Grocer's Daybook

1 volume
Call no.: MS 137
rotating decorative images from SCUA collections

Unnamed grocer who was possibly from the town of Amherst in either Massachusetts or New Hampshire. Daybook includes customers' names, their account numbers, and the items that they purchased (food or supplies).

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Scope of collection

This unnamed grocer's daybook covers the period of September 25, 1888 to February 13, 1890. Most of the customers make frequent, even daily, purchases, generally buying only a few items of food at a time, with occasional pairs of shoes, chimneys, or snow shovels in addition. Prepared foods, such as doughnuts, cupcakes, tumblers of jelly, cookies, and rolls were sold along with basic staples - apples, eggs, oranges, raisins, butter, salt, starch, lard, chocolate, cheese, milk. The entries are preceded by numbers which probably refer to the patrons' accounts in the storekeeper's ledger.

The inside front cover bears a dealer's notation "Amherst ledger." While the possibility exists that this is an Amherst, Massachusetts grocer's account book (some of the family names are found in the Amherst Directory for 1895-Dickinson, Cowles, Doolittle, Knowlton, Pease, Rose, Hamlin, Hall, Holmes, Hunt, Parker), almost none of the particular members of the families listed in the account book matches a name in the directory. This seems to indicate it is unlikely that this is an Amherst, Massachusetts grocer. Perhaps the book was an item in a batch of materials from Amherst, New Hampshire, although very few of the family names appear in town histories. Further investigations might reveal this is from a town of another name altogether.

Administrative information


The collection is open for research.


Processing Information

Processed by Linda Seidman.




Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Copyright and Use (More information )

Cite as: Grocer's Daybook (MS 137). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms


  • Consumers--New England--History--19th century--Sources.
  • Groceries--New England--History--19th century--Sources.
  • Grocers--New England--History--19th century--Sources.
  • Grocery trade--New England--History--19th century--Sources.
  • New England--Economic conditions--19th century--Sources.

Genres and formats

  • Account books.

Link to similar SCUA collections