November 21, 2013—The first printing press in what would become the United States of America set sail for Boston Harbor in 1638 with the Rev. Joseph Glover and his family on board. Joseph died on the journey; his widow Elizabeth and Stephen Day (sometimes Daye), an indentured locksmith, established the press on what is now Holyoke Street in Harvard Square. The press produced the first book printed in America, the Bay Psalm Book (1640).
(Please scroll down to see a slideshow about the book.)
Harvard's Houghton Library holds one of the surviving copies of the Bay Psalm Book—1700 were printed and only 11 remain. Thus, this book is much more rare than other landmarks of printing such as the Gutenburg Bible (49 copies) or Shakespeare's First Folio (about 200 copies). To mark Sotheby's auction of the Old South Church's copy on November 26, 2013, Harvard has its copy on display from November 22 through December 14 in Houghton Library. Admission to Houghton Library is free; please click here for hours.