The influences that a man's childhood have on his life are, it is well known, great. Life is essentially a part of the things that happen to the individual and it is the manner in which one relates oneself to these things that determines what one is.
With these facts in mind this study of John Shaw Billings as a bibliographer has been approached. His early life has been reviewed as an influence on his later achievements. Stress has been placed on those events which led to his bibliographic activities.
Dr. Billings was prolific in many fields. Others have given detailed analyses of his writings (1, 2). The present study will consider only his bibliographic works. The description of these follows the brief outline of his childhood and youth.