59 School Street, Box 1310, Edgartown MA 02539 - 508.627.4441
Martha's Vineyard Museum MV Museum

A Finding Aid to the Borrowdale Bookshop Account Books, 1949-1965

Descriptive Summary

RepositoryMartha's Vineyard Museum
Gale Huntington Research Library
59 School Street
P.O. Box 1310
Edgartown, MA 02539
(508) 627-4441
Call NumberRU471
Creator Borrowdale Bookshop
TitleBorrowdale Bookshop account books
Date [inclusive]1949-1965
Extent1 box (0.711 cubic feet)
LanguageThe materials are in English.
AbstractThe Borrowdale Bookshop account books contain the accounts of a bookstore in Edgartown, Massachusetts, ranging from 1949 to 1965. Borrowdale Bookshop was owned and operated by Gerald Chittenden and his family. This collection also contains advertising pamphlets disseminated by Borrowdale Bookshop.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions to access.

Use and Reproduction Restrictions

Requests to reproduce material from this collection should be directed to museum staff. Reproduction fees may apply.

Preferred Citation

Martha's Vineyard Museum, RU 471, Borrowdale Bookshop Account Books.

Acquisition Information

These materials were donated in 2002 by William Stewart, a cousin of Julie Chittenden, accession number 2002.075. In addition to the materials in this donation, William Stewart donated the sign from Borrowdale Bookshop in 2001 (Accession number 2001.007) and an oral history interview he recorded of his cousin Julie Chittenden in 2000 (Accession number 2013.030).

Publication Information

Martha's Vineyard Museum

Gale Huntington Research Library
59 School Street
P.O. Box 1310
Edgartown, MA 02539
(508) 627-4441

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared and machine-encoded by Nathaniel Janick, June 2014.

 Creation of this finding aid was sponsored by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Related Materials

Related Materials

The museum holds two oral histories related to the history of Borrowdale Bookstore:

  • Oral history interview with Julie Chittenden, 2000 March 29


    Accession number: 2013.030.001; this interview was conducted by William Stewart

  • Oral history interview with William Stewart, 2014 February 3


    Accession number: 2014.002.005; this interview was conducted by Linsey Lee

Separated Material

Part of Stewart's donation, a scrapbook containing New Bedford Standard-Times clippings from 1949 of its Edgartown column, was removed from the collection and placed with the Martha's Vineyard Museum scrapbook collection.

Controlled Access Headings

Family Name(s)

  • Chittenden family


  • Account books
  • Pamphlets

Personal Name(s)

  • Chittenden, Gerald, 1882-1962
  • Chittenden, Julie, 1924-2000


  • Bookstores--Massachusetts--Martha's Vineyard

Biography/Historical Note

Gerald Chittenden, 1882-1962, was an English professor at St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire. He and his wife Margaret, 1891-1963, were summer residents of Martha's Vineyard since the 1920s and moved to Edgartown year-round after Mr. Chittenden retired from his job in 1948. When he retired, they refurbished a shed behind their Edgartown property on Oliver Street, and turned it into a bookstore.

After the deaths of Mr. and Mrs. Chittenden, the business was taken over by their daughter Julie Chittenden, 1924-2000, who ran the store until it closed in the mid-1970s.

Gerald Chittenden was also president of the Dukes County Historical Society (predecessor to the Martha's Vineyard Museum) from the late 1940s until the early 1950s.

Scope and Content Note

The Borrowdale Bookshop account books contain records of the shop's sales. The store was open from 1948 until 1973, and the collection is incomplete. Also included in the collection are print materials used to advertise the Borrowdale Bookshop.


The materials are arranged by form and therein chronologically.

Collection Inventory

Borrowdale Bookshop account book, 1949 February 1-1949 October 6 

Borrowdale Bookshop account book, 1958 August 18-1959 October 7 

Borrowdale Bookshop account book, 1963 July 31-1965 September 18 

Borrowdale Bookshop brochure, 1963