Skip to main content
Smith Libraries Exhibits

The 1939 Book Festival

Program for The Hampshire Bookshop's Northampton Book Festival, 1939

Program for The Hampshire Bookshop's Northampton Book Festival, 1939

In January 1917, during its first year of operation, the Hampshire Bookshop established a long-standing tradition by hosting publisher Frank Doubleday as a speaker. Throughout the years the Bookshop brought countless novelists, poets, book publishers, and others to Northampton for lectures and book-signings, nurturing connections among writers and readers. 

The Hampshire Bookshop Book Festival: Monday to Wednesday schedule, 1939 (front cover)

The Hampshire Bookshop Book Festival: Monday to Wednesday schedule, 1939

The Hampshire Bookshop Book Festival: Thursday to Friday schedule, 1939 (front cover and first page)

The Hampshire Bookshop Book Festival: Thursday to Friday schedule, 1939 (front cover and first page) 

From April 17-22, 1939 the Bookshop hosted its first Book Festival featuring teas, lectures, an author-reader luncheon, and a symposium. It was a book-related event on a scale not seen again in Northampton until April 1987, when “Form & Content: The Art of the Book in the Pioneer Valley” featured two weeks of exhibitions, book arts demonstrations, lectures, a gala ball, and book fair, all attesting to the endurance and popularity of the book in this region.