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Corner Book Shop (New York, N.Y.). Records of the Corner Book Shop, 1940-1980: A Finding Aid

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University


Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.
Call No.: 81-M81
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Corner Book Shop (New York, N.Y.)
Title: Records of the Corner Book Shop, 1940-1980
Date(s): 1940-1980
Quantity: 7 linear feet (7 cartons)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Correspondence, shop catalogs, day books, etc., of the Corner Book Shop, founded by Eleanor Lowenstein in 1940 and specializing in books on food, cookery, and wine.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession number: 81-M81
The records of the Corner Book Shop were given to the Schlesinger Library in March 1981 by Walter Goldwater.

Processing Information:

Preliminary inventory: April 1981
By: Eva Moseley

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the records created by the Corner Book Shop is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.

Preferred Citation:

Corner Book Shop Records, 1940-1980; item description, dates. 81-M81, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.


Eleanor Lowenstein was born in New York City in 1909 and was graduated from Cornell University with a degree in psychology in 1929. For several years she was a social worker, first at a state hospital, then at a reform school for boys in Warwick, New York, in Westchester County, and at the Hudson School for Girls. As she found much of this work unsuitable, she left social work and went to work at the University Place Bookshop, which belonged to her friend, Walter Goldwater. She enjoyed the book business; when in 1940 a flag store at 102 Fourth Avenue (the street known as Book Row) was going out of business, she leased it and opened the Corner Book Shop that June. Although she intended to specialize in psychology, her love of old books made this difficult, as people in the field wanted the latest books. She was offered her first cookbook collection in about 1946 and from then on specialized primarily in books on food, cookery, and wine; other specialties were theater, radio, television, puppetry, crime, and psychology. She and Walter Goldwater were married in 1954, and lived upstairs from the shop, as the terms of the lease required that she take the entire four-story building. Besides carrying on her business and becoming an internationally renowned expert on cookbooks, Lowenstein edited two revised editions (1954 and 1972) of Waldo Lincoln's bibliography, American Cookery Books, both published by the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts. She died on December 1, 1980.


These records of the Corner Book Shop consist of correspondence with customers (some of them well known in the culinary field); correspondence with and orders to publishers and European booksellers; Corner Book Shop catalogues and orders from them; day books recording sales in the shop; papers about shop assistants, taxes, publicity; and correspondence, orders, reviews, and other papers concerning the bibliography. Papers found together in a folder or bag have been kept together.


Container List

Additional Index Terms

Booksellers and bookselling--New York (State)--New York
Booksellers' catalogs
New York (N.Y.)--Social life and customs
Publishers and publishing
American Antiquarian Society
Beard, James, 1903-1985
Child, Julia
Culinary Institute of America
Lincoln, Waldo, 1849-1933. American cookery books, 1742-1860
Lowenstein, Eleanor
Wine and Food Society