Some places to start (the Gale volumes have bibliographies):
British literary publishing houses, 1820-1880. Edited by Patricia Anderson and Jonathan Rose. Detroit : Gale Research, c1991. Dictionary of literary biography ; v. 106 Doe Ref PS129.D5 v.106
British literary publishing houses, 1881-1965. Edited by Jonathan Rose and Patricia J. Anderson. Detroit : Gale Research, c1991. Dictionary of literary biography ; v. 112. Doe Ref PS129.D5 v.112
The Cambridge history of the book in Britain. Cambridge, UK ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988- 2009. (in process) v.1. 400-1100 / edited by Richard Gameson. v. 2. 1100-1400 / edited by Nigel Morgan and Rodney M. Thomson -- v. 3. 1400-1557 / edited by Lotte Hellinga and J.B. Trapp -- v. 4. 1557-1695 / edited by John Barnard and D.F. McKenzie, with the assistance of Maureen Bell -- V. 5. 1695-1830 / edited by Michael F. Suarez and Michael L. Turner -- v. 6. 1830-1914 / edited by David McKitterick. Graduate Services has v. 1-6 at Z8.G7.C36 1998 Main Stack has circulating copies of v. 3-4 Z8.G7.C36 1998
Howard-Hill, T. H. (Trevor Howard). The British Book Trade, 1475-1890 : a Bibliography. London : British Library ; New Castle, DE : Oak Knoll Press, 2009. 2 vols. Bancroft Reference Z324 .H69 2009. Lightly annnotated bibliography of works on authorship, bibliography, book collecting, book illustration, bookselling, censorship, copyright, libraries, literacy, papermaking, printing, publishing, textual criticism, and typography in the British book trade from 1475 to 1890.
Alex Weedon's Guide to Archives of 19th Century British Publishers An updated and expanded version of this list may be found in: Weedon, Alexis. British book trade archives 1830-1939 : a location register. Bristol : Simon Eliot and Michael Turner, 1996. Main Stack Z325.W444 1996
Brodersen, Martha et. al. A Guide to Book Publishers' Archives. New York: Book Industry Stufy Group, 1996. Main Stack Z475.G86 1996
American literary publishing houses, 1638-1899. Edited by Peter Dzwonkoski.Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., c1986. Dictionary of Literary biography ; v. 49 Doe Ref PS129.D5 v.49
American literary publishing houses, 1900-1980. Trade and paperback / edited by Peter Dzwonkoski.Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., c1986. Dictionary of literary biography ; v. 46. Doe Ref PS129.D5 v.46
Tebbel, John William. A History of Book Publishing in the United States. New York: R. R. Bowker, 1972-1981. Main Stack Z473.T42
History of the Book in America. Cambridge University Press and the University of North Carolina Press, 2000-10. 5 vols. v. 1. The colonial book in the Atlantic world Main and NRLF Z473 .C686 2000. v. 2. An extensive republic : print, culture, and society in the new nation, 1790-1840. Main Z473 .E98 2010. v. 3. The industrial book, 1840-1880. Main Z473 .I53 2007. v. 4. Print in motion : the expansion of publishing and reading in the United States, 1880-1940. Main Z473 .P75 2009. v. 5. The enduring book : print culture in postwar America. Main Z473 .E53 2009
Volume 1: The Colonial Book in the Atlantic World, edited by Hugh Amory & David D. Hall.
Main Stack Z473.C686 2000 and through ebrary
Volume 2: An extensive republic: print, culture, and society in the new nation, 1790-1840, edited by Robert A. Gross and Mary Kelley. Main Stack Z473.E98 2010
Volume 3: The industrial book, 1840-1880, edited by Scott E. Casper et. al. Main Stack Z473.I53 2007 and through ebrary
Volume 4: Print in motion: the expansion of publishing and reading in the United States, 1880-1940, edited by Carl F. Kaestle and Janice A. Radway. Main Stack Z473.P75 2009
Volume 5: The enduring book: print culture in postwar America, edited by David Paul Nord, Joan Shelley Rubin, and Michael Schudson. Main Stack Z473.E53 2009
Tanselle, G. Thomas. “The Historiography of American Literary Publishing.” Studies in Bibliography 18 (1965): 3-39. Main Stack Z1008.V55
Brodersen, Martha et. al. A Guide to Book Publishers' Archives. New York: Book Industry Study Group, Inc., 1996. Main Stack Z475.G86 1996
The Center for Research Libraries has the microfilm reproductions of several publishing houses; as members of CRL, we can borrow the film and guide to it. CRL has:
Archives of Elkin Matthews, 1811-1938.
Author: E. Matthews (Firm).
Temporal Coverage: 1811-1938
GUIDE: Contents list on film.
Archives of George Allen & Co., 1893-1915.
Author: George Allen & Co.
Temporal Coverage: 1893-1915
GUIDE: Archives of George Allen & Co.; a guide. C-23369
Archives of George Routledge & Co., 1853- 1902.
Author: George Routledge & and Sons.
Temporal Coverage: 1853- 1902
Archives of Grant Richards, 1897-1948.
Author: Richards, Grant, 1872-1948.
