The Providence partnership of Harris & Jones entered into business as commercial lithographers in 1868, and became the Providence Lithograph Company circa 1875. In 1878, the firm began to emphasize religious lesson material for Sunday schools, and grew to become the leading printers of Sunday School lesson material in the country. Most of their work was done directly for the educational and publishing wings of the larger Protestant denominations. They also published periodicals and a small number of illustrated religious books under the imprints of Harris-Jones and the Religious Press.
The company maintained a large library of artwork, mostly of biblical subjects. It commissioned some original artwork, and also negotiated for publishing rights or commissioned reproductions of existing works. Much of the artwork was licensed for American use from British publishers such as Eyre & Spottiswoode and the Lutterworth Press. The company did not generally produce individual prints of its art, or license its art to other commercial publishers.