Monday, 23 March 2015

Souvenir Books

With the completion of the railroad systems and people venturing further than their home town for holidays and adventures, the idea came about to make a souvenir book of the cities that the visitors would buy and take home to show to others, enticing their friends to make the trip.

In the late 1800's to mid 1900's souvenir books were printed for cities and villages, associations, jubilees and centennials, government officials, religious conferences, grand openings and unveilings, manufacturers, sporting events, wars ... the list goes on. I came across a few books titled Souvenir of .... Family, being genealogy books. Souvenir Albums were also published to commemorate floods, fires and earthquakes!

My 2nd great grandfather, Alexander Mavor, farmed in Compton, Quebec and spent his later years in Waterville, Quebec. I found a "History of Compton County", and I also found a Souvenir Book of Waterville from 1899 giving me a glimpse of what the village was like at that time. Some of the Souvenir books of cities are only pictorial, and some are Historical Souvenir books for an anniversary, writing about founding citizens and their homes, perhaps with a map, as well as photos of the beauty of the place.

I also found several souvenir books of the City of Kingston, where my paternal great grandfather worked and lived.

Search "historical souvenir", "souvenir [town]", "souvenir [association]", "souvenir old boys", "souvenir women", "souvenir des noces"  etc... Some of the following titles may give you ideas of what keywords to use in your search.  Also check local libraries for souvenir albums.

At Internet Archive there are 59 long pages of links to souvenir books, I managed to keep it down to 6 short ones, of links you may not think to search for. Many of them have photos of people and/or lists of names.

Relevant Links

Souvenir of Waterville, Quebec and vicinity 1899

Souvenir; List of Members Participating in the Grand Tour to Alaska 1891

Souvenir of John Alden - Pilgrim 1904

Bowling Souvenir - Tournaments Played - Brooklyn 1894-95

Album Souvenir XXIe Congrès Eucharistique, Montreal 1910

Souvenir and handbook of Feill a' Chomuinn Ghaidhealaich - Glasgow 1907

Red Cross "Carry On" Souvenir Programme, Brisbane, 1918

Bay of Quite Conference (Methodist Church) Souvenir; Picton, Ontario 1905

Golden Jubilee Souvenir - Karnata Historical Society - India 1970

Amalgamated Society of Engineers - Jubilee Souvenir London 1901

Souvenir.. South Carolina Bankers Association; Isle of Palms 1907

The Coney Island Souvenir (with maps) 1883

Canadian Manufacturers' Association Souvenir - 1893

Transvaal Souvenir - New Brunswick Contingent - 1899

Souvenir: Toronto contingent of volunteers for service in Anglo-Boer War 1899

Canterbury old and new, 1850-1900. A souvenir of the jubilee (New Zealand)

Souvenir Poster Show, Women's Hospital Auxiliary, Brantford, Ont 1906

Perry's Victory Souvenir, Battle of Lake Erie 1813 - The "Niagara" Keepsake 1913

Illustrated souvenir [of carriages] - Studebaker 1893

Centenary souvenir - Iron Founders of England, Ireland and Wales - 1909

The Klondike, a souvenir 1900

Souvenir d'artistes - L.E.N. Pratte, Piano Makers, Montreal 1894 (and list of clients)

Official souvenir; 16th Convention, National Negro Business League, Boston 1915

Loyalists Centennial Souvenir - 1887, St John NB

Complimentary Souvenir Book, National Education Association, California 1915

Art Souvenir of Representative men, buildings, businesses and hoes - Fort Wayne

Souvenir Indiana State Prison South- 1890

Brantford Lacrosse Souvenir - season 1904

Souvenir de Pâques, Trois-Rivières 1909

Souvenir of Canadian Winter Sports - 1904

Souvenir portrait gallery of Saint John, NB 1893-1894

Fête Nationale des Canadiens-Français célébrée à Québec 1881-1889

Welcome Home! Kingston Old Boy's Souvenir - 1903

Souvenir; survivor's association, Gettysburg 1888-1889

Catholic Order of Foresters - Souvenir Book - Montreal 1892

Souvenir Book of the World War - US 1918

The Standard's Valcartier Camp Souvenir 1914

Sponsor Souvenir album; history & reunion - Confederate Army 1895

Football souvenir of the Princeton-Yale game 1911

Souvenir of the first annual Master Painters and Decorators convention held in the Windsor Hotel, Montreal 1904