Publisher: Chadwyck-Healey; Somerset House
Temporal Coverage: 1897-1948
GUIDE: Ingram, Alison. Index to the archives of Grant Richards, 1897- 1948. D-15432
Archives of Harper & Brothers, 1817-1914.
Author: Harper & Brothers
Publisher: Chadwyck-Healey; Somerset House
Temporal Coverage: 1817-1914
GUIDE: Feeney, Christopher. Index to the archives of Harper and Brothers, 1817-1914. D-15901
Archives of Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Henry S. King.
Author: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co.
Publisher: Chadwyck-Healey; Somerset House
Temporal Coverage: 1858-1912
GUIDE: Index to the archives of Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Henry S. King. C-23309
FOB (Firms out of Business) A companion to their WATCH copyright site, FOB is a joint effort by the University of Reading Library and the Harry Ransom Center to “record information about printing and publishing firms, magazines, literary agencies and similar organisations which are no longer in existence. Where possible the entries in FOB identify successor organisations which might own any surviving rights.”
The National Archives (Great Britain) An annual list of publisher materials acquired by British libraries between 1984 and 2006. This link is for 2006; use the drop down menu to get to previous years.
Sharp-L list of Publisher Archives and Records Publishers' Archives and Finding Lists (SHARP Web) Resources for locating publisher archives, some of which can be searched.
University of Reading Library. Archives of Publishing or Printing Firms The Library has a solid collection of materials for the study of book production and printing, including the archives of some major publishers. The scope notes for each collection include a history of each firm and other useful information.
Do a title word search in Melvyl or OskiCat using the name of the company. Also try the subject heading:
Literature publishing--Name of Country--History--19th century (or whatever century you need)
1. National Union Catalog, pre-1956 Imprints Main Z733.U57.C22556 Titles held by many U. S. libraries, including the Library of Congress. Includes information about which libraries own the title.
2. Library of Congress Online Catalog Does NOT include every title in the NUC.
3a. The British Library General Catalogue of Printed Books to 1975 Main Z921 .B8542 1975
3b. British Library Catalogues Does NOT include every title in the General Catalogue
4. WorldCat at FirstSearch (UCB only) Online catalog of holdings of research and many public libraries. Does NOT include everything in the NUC or the British Library General Catalogue.
5. European Library Portal to the catalogs of European national libraries.
6. English Catalogue of Books 1801/36-1963/65 Doe Ref Z2001.E51 A trade list with publisher-supplied data which often gives price, edition, size and date of publication. Covers books and pamphlets published in Great Britain (though less reliable for provincial presses). Still the most complete record of books published in Britain during the 19th Century. Available online in Hathi 1801-1922.
7. Bookseller 1858- UCB subscribed 1952-77, and our (incomplete) holdings are stored in NRLF. Holdings at SRLF go back to 1944. Alphabetical weekly lists of new publication and reissues. From 1924-76, these were cumulated into Whitaker's Cumulative Book List. UCB has the annuals from 1924-38 and 1958-86 stored in NRLF.
8. British Books in Print. 1874-1987. UCB holdings are in Main and NRLF Z 2001.R3. Books in print in the United Kingdom. From 1874-1932, this publication was a collection of publisher catalogs. Not published 1914-19 and 1941-50. Available online from Hathi 1877-1921.
9. Nineteenth-Century Short Title Catalogue (NSTC) is an attempt to list all printed monographs in English and all translations from English published from 1801-1919. Also lists many periodicals, directories and other ephemeral publications. The first three series of the NSTC drew on the holdings of the Bodleian Library, the British Library, Harvard University Library, the Library of Congress, the Library of Trinity College, Dublin, the National Library of Scotland and the University Libraries of Cambridge and Newcastle. Series IV is adding titles acquired by British Library after 1976, when the last supplement to the British Museum General Catalogue of Printed Books was issued, and holdings from additional libraries. Can also be searched as part of C19.
10. Early English Books Online (EEBO) (UCB only) When finished, this collection will contain images of almost every work printed in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and British North America and works in English printed elsewhere from 1473-1700. In essence, reproductions of the works listed in Pollard & Redgrave, Wing, and the Thomason Tracts.
11. Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) (UCB only) When completed, this collection will contain images of almost every work printed in Great Britain or its colonies from 1701-1800.
12. American Catalogue ...July 1, 1876-Dec. 31, 1910. Cumulation of the Annual American Catalogue. Standard U.S. list based on publisher information and not on the actual books. Bancroft and NRLF f Z1201 .A52 Some available online from Hathi.
13. Publishers' Trade List Annual 1873-2001 Collection of publisher catalogs. UCB has scattered holdindgs from the early years and a solid run from 1915-2000, all housed in NRLF.
14. Publisher's Weekly 1873- See the Oski record for details about what UCB owns. Standard U.S. book trade journal with lists of new publications and announcements of forthcoming titles.
15. American Book Publishing Record Cumulative 1876-1949 : An American National Bibliography. Many titles excluded (e.g. government publications, dissertations, new printings and periodicals). 15 vols. NRLF Z1201.A523 Vol. 11 has fiction.
16. American Book Publishing Record Cumulative 1950-1977 : An American National Bibliography. NRLF Z1201.A523 Vol. 11 has fiction.