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Doubleday Brothers and Company

 Collection
Identifier: RH-A-1205

Scope and Contents

The collection is composed of ledgers, photographs, catalogs, promotional material and other miscellaneous items from the Doubleday Brothers and Company which produced blank books, forms for schools, banks and governments and stationery and also printed and sold office supplies and furniture. The company began in 1898 and left Kalamazoo in 2005. It exists as a digital printing company called Fidlar Doubleday and is located in Iowa.

Dates

  • 1925-1973

Creator

Physical Description

The collection amounts to 5.35 and is composed of ledgers, photographs, catalogs, promotional material and other miscellaneous items from the Doubleday Brothers and Company which produced blank books, forms for education, banks and government, stationery and also was a printing company and sold office supplies and furniture. The company began in Kalamazoo in 1898 and left the area by 2005 which by then it was known as Fidlar Doubleday, a digital printing company. It is now located in Iowa.

The collection has a variety of items ranging from photographs, the majority which are 8”x10” to promotional calendars, most which are 5”x7”, spiral bound to ledgers, the largest one being 16”x11”x2”. In addition there are catalogs, correspondence and a great number of forms created for schools, banks and governments of all sizes. There is information on the construction of the office building on East Kilgore where they moved from their downtown Kalamazoo location in the late 1950s and information on the addition to that building completed around 1964. The photographs were taken mostly in the 1940s of the store at 241 East Michigan around 1944 and in 1948. There also is a series taken during a fire in February, 1948 which damaged the store and offices tremendously. The series taken in September was after the renovation. Almost all of the photographs, except the ones of the fire, were taken by Ward Morgan. A great majority of the photographs are identified including the ones with employees, many of which were used in the Fiftieth Anniversary publication done in 1948.

The collection, for the most part, is in good shape. The ledgers are worn in and some places the leather cover and binding is disintegrating. Some of the correspondence has imprints from paper clips. The newspaper articles were photocopied and the originals were then recycled.

Biographical / Historical

Doubleday Brothers and Company began in 1898 when two brothers, Fred U. and Ward F. Doubleday, sons of Abner Doubleday purchased the bindery of the Kalamazoo Publishing Company. Initially they sold supplies wholesale to banks and governments but later got into the retail market. At first their store was located on South Burdick, but later moved to the east side of the 300 block of North Burdick and by 1913 to 241 East Michigan otherwise known as the Ihling-Cone Building.

In 1911, Ward Doubleday left this company and started a new firm conducting the same business called Doubleday-Huber-Dolan Company later renamed Doubleday-Hunt-Dolan. The collection contains two ledgers from this company which was located in the 200 block of North Burdick, east side (aka Waterbury Block), later 115 E. Water Street and for one year in 1966 at the Doubleday Brothers headquarters at 1919 East Kilgore. This company was gone by 1967.

Doubleday Brothers and Company eventually began to produce school financial and statistical forms along with legal and financial forms. They remained in downtown Kalamazoo until the late 1950s when they moved to a building at 1919 East Kilgore. An addition was built to the structure in 1964. They eventually moved to Oshtemo and later Portage. In 2005, the company, now known as Fidlar Doubleday moved to Iowa where it currently exists as a digital book printer. See the donor file for further information.

Extent

5.35 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials

English

Physical Location

Manuscript Room

Physical Description

The collection amounts to 5.35 and is composed of ledgers, photographs, catalogs, promotional material and other miscellaneous items from the Doubleday Brothers and Company which produced blank books, forms for education, banks and government, stationery and also was a printing company and sold office supplies and furniture. The company began in Kalamazoo in 1898 and left the area by 2005 which by then it was known as Fidlar Doubleday, a digital printing company. It is now located in Iowa.

The collection has a variety of items ranging from photographs, the majority which are 8”x10” to promotional calendars, most which are 5”x7”, spiral bound to ledgers, the largest one being 16”x11”x2”. In addition there are catalogs, correspondence and a great number of forms created for schools, banks and governments of all sizes. There is information on the construction of the office building on East Kilgore where they moved from their downtown Kalamazoo location in the late 1950s and information on the addition to that building completed around 1964. The photographs were taken mostly in the 1940s of the store at 241 East Michigan around 1944 and in 1948. There also is a series taken during a fire in February, 1948 which damaged the store and offices tremendously. The series taken in September was after the renovation. Almost all of the photographs, except the ones of the fire, were taken by Ward Morgan. A great majority of the photographs are identified including the ones with employees, many of which were used in the Fiftieth Anniversary publication done in 1948.

The collection, for the most part, is in good shape. The ledgers are worn in and some places the leather cover and binding is disintegrating. Some of the correspondence has imprints from paper clips. The newspaper articles were photocopied and the originals were then recycled.

Processing Information

This collection came to the Archives in 1976 and was processed in 2011.
Title
Doubleday Brothers and Company Finding Aid
Author
Stephanie Chapman
Date
2020-08-10
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latn

Repository Details

Part of the Western Michigan University Archives & Regional History Collections Repository

Contact:
Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang Legacy Collections Center
1650 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5307 US
(269) 387-8490