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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

Tales for youth: in thirty poems : to which are annexed, historical remarks and moral applications in prose
Tales for youth: in thirty poems : to which are annexed, historical remarks and moral applications in prose
Tales of the robin, and other small birds
Tales of the robin, and other small birds
Tears and triumphs
Tears and triumphs
Tears and triumphs: no. 2 ; for Sunday schools, prayer and praise meetings, young people's meetings and revivals (Pentecostal, loyal, evangelical)
Tears and triumphs: no. 2 ; for Sunday schools, prayer and praise meetings, young people's meetings and revivals (Pentecostal, loyal, evangelical)
Temperance crusade: a collection of music : containing a variety of solos, quartets, and choruses for the temperance cause
Temperance crusade: a collection of music : containing a variety of solos, quartets, and choruses for the temperance cause
The Book of Nonsense and More Nonsense
The Book of Nonsense and More Nonsense
The Book of Nonsense by Edward Lear
The Book of Nonsense by Edward Lear
The Pelican Chorus by Edward Lear
The Pelican Chorus by Edward Lear
Theatrum Scotiae: Containing the prospects of Their Majesties castles and palaces: together with those of the most considerable towns and colleges; the ruins of many ancient abbeys, churches, monasteries and convents, within the said kingdom. All curiousl
Theatrum Scotiae: Containing the prospects of Their Majesties castles and palaces: together with those of the most considerable towns and colleges; the ruins of many ancient abbeys, churches, monasteries and convents, within the said kingdom. All curiousl
Thousand strong and other war verses
Thousand strong and other war verses
Three famous new songs, called, Effects of whisky, The valley below, Larry O'Gaff
Three famous new songs, called, Effects of whisky, The valley below, Larry O'Gaff
Three little kittens
Three little kittens
To the memory of Sir William Wallace
To the memory of Sir William Wallace
Token, or, Affection's gift: a Christmas and New-Year's present
Token, or, Affection's gift: a Christmas and New-Year's present
Tom Thumb
Tom Thumb
Town eclogue
Town eclogue
Trial of Harry Hardheart: for ingratitude and cruelty to certain individuals of the brute creation : with select pieces of poetry, relative to animals, etc
Trial of Harry Hardheart: for ingratitude and cruelty to certain individuals of the brute creation : with select pieces of poetry, relative to animals, etc
Tribute to Lewis Carroll in his sesqui-centennial year: being an inventory of an exhibit in the Florida State University Library and of the Lewis-Carroll holdings in the John Mackay Shaw Poetry Collection
Tribute to Lewis Carroll in his sesqui-centennial year: being an inventory of an exhibit in the Florida State University Library and of the Lewis-Carroll holdings in the John Mackay Shaw Poetry Collection
Trifles in poesy
Trifles in poesy
Trio: consisting of The garner, The quiver, The ark of praise : for use in Sabbath school or prayer-meeting
Trio: consisting of The garner, The quiver, The ark of praise : for use in Sabbath school or prayer-meeting

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