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"I’ve waited 37 years to have a Social Studies book that was so wonderful the kids would cheer when we had Social Studies."

—A fifth-grade teacher using Tennessee Through Time: The Later Years

"If schools had more textbooks like this one, the achievement gap would practically be a thing of the past. If you're looking for a Social Studies book that can hold the interest of even the most high-tech student, look no further."

—Association of Educational Publishers, on awarding Massachusetts, Our Home with the Golden Lamp Award

"I am happy to see the connection to reading in the informational genre, so important for integrating ELA Common Core standards across content areas."

—A third-grade teacher reviewing The Massachusetts Story


Social Studies Customized to Your State and the Common Core

Gibbs Smith Education never takes a cookie-cutter approach to publishing social studies programs. No two states have the same story or the same standards for social studies content. No two Gibbs Smith programs are alike.

Each program is carefully crafted to align with the latest state-specific social studies standards as well as ELA Common Core standards. Well-respected historians write our content, to which we add eye-catching design and images, grade-level-appropriate readability, and rich instructional material based on the latest research and best practices. The result? The finest Social Studies programs available today.

The Beginning

Always intrigued by people and the story of the past, Gibbs Smith dreamed of becoming a history professor. His vision took him to Berkeley for grad school in the late 1960s, where he wrote his master’s dissertation on Joe Hill, the American labor martyr, proletarian folk hero, and songwriter. His dissertation was published as a book and informed the production of a movie. Produced by Swedish filmmakers, Joe Hill won the Jury Prize at the 1971 Cannes Film Festival.

Building on his success and his love of history, Smith and his wife, Cathy, decided to start a publishing company. Their first office was their studio apartment in Santa Barbara, and they published four supplementary history textbooks for college classrooms with only $12,000 of seed money.

The Barn

The company grew, relocating to Utah in 1973. Gibbs and his wife poured their profits back into the business and lived on savings. They spent that first summer converting an old barn (built in 1916) on the Smith family farm into offices. They managed to publish their first state history textbook, Utah’s Heritage. With no sales force or distribution network, the couple packed up their truck and traveled throughout the state to sell the textbook to as many schools as possible. Their perseverance and the quality of the book paid off.

Smith will never forget sharing the barn with cows those first few years. “You could hear them mooing through the walls,” he says with a smile. “People could hear them over the phone, too.” When he would explain the ruckus, the response on the other end of the line was always the same: “You do what? From where?”

Today, the Barn is home to three sheep—Wilma, Mabel, and Frannie, a few hens, and a menagerie of cats. There are also a few editors who churn out beautiful books for our trade department. Among the books published by our trade side are design, craft, cooking, how-to, outdoors, regional interest, home reference, and children’s literature.

The Education Team

Just a few miles down the road is the illustrious Gibbs Smith Education Team. While we don’t have any barnyard animals or cats roaming around, we do have Walter and Sophie, our resident doggies. And, we have a magnificent view of the Wasatch Mountains.

We also have a group of people dedicated to bringing your state history to life. We pride ourselves on being “history nerds” and we want to share our passion with students and teachers. As Art Director Alan Connell says: “History isn’t boring. Why should textbooks be?” Meet our education team:

Alan Connell—Art Director, fonts enthusiast, and rabid Utes fan
Breeann Allison—Curriculum Developer, aspiring horror writer, and avid Wendy’s consumer
Charlene Kerwin—Editorial Director, marathoner, and resident expert on Philly cheesesteaks
Courtney Thomas—Senior Editor, content junkie, and Emily Dickinson buff
Devon Beavers—Associate Editor, former State Department intern, and Texas BBQ aficionado
Diane Collett—Photo Editor, walking specialist, and proficient gluten-free baker
Ian Greaves—Editor, Civil Rights specialist, and Walter’s human
Kate Coombs—Curriculum Director, award-winning children’s poet, and budding nature photographer
Reide Thomspon—Customer Service Representative, retired ballerina, and die-hard Volkswagon driver
Seth Blackson—Graphic Designer, comic book and action figure connoisseur, and proud father of three

So, welcome to Gibbs Smith Education. We love sharing the story of our home and feel privileged to publish the story of yours.

The Awards

Nominee, TLA 2009 History Book of the Year, Tennessee Through Time
Finalist, AEP Golden Lamp Award, Tennessee Through Time
Winner, AEP Golden Lamp Award, Massachusetts, Our Home
Winner, TAA Texty Award, The Nebraska Adventure