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John MacKay Shaw Childhood in Poetry Collection

Permalink: https://diginole.lib.fsu.edu/islandora/object/fsu:johnmackayshawmaincollection

John MacKay Shaw was born in Glasgow, Scotland, on May 15, 1897. He immigrated to the United States as a child in 1911. He enlisted in the Army in 1917 and was stationed in France with the Ambulance Corp during World War I.

Shaw went to work for the Bell Telephone System as a adult, and remained a public relations executive with that company until he retired in 1959. He changed his name legally to John MacKay Shaw to distinguish himself from all the other John Shaws he had discovered while working a project redesigning the Yellow Pages for New York City. He chose MacKay in honor of his mother's uncle, the renowned scholar, navigator, and teacher John MacKay of Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Scotland.

When his two children were young, Shaw read and sang to them often. He recited poetry, sang the old Glasgow drinking songs, Gilbert and Sullivan, and songs of the Gay Nineties. However, the children wanted to hear poems about them, not about other children. He promised to write them if they would provide the subjects for him to write about. Each year between 1933 and 1937, he collected the poems he had written that year and had them printed in pamphlets which he sent to friends at Christmas. Realizing that other fathers must have written poems for their children, he went looking for them in the second-hand bookstores. Thus began his collection of Childhood in Poetry.

For thirty years, while continuing to work for the Bell System, John MacKay Shaw haunted the second-hand bookstores of Great Britain and the United States, poring over catalogs in the evenings, searching out and purchasing rare and first editions of poetry for, about, and by children. He studied the books, read and wrote about them and their authors, and discoursed extensively with other collectors and scholars.

Upon retirement in 1959, Shaw gave his collection of almost 6,000 volumes to Florida State University (FSU) Libraries. For the next 25 years, Shaw went to the library daily to study, write, and talk about his books. He continued adding to his collection. Shaw died in Tallahassee, Florida on March 15, 1984.

For more information about John Shaw, see the finding aid for his personal and collection papers.

Pages

A Book of Nonsense by Derry Down Derry
A Book of Nonsense by Derry Down Derry
by Derry Down Derry [i.e. E. Lear]., Title from pasted down brown paper cover. Title page lacking?, "Published Feb. 10, 1846, by Thos. McLean, 26, Haymarket" cf. Cover., No. 4145.2 in: Shaw, J.M., Childhood in poetry., In protective case.
A Book of Nonsense by Edward Lear
A Book of Nonsense by Edward Lear
by Edward Lear ; from the tenth London edition ; with many new pictures and verses., "From the tenth London edition ; with many new pictures and verses"., Printed on one side of leaf only; leaf <41> misnumbered 4., James Miller, bookseller, moved to 779 Broadway in 1877 and remained there until his death in 1883.
A Book of Nonsense by Edward Lear
A Book of Nonsense by Edward Lear
By Edward Lear., Cover title: A book of nonsense / by Edwd. Lear ; [at top left] 110 coloured illustrations., First date based on inclusion of Armstrong's name in Scribner imprints from 1872 to 1878. Second date conjectural, based on cover title: covers of almost certainly later 1870s editions read "Lear's book of nonsense ...", Printed on outer forme only, 2 or 3 sets of limericks and ill. per leaf in text, totalling 110 on 52 leaves, plus 2 on frontispiece and 1 on t.p. ; blank leaves inserted between facing printed leaves.
A Facsimile of A Nonsense Alphabet by Edward Lear
A Facsimile of A Nonsense Alphabet by Edward Lear
drawn and written by Edward Lear., Published for the first time from ms. drawings and text executed by Lear about 1849; cf. "Publishers' note"., "1,000 copies only have been printed and no further issue will be made. This copy is number 690."
A Nonsense Birthday Book
A Nonsense Birthday Book
Compiled from The book of nonsense and More nonsense by Edward Lear.
A was an angler
A was an angler
Summary: A rhyming alphabet., by Stanley Cock., Cover title.
A was an archer who shot at a frog
A was an archer who shot at a frog
Cover title., Includes hand-colored cuts and 1 cover., Back cover contains advertisement for other Dean and Son publications., In 39 x 24 cm. envelope.
Advent minstrel
Advent minstrel
1868 edition includes statement: "By Joshua V. Himes.", Includes index.
Advice to Christian parents
Advice to Christian parents
by John Hersey.
Afterglow
Afterglow
by James Fenimore Cooper, Jr., Poems reprinted in part from the Yale literary magazine.
Alloway Kirk, or, Tam O'Shanter: a tale
Alloway Kirk, or, Tam O'Shanter: a tale
by Robert Burns, the Ayrshire poet., This poem was first published in 1791 in Grose's The antiquities of Scotland., This is the earliest known separate publication; later included as number three of twenty-four pamphlets bound together as Brash & Reid's Poetry: original and selected, [1796?], Date from Egerer, cited below., Signatures: [A]⁸.
Angels' whispers
Angels' whispers
By Edith Prince ... Designed by Patty Townsend, T.R. Kennedy, & W.J. Webb., A collection of thirty-one scripture quotations for the days of the month, each followed by a short poem based on it.
Apples of gold in pictures of silver
Apples of gold in pictures of silver
The drum -- The effects of religion -- Edward and the match-woman -- The tavern -- An address to Charles -- The impartiality of brute animals -- The priest, and the pastor -- A tale of a tub -- Tom and the bull-dog -- The kite -- The impressed sailor -- The affectionate orphans -- Mary Walter -- On cleanliness., Hand-colored illustrations; printed on one side of leaf only, the printed pages facing each other; unnumbered blank pages included in pagination., Hodgson & Co. at this address between 1822 and 1824. -- Cf. OCLC authority data base., Gift; Elizabeth C. Morrow and Dwight W. Morrow, 1955., No. S1538.32 in: Shaw, J.M., Childhood in poetry.
At grandpa's farm
At grandpa's farm
Summary: A story of the various animals that live on grandpa's farm, and the children who play with them., by Palmer Cox.

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