• IdentificationWing Modern MS Rand McNally
  • TitleInventory of the Rand McNally and Company Records, 1856-1996 Wing.Modern.MS.Rand
  • PublisherThe Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts
  • RepositoryThe Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts
  • Physical Description85.0 linear feet (128 boxes, 3 volumes, 16 oversize boxes, 4 shelves of oversize artifacts)
  • Date1856-1996
  • Location3a 61 1-7
  • AbstractBusiness records of the Rand McNally Company, established in 1856 in Chicago. The firm became well known for its cartographic publishing, but also produced a variety of trade books, textbooks, periodicals, and printing jobs such as railroad tickets and coupons. Includes records of financial, marketing, and production activities, including correspondence; visual materials, including photographs, artwork, and scrapbooks; printing artifacts and samples, etc.
  • OriginationRand McNally and Company.

Gift, Rand McNally and Company and Andrew McNally III, 1989-1990.

The Rand McNally and Company Records are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

The Rand McNally and Company Records are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

Rand McNally and Company Records, The Newberry Library, Chicago.

Jean Jansen, 2000; Monica Petraglia, 2003.

In 1856, William H. Rand established a printing office above Keen and Lee's Bookstore at 148 Lake Street in Chicago, Illinois. In 1858, he hired Andrew McNally and shortly after, they became partners and formed Rand McNally and Company.

Rand McNally has since become a prolific publisher operating in a variety of areas. They established themselves as a household name in the United States and became known around the world for their cartographic products, producing not only the maps, globes, and atlases which have become their trademark, but also a variety of trade books (in particular juvenile books), educational texts and materials, financial publications, periodicals, and a wide range of miscellaneous job printing work, including many railroad tickets and coupons. Among the firm's most popular publications were the Western Railway Guide, the Business Atlas, innumerable pocket and road maps, the Globe Library series of books, the Handy Guide series, textbooks, Goode's Atlas, Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl, the New International Atlas, the juvenile Elf Books series, and several Marguerite Henry books, including Misty of Chincoteague.

During their period of growth and expansion in the twentieth century, Rand McNally acquired a few smaller printing companies, including the W.B. Conkey Co. in 1949, a Canadian publisher (which became Rolph McNally), and a ticket and coupon printing company in Chicago.

The McNally family was the majority owner of the company for nearly 100 years, from 1899 until 1997, at which time the family decided to divest its majority stake. Since then the company has been owned by two or three different entities, most recently by Patriarch Partners.

The Rand McNally and Company records include a broad range of materials dating from 1856, when William Rand's printing company was run out of a small office at 148 Lake Street, to the late twentieth century, when administrative and production facilities were centrally located in a large facility in Skokie, Illinois.

The collection includes paper documents, photographs, photographic negatives, slides, films, newspaper and magazine clippings, ledgers, framed paper documents, tickets, books, awards, lithographic stones, engravings, badges, ticket punches, banners, scrapbooks, artwork, and a number of printing artifacts.

Paper documents include financial documents, non-photographic images, contracts, government-issued documents, correspondence and memoranda, marketing items such as advertisements, sell sheets, press releases, reviews, catalogs, pamphlets, price lists, and order forms, production materials, artwork, type specimen books, greeting cards, stationery, and booklets.

Photographic materials include color and black and white photographs, negatives, and slides, and scrapbooks.

Papers are organized in the following series:

Title Box Series 1: History, 1856-1980 Boxes 1-7 Series 2: Administration, 1860-1960 Boxes 1-14 Series 3: Publishing, 1859-1995 Boxes 1-64 Series 4: Marketing, 1889-1994 Boxes 1-18 Series 5: Photographs, 1860-1985 Boxes 1-16 Series 6: Audio and Visual Recordings, 1956-1978 Items 1-11 Series 7: Rolph McNally, Ltd., 1967-1970 Boxes 1-2 Series 8: W.B. Conkey and Co., 1890s-1949 Boxes 1-7 Series 9: Artifacts and Ephemera 1897-1996 Boxes 1-4, loose items

  • Names
    • Conkey, William B.
    • McNally, Andrew, 1836-1904
    • McNally, Andrew, 1909-
    • Rand McNally and Company. -- Records and correspondence
    • Rolph-McNally Limited. -- Records and correspondence
    • W. B. Conkey Company. -- Records and correspondence
  • Subject
    • Business
    • Chicago
    • Children's books -- Publishing
    • Manuscripts, American
    • Map publishing -- Canada
    • Map publishing -- Illinois -- Chicago -- History
    • Printing -- Illinois -- Chicago
    • Printing -- Indiana -- Hammond
    • Printing History and Book Arts
    • Printing plants -- Illinois
    • Publishers and publishing -- Illinois -- Chicago -- History
    • Publishers and publishing -- Indiana -- Hammond
    • Publishers catalogs
  • Geographic Coverage
    • Chicago (Ill.) -- Industries
    • Hammond (Ind.) -- Industries