An exhibit of material from the collection of Lewis Becker, Professor of Law, Villanova University School of Law. March 13, 2006 – April 28, 2006 Falvey Memorial Library Villanova University
American Songsters in General (Exhibit Case 4)
Songsters published in the United States in the first half of the 19th century were a combination of the traditional, popular, and newly composed. However, the Forget Me Not Songster seems to have been unusually focused on the traditional.
Forget Me Not Songster. Containing a Choice Collection of old Ballad Songs, as sung by Our Grandmothers. Embellished with Numerous Engravings.
New York: Nafish & Cornish; Philadelphia: J. B. Perry, 1842
This case includes samples of other American songsters that were more typically a mixture of the traditional and the popular.
Hadaway, T.H. Hadaway’s Select Songster: being a Collection of the Most Approved New and Fashionable Sentimental and Comic Songs, Many of which have been Contributed by Our most Able and Distinguished Vocalists.
Philadelphia: Gihon & Kucher, 1840
Souvenir Minstrel, or Singer’s Remember Me: a Choice Collection of
the most admired Songs, Duets, Glees, Choruses, etc…with all the new Songs.
Philadelphia: J. B. Perry, 1842
Samples of more focused songsters:
This songster was unusual for its time. Instead of being general in nature it was devoted to a single topic – songs of the sea.
Books were sometimes published that contained a number of songsters that had previously been issued separately. An example is this volume that also reprints four other songsters: Frank Converse’s Old Cremona Songster, The Charley O’Malley Irish Songster, The Love and Sentimental Sonster, and The Heart and Home Songster
In the latter half of the 19th century, songsters began to frequently be printed on cheap paper and bound in colored pictorial covers. Usually, these songsters presented the work of one author or composer, or they featured reprints of songs previously published.
Firemen’s Songster. Guzzlin Jim Songster.
Philadelphia: A. Winch,  New York: Rob’t M. De Witt, 1871