A Visit from St. Nicholas, aka The Night Before Christmas

A large collection of antique “Twas The Night Before Christmas” (”A Visit From St. Nicholas”) books and publications is reprinted below. “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (also known as “A Visit of St. Nicholas”, “The Night Before Christmas” or “Twas The Night Before Christmas”) was first published anonymously in the Troy Sentinel (New York) on December 23, 1823 and was reprinted for a number of years without attribution. In 1844 Clement Clarke Moore claimed authorship (see below for a scan of Poems which was the first publication of Moore’s own claim to authorship) himself in one of his books of poems. The first currently known credit to Moore was the December 25, 1837 edition of the Pennsylvania Inquirer and Daily Courier which credited “Professor Moore” as the author.

We reprint hundreds of scans from Christian Riley’s SantaClaus.com collection of A Visit from St. Nicholas for the enjoyment of people around the world (if you wish to link to material from SantaClaus.com, VisitFromStNicholas.com or TheNightBeforeChristmas.com we kindly ask that you note it). Both SantaClaus.com and TheNightBeforeChristmas.com reprint selected versions of the poem as the shear number of editions reprinted here may be considered overwhelming by some. However, as we fully scan in the entire collection, we believe that as people’s tastes in food varies, so may their tastes in favorite adaptions of the poem. Likewise, as the three sites contain the largest collection of “The Night Before Christmas” scans on the internet, it may be useful for those interested in the history of the poem to have a complete collection available.

If you would like to discuss The Night Before Christmas, the SantaClaus.com Christmas forums are the perfect place.

Would you like to include a scan that you don’t see here? If it is pre-1923, then we would love a full scan of the book. If it is pre-1964, it may be out of copyright so if you have a scan we can probably check. If it is post 1963, then it is not out of copyright, but a scan of the cover would be useful, discuss The Night Before Christmas with us here.

The names represent the following:
1837-3-14-New-York Mirror-Dec-23

1837 – the year, followed by a number indicating the # published, 3 being the 3rd item for that year
14-The number from Nancy Marshall’s bibliography (if it is followed by an “s” it is similar but not identical)
New York Mirror – Publication, followed by date if available.

We are adopting a “year-number” format in order to facilitate referencing the books while allowing for additions that are as  yet unknown.  The numbers from Nancy H. Marshall’s bibliography are included for reference.

Copies may be available at, AbeBooks – Rare Books, or Alibris if you are interested.

Without further ado, here are the scans, clicking on a thumbnail will bring up a full sized image:

62 thoughts on “A Visit from St. Nicholas, aka The Night Before Christmas

  1. admin Post author

    Melissa, hey, if you give more information on the book – publisher etc, I might be able to find out more info.
    Chris

  2. Michael Kratochwill

    I just pruchased a copy of “THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS AND OTHER STORIES” It was published by Whitman Publishing Co., Racine WI.
    The book is in excellent condition, pulp pages showing no wear, some 1/4 inch cracked edges and moderate fading condition. The cover is hard bound, red with a purple linen spine, with gold embossed design (much like a street sign shape) with the book title inside the sign. At the bottom of the cover it has ” A Book of Christmas Stories” and aslo the number W723 or W728.

    The stories that are included: THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS; THE NOEL CANDLE; THE LITTLE GRAY LAMB;
    THE LEDGEND OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE; THE CHRISTMAS GOBLINS; THE CHRISTMAS PRINCESS; THE WOODEN SHOE;
    MOTHER HUBBARD’S HOUSE PARTY

    The book size is 4.25 inches wide and 6.75 inches tall, 126 pages (63 sheets) There are no dates or authors listed anywhere. There are smaller half page illustration for a few of the beginning stories . Three full page illustrations for “The Noel Candle” and two full page for “The Gray Lamb”. All the illustrations are line drawing. Dickens and Molesworth are the only two authors listed and those at the beginning of each story.

    As I mentioned, the conditionof the book is excellent for what I believe to be a very old book. Doesn’t look like it was ever used, especially a child. Could you help me with the possible date and aproximate value?

    Thank you,
    Mike

  3. admin Post author

    Hi,
    I emailed you, but in case others were curious:
    Whitman had a similar book in ~1932 that has a “W910” number on it, so I would think it is earlier than that. I haven’t seen one like you describe,but given the numbers, I would think it would be from the late 1910s or 1920s and probably worth a few hundred dollars. It is really hard to say for sure though, but given how you describe the condition that would be a good positive for its value.

    It sounds like a cool old book!

  4. Stan

    Found a version of Couples and Leon book like the 1910 shown ….pictures match except some variation on the the writing pages with vine type border with Christmas decorations incorporated in the holly leaves in green and gold….would like to know value $$$.

    Thanks,

    Stan

  5. Stewart Ogilby

    I have in my possession a copy of the 1844 book, “Poems”, published by Clement Clark Moore in which he published and took credit for “A Visit from St. Nicholas”. The author gave it as a present to my G-G-Uncle, a colleague at the General Theological Seminary in NYC. He wrote “With the author’s esteem to Dr. Ogilby” (approx. inscription) and Moore made several hand-written errata corrections throughout the book. It was read to his own children by Moore, and 3 Ogilby generations before falling into my possession. I have been unable to find another copy of this book, in any condition, online although others may exist. I am interested in selling this item to an interested collector or to someone who would be happy to read from it to his own family, knowing that Moore had himself done so. The book is presently in a bank safety deposit box.

  6. admin Post author

    Hi,
    This sounds like a unique copy. I’ve seen other copies of “Poems.” You could try listing it on eBay or something like that if you wanted to try selling it.

  7. admin Post author

    It is hard to say for sure without seeing more, but I would probably say in the $100-$200 range.

  8. Martin Hulsenboom

    L.S.,
    Last week a new Dutch translation has appeared of Moore’s Visit of St. Nicholas. Unlike the earlier translations, this version is not simplified to make it more understandable for present-day children. Instead, it remains faithful to the original text.
    You might be interested in this link: http://www.cubra.nl/auteurs/Martin-Hulsenboom/index.htm
    Have a Merry Christmas!
    Martin Hulsenboom

  9. Karen Hinojosa

    Sorry, in addition to my previous email, my book is not dated and in poor condition. The only info it has is Tom Thumb Series and M.A. Donaohue &Co. I have owned this book for about 45 years and I founf it in a box that I bought at auction in Colorado.

    Thank you,
    Karen Hinojosa

  10. admin Post author

    Hi,
    I said it in a previous reply, but notifications weren’t on so I didn’t see all these comments right away. As far as this one goes, it is hard to say, but I have seen these before in the $100 range in pretty good condition, but a guess would be in the $50-$200 range.

    One can always contact a rare book store, or list it on ebay with a reserve price if you aren’t sure if you wanted to sell.

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