The Night Before Christmas Book Cover

A Descriptive Bibliography of Clement Clarke Moore’s Immortal Poem
by Nancy H. Marshall

An essential reference tool for collectors of Christmas memorabilia, researchers, librarians, curators, booksellers, antique dealers  – anyone who is enchanted by the yearly visit from St. Nicholas.

Hardcover 8″ x 10″
348 pages

Published April 2002

Oak Knoll Press

310 Delaware Street

New Castle, DE 19720


This is the first comprehensive and definitive work ever undertaken to document the publication history of this most famous work in all of Christmas literature. Written 180 years ago by a noted theologian and biblical scholar, there are few who do not know Clement Clarke Moore’s tale of the mysterious Christmas eve visitor.

With 1,001 entries, each of which includes full bibliographic and physical description, this book takes the reader on a journey from the first publication of the poem in 1823 in the Troy (New York) Sentinel through the year 2000.

Nancy H. Marshall, long-time dedicated collector, brings her in-depth knowledge of Moore and the poem’s publication history, as well as her bibliographic skills as a librarian, to bear in this scholarly endeavor.

Included in this extraordinary work is an Historical Essay describing the evolution from St. Nicholas to Santa Claus, the legend of Christmas Eve 1822 when Clement Moore wrote the poem for his family, a brief biographical sketch of the author of The Night Before Christmas, a description of the four extant holograph copies of the poem, a claim by the descendants of Major Henry Livingston, Jr. that he is the rightful author of the poem, and publication milestones.

The 144 beautifully photographed covers in color of editions of A Visit from St. Nicholas, now more commonly known as The Night Before Christmas, and 80 black/white illustrations of early engravings and lithographs of St. Nicholas/Santa Claus not often found in bibliographies, make this a very unusual and visually exciting work of scholarship.

Especially useful to readers are 38 pages of detailed indexes. In addition to a general category, there are indexes of: titles, series, formats, publishers/printers, authors/editors/compilers, illustrators/artists/engravers/designers/typographers.