How Do I Reseach This Book?

I recently inherited an old book from my mother. She received it as a gift when she was 9 years old, in 1940. I presume the book is older than that. It is an illustrated version of Longfellow’s poem “The Builders” in black, red, and gold ink, with color lithographs. There is no copyright date on it. One of the last pages, in small print, says it was designed in England and printed in Bavaria. The publisher is listed as “London, Ernest Nister, New York: E P Dutton & Co.” There is absolutely no page yellowing despite its age.

I’m curious how old this book actually is. How would I go about finding out?

A quick Google search found this in a catalog:

I suggest calling a dealer of antique books. They keep buying guides that might have it listed. I’m not a professional, but I think the lack of page yellowing says that the pages are high-quality cotton rag instead of cheap wood pulp. Can anyone confirm?

Huh. Exapno Mapcase, my google-fu must have been week today, for I did not find that on my Google search.

I do find it a little odd no one has any pictures of the book on-line. The cover isn’t that spectacular, but some of the interior is quite nice.

That’s actually quite common for books of that era. lists several copies, but not much information.

The link is to a search result page. If it doesn’t come up, go to and put in only Longfellow into author and only builders (no The) into title.

There is an earlier edition from 1856 with the red and gold borders. In that one, it says 1356 on the title page, an error for 1856. (Detail from

Oh - that’s my edition! It says “1356” on the title page! And it has borders!