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More about Bertha Mahony Miller

Bertha Everett Mahony was born in Rockport, MA, in 1882. After a year at the Secretarial School at Simmons College, she joined the staff of the Women’s Educational and Industrial Union (WEIU), a Boston institution organized to protect and promote the status of working women, as Assistant Secretary in 1906. Ten years later, under the auspices of the WEIU, she opened the Bookshop for Boys and Girls, where she worked tirelessly to ensure that her customers had access to the best new children’s books available. The store regularly sponsored story hours, art exhibits, and a poetry series where such luminaries as Carl Sandberg, Robert Frost, T.S. Eliot, and Archibald MacLeish came to read their works to children. All of these activities were designed to instill in young patrons a lifelong love of reading. In 1916, eager to reach a wider public with information on good books, Miss Mahoney engineered an arrangement with the WEIU and a variety of publishers to underwrite costs for a traveling book caravan.

In 1924, with her colleague Elinor Whitney, Bertha Mahony founded The Horn Book Magazine, the first magazine exclusively devoted to children’s books and reading. In 1932, the year of her marriage to William Davis Miller, she withdrew from the bookshop to concentrate her energies on publishing the Magazine, which had amiably ended its association with the WEIU.

Bertha Mahony Miller died in 1969 at her home in Ashburnham, MA. Her energy, commitment, and dedication to finding and promoting the best books available for children and young adults are still a driving force behind The Horn Book Magazine.

About or by Bertha Mahony Miller

Reminiscence by Elizabeth Orton Jones (September/October 1999 Horn Book Magazine)
An old friend remembers her neighbor

Reminiscence by Lee Kingman (September/October 1999 Horn Book Magazine)
A young reader visits the bookshop

Treasure Island by the Roadside by Barbara Bader (January/February 1999 Horn Book Magazine)
Selling children's books off the back of a truck

Peter Says Please by Barbara Bader (March/April 1999 Horn Book Magazine)
Peter Rabbit's creator befriends the Horn Book

Politi for Christmas by Barbara Bader (May/June 1999 Horn Book Magazine)
An up-and-coming artist's holiday keepsake

Realms of Gold and Granite by Barbara Bader (September/October 1999 Horn Book Magazine)
Miss Mahony opens her Bookshop for Boys and Girls in 1916

One Childhood, One World by Barbara Bader (November/December 1999 Horn Book Magazine)
The Horn Book's global vision was always clear

Beatrix & Bertha by Lolly Robinson (July/August 2006 Horn Book Magazine)
Why Beatrix Potter cottoned to Bertha Miller

October 1924 Horn Book Editorial
Bertha Mahony Miller's inaugural editorial

Scrapbook items of interest:
     • Photos of Bertha Mahony Miller
     • Clipping: article about Bertha Mahony Miller in Atlantic Monthly, June 1929
     • Clipping: article about Bertha Mahony Miller in Gloucester, MA, newspaper, 1920

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