-07-25.
  5. ^ "Gale Directory of Company Histories: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc". Answers.com. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
  6. ^ "Meet Julia Reidhead, Norton's New President". 2017-02-13. Retrieved 2020-07-25.
  7. ^ Vadukul, Alex (2023-06-12). "Norton, a Defiant Indie Book Publisher, Celebrates 100 Years". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-06-26.
  8. ^ The States and the Nation. librarything.com. Retrieved 29 June 2021.

External links[edit]