Five College Archives and Manuscript
UMass Amherst seal
Grocer's Daybook, 1888-1890
1 volume
Collection number: MS 137

Unnamed grocer who was possibly from the town of Amherst in either Massachusetts or New Hampshire. Daybook includes customers' names, their account numbers, and the items that they purchased (food or supplies).

Terms of Access and Use:

The collection is open for research.

Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries

Scope and Contents of the Collection

This unnamed grocer's daybook covers the period of September 25, 1888 to February 13, 1890. Most of the customers make frequent, even daily, purchases, generally buying only a few items of food at a time, with occasional pairs of shoes, chimneys, or snow shovels in addition. Prepared foods, such as doughnuts, cupcakes, tumblers of jelly, cookies, and rolls were sold along with basic staples - apples, eggs, oranges, raisins, butter, salt, starch, lard, chocolate, cheese, milk. The entries are preceded by numbers which probably refer to the patrons' accounts in the storekeeper's ledger.

The inside front cover bears a dealer's notation "Amherst ledger." While the possibility exists that this is an Amherst, Massachusetts grocer's account book (some of the family names are found in the Amherst Directory for 1895-Dickinson, Cowles, Doolittle, Knowlton, Pease, Rose, Hamlin, Hall, Holmes, Hunt, Parker), almost none of the particular members of the families listed in the account book matches a name in the directory. This seems to indicate it is unlikely that this is an Amherst, Massachusetts grocer. Perhaps the book was an item in a batch of materials from Amherst, New Hampshire, although very few of the family names appear in town histories. Further investigations might reveal this is from a town of another name altogether.

Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Cite as: Grocer's Daybook (MS 137). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

History of the Collection

Processing Information

Processed by Linda Seidman.

Additional Information
Contact Information
Special Collections and University Archives
W.E.B. Du Bois Library
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003-9275

Phone: (413) 545-2780
Fax: (413) 577-1399
Link to SCUA
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

  • Consumers--New England--History--19th century--Sources.
  • Groceries--New England--History--19th century--Sources.
  • Grocers--New England--History--19th century--Sources.
  • Grocery trade--New England--History--19th century--Sources.
  • New England--Economic conditions--19th century--Sources.

Genre terms
  • Account books.

Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
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