The Three R’s

L. Tom Perry Special Collections’ Rare Book Collection includes over 200 American textbooks dating from 1819 to the 1950’s, including readers and spellers, grammar and composition books, and arithmetic texts.  The readers include some 17 McGuffey’s Eclectic Readers, which were the most widely-used schoolbooks in America from their introduction in 1836 up until the First World War.  The collection provides an interesting overview of children’s education and instructional methods in 19th and early 20th century America.

Here is a look at two items from this collection:

feltersThis 1866 arithmetic textbook was once owned by Lucy Woodruff Smith, the wife of George Albert Smith, who served as President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints from 1945-51.

sanders This Civil War-era reader features hand-colored illustrations on the title page and the first page, shown here.  It was published in New York in 1861.

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