Souvenir Programme; 8th Central Conference of American Rabbis, Montreal 1897

Historical souvenir and book of the pageants of the 300th anniversary of the founding of Quebec, the ancient capital of Canada - 1908

Golden Jubilee May Day celebration, New Westminster, BC - 1920

Souvenir of our public schools - Brooklyn, NY 1892

Souvenir décennal de l'Ecole Normale Laval, 1857-1867

Souvenir of the Federated Association of Letter Carriers, Hamilton Ont 1913

High Explosive Shells in the Making; a souvenir booklet, Maritime Mfg St John NB 1919

Souvenir of the Wisconsin School for the Deaf; 1852-1902

Historical souvenir of the Fremont Flood, Ohio March 1913

Souvenir, annual ball, Motion Picture Directors Association - LA 1923

Picture Player Camera Men's Ball; souvenir, Rutherford's, LA Jan 1914

A Souvenir, Goderich, Ontario 1897 - the healthiest and prettiest town in Canada

Souvenir, 19th annual Congress of the Assoc for the Advancement of Women, Mich. 1891

A souvenir of the village of Meadowvale-on-the-Credit, 1904

Souvenir des noces d'or des Soeurs de la Charité de Québec 1849-1899

With the American fleet from the Atlantic to the Pacific - Souvenir Edition 1908

Silver and Gold; a pictorial souvenir of the mines of Northern Ontario 1916

Souvenir offert par les magasins du Bon Marché f. par A Boucicaut 1894 (+map of Paris)

Visit of British Public School Boys to Queensland - Souvenir Programme 1926

Souvenir photo views of the big fire, Ottawa & Hull, April 1900

Joliette illustré; numero souvenir de ses noces d'or - 1843-1893

Souvenir of the Bristol Chess Club; 100 original games of chess recently played 1845

Hespeler Old Boy's Re-union; official souvenir programme - Ontario 1906

Souvenir Books of the various Exhibits of the Burroughs Wellcome and Company

Souvenir number of the illustrated war news: being a history of Riel's second Rebellion (with honour roll) 1885

Official souvenir program of the Yale-Harvard boat race, New London, Conn 1895

Souvenir; new exhibition of Canadian official war photographs in colour - 1918

The only official souvenir history of the street railway employees strike of SF 1902

Souvenir of Edmonton Schools, issued at the opening of the High School 1911

A souvenir of World's Fair women and wives of prominent officials connected with - 1892

Souvenir Program of the Women's citizens committee, 26th national encampment of the Grand army of the republic, Washington, DC 1902

Japan To-day; a souvenir of the Anglo-Japanese exhibition held in London 1910

A link of empire; Souvenir of the 70th year of incorporation of the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company c1909

Official souvenir and stake program of the inaugural meeting of the Westchester Racing Association - Jockey Club 1905

Official Orange Souvenir; 212th anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne - Toronto 1902

La Congrégation des hommes de Notre-Dame de Lévis - 1908

Farmington, Connecticut, the village of beautiful homes. Illustrating every home in the town, prominent people past and present, school children, local antiques, etc 1906

New Hampshire Homes - photographic views of city, village, farm homes, 1895

Sketches of old homes in our village - Vineyard Haven, Mass 1921

Norwood; her homes and people. Historical sketch of Cincinnati's suburban family 1894

Souvenir of Magnolia, Mass (with maps showing homes) 1886

Twin souvenir of Francis C Waid: 1892

"The Old House on the Hill"; historical souvenir sketch of the Marshall Family 1921


  1. Hi! I just wanted to let you know that your very interesting post has been included in my NoteWorthy Reads post for this week:


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