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Schantz Russell family fonds. Book Collection
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Schantz Russell Family Library.

Included are 19th-century Canadian imprints, books on horticulture, early school textbooks, scarce local imprints, such as the 1886/89 County of Waterloo Gazetteer and Directory and the Assessment Roll of 1897 of the Town of Berlin, and a selection of Victorian literature. There are extensive runs of early 20th-century periodicals, such as The Youth's Companion, St. Nicholas, The Ladies' Home Journal, and the Canadian Forestry Journal. The Schantz/Russell Family library offers a unique insight into the reading habits and the interests and activities of a Canadian family in Berlin, Ontario during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Tobias Schantz (1842-1925) worked as an itinerant book salesman at the end of the 19th century, and more than 40 examples of books known as "salesman's dummies" are present in the collection. These books were made up by the publishers as samples for their salesmen to show to potential customers. Each one displays the most noteworthy features of the book offered for sale, including the table of contents, the illustrations, selections from the text, and examples of the variety of elaborate binding styles available. Blank pages at the end of each sample book were used by the itinerant salesman to record his orders and, in this collection, some of the dummies contain up to as many as 8 pages of hand-written lists of local subscribers to the books that Tobias marketed in his trips around the region.