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John M. Wing Papers

Identifier: Wing-Modern-MS-JMWing

Scope and Content of the Collection

Correspondence, book invoices, books and lists, and some compiled scrapbooks by Chicago book collector John M. Wing.

The materials in this collection were separated from the books left in the Old Corner Library at the Newberry Library and include some personal and some travel items from Wing's original collection.


  • Creation: 1867-1916



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The John M. Wing Papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The John M. Wing Papers 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.

Biography of John M. Wing

American businessman, entrepreneur, and book collector, based in Chicago.

John Mansir Wing was born in 1845 (some genealogical sources say 1844) in Oswego County, New York. At the end of the Civil War, Wing moved to Chicago to become a journalist. As a young man, he traveled extensively back to New York and Boston and to Europe, writing about his adventures for various newspapers. He returned to 1869 and became a successful publisher. He retired from publishing in 1888, at the age of 44, and for the remainder of his life he traveled internationally, collected books and printed materials, and undertook the hobby of extra-illustrating books.

Although many of Wing's books were destroyed in the Chicago Fire of 1871, some of his diaries, scrapbooks, and extra-illustrated books survived and are all at the Newberry. Wing also left an endowment for employment of a custodian at the Newberry to continue collecting materials related to the history of printing and publishing. Wing died in Chicago in 1917.


3.9 Linear Feet (1 box and 3 oversize boxes)


Correspondence, book invoices, books and lists, and some compiled scrapbooks by Chicago book collector John M. Wing.


Papers are organized in the following series

Series 1: Correspondence and invoices, 1912-1916
Box 1
Series 2: Miscellaneous, 1867-1910
Box 1
Series 3: Scrapbooks, approximately 1870s-1902
Boxes 2-4

Collection Stack Location

4a 30 3


Gift, John M. Wing, approximately 1916.

Processed by

Alison Hinderliter, 2016.

Inventory of the John M. Wing Papers, 1867-1916
Alison Hinderliter
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States