One Hundred Years of American Fine Printing

Howard W. Gunlocke Rare Book and Special Collections Room


That there is—and has been for some time—a commodity identifiable as "American fine printing" seems obvious, though precise definition of what it is may not be so. Book designers and printers on this side of the Atlantic have struggled with the same problems facing their colleagues elsewhere. Yet we have witnessed in the past hundred years the birth and growth of a uniquely American aesthetic in fine printing: we are conscious of a look and feel that tell us at once a book was made in this country.

William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement did not first bring the concept of fine printing to America. By 1890, fledgling native "fine printers," including even amateurs such as Charles L. Moreau of New York, had already produced work acceptable by the canons of their time.  The number of well-printed and well-designed Victorian books is quite considerable, and the Riverside Press, DeVinne, and Munsell—not to mention such trade publishers as Appleton and Lippincott—made books whose excellence has survived almost a century of changing tastes.

From Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement, however, a number of American printers received a newly invigorated sense of craftsmanship, and this just when technological advances in industry opened to rapid changes in fashion the visual appearance of virtually all domestic objects, books included. In the field of printing this sense of craftsmanship, which repudiated current standards of taste perceived as mechanically corrupted, was happily and fruitfully wedded to the vigorous tradition that each text—or restricted group of texts—was an intellectual entity worthy of a unique visual presentation. If as a nation we had not fully realized the slogan "one man, one vote," we were well on the way to fulfilling the parallel goal of "one book, one design."

This concern for the singular has been the particular province of the private press in America from Updike and the Goudys to Fran Altschul and Richard Bigus. Nor has it been entirely a pursuit of mere novelty, for much of the best of private press work has fallen well within Pope's stricture "What oft was thought, but ne'er so well expressed." The formal restraints imposed by the book—the medium—and by its text—the message—ensure that this should be so. Thus in retrospect we observe the birth, growth, and senile demise of a succession of printing styles. From the best of each we foster the tradition as from the pervasiveness of each we rebel, seeking like Daniel Boone to run the smoke of our neighbor's chimney over the horizon.

The commercial houses, too, have played their part. If at times fine trade work has discreetly followed advances made by private presses, it has also sprung from the original work and conceptions of a multitude of skilled designers and printers, who have occasionally achieved striking results within the limitations of cheap paper and inks and large press runs. Best known, certainly, is the output of the Bruce Rogers/ Houghton, Mifflin and W.A. Dwiggins/ Plimpton Press/ Alfred A. Knopf combinations, but they hardly stand alone. And while it may be easier to disguise a lack of imagination or meretricious design in good paper and types than to achieve a brilliant effect with bad materials, the commercial designer and printer have frequently enjoyed working with more stimulating and inherently interesting texts than those taken up by private presses.

No conscious attempt has been made to select for this exhibit what anyone might think are the 120 "best" American books and broadsides of the past hundred years. Some effort has been made, however, to show the range of printed work craftsmen must deal with: from single-poem broadsides and slender volumes of various kinds to trade non-fiction and scholarly multi-volume sets. While there are a few books which would have been exhibited had copies been available—or had their physical fragility permitted—there are others included which, delightfully, presented themselves almost by chance.

Nor have all the examples chosen been uniformly successful, either within themselves or as a group. Rather, emphasis has been placed on variety of achievement in typography, in layout and design, in wedding the text and illustration, in suitability of decoration to purpose: in the sheer imaginative conquest of material and method. Because the art/craft of letterpress printing is today in one of its most productive and volatile periods, a large portion of the exhibit is devoted to relatively recent books. They and their makers constitute the ongoing force of a still young and lively tradition.

And what, finally, of the American aesthetic? The items chosen illustrate one perception of it; there are others. As more collectors and scholars address printing as an art, consensual verbalizations will, no doubt, emerge. If this exhibit inspires any part of that process, it has fulfilled its purpose.

This exhibit marks the inauguration, rather than the fruition from long development, of a collection. While a certain number of fine American books have come to the Library in the normal course of events, Georgetown has been fortunate in recent years in the generosity of several donors, and principally of Eleanor Zimmerman and Patricia England, without whom there could not be even an inauguration. In addition, we have borrowed liberally from a number of local collectors in areas where our own holdings were not sufficient. We owe special thanks to Penelope Barringer, Patricia England, Edith and John Mayfield, Jean and John Michael, and Robert Snider, who have generously shared with us from their collections.

Items in the Exhibition:

An Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard. The Artists' Edition.

Gray, Thomas.
Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1883.
Printed by Lippincott. A thoroughly typical fine edition of the time: heavy stock, neat but conservative typography, emphasis on the illustrations.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

Modern Bookbinding Practically Considered

Matthews, William.
The Grolier Club, 1889.
Printed at the DeVinne Press, which produced some of the best American printing in the decade before Morris. One of 300 copies on Holland.
Gift of Patricia G. England.

The Columbian Ode

Monroe, Harriet.
Chicago: W. Irving Way, 1893.
Will Bradley's first published work in the field of book design and decoration. Printed at the DeVinne Press, the "Souvenir Edition."
Gift of Patricia G. England.
General LC PS2422 .C5 1893

Notes: Critical & Biographical

Gruelle, R. B.
[Indianapolis] J. M. Bowles [1895]
Head-bands, initials and title page designed by Bruce Rogers; printed by Carlon and Hollenbeck of Indianapolis. One of 975 on Michallet.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

Friar Jerome's Beautiful Book

Aldrich, Thomas Bailey.
[Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1896]
Decorated by W. S. Hadaway, printed at the Riverside Press. Conventionalized medievalism with a large debt to Kelmscott. The trade edition.
Gift of Eleanor W. Zimmerman.
General LC PS1024 .F7 1896

Ziska the Problem of a Wicked Soul

Corelli, Marie.
New York: Stone & Kimball, 1897.
A typically austere Stone and Kimball presentation, printed at the University Press, Cambridge.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

The Miracles of Madame Saint Katherine of Fierbois

Chicago: Way and Williams, 1897.
Printed by the DeVinne Press, with decorations by the Englishman Selwyn Image. Only the title page and initials show a departure from DeVinne's standard typographical practice. No. 340 of 700 copies.
Gift of Eleanor W. Zimmerman.
Shandelle BX4700.C45 L58213 1897

The Earth Breath and Other Poems by A.E.

[Russell, George William]
New York and London: John Lane [1897]
Printed by Will Bradley at the Wayside Press. The Russell bibliography says "type composed by Russell," but the design of the work is clearly Bradley's.
Gift of Lorna Gill Walsh and Edward M. Walsh.
Shandelle PR6035.U7 E18 1897

Thanksgivings after the Communion of the Body and Blood of Christ

New York: R. H. Russell, 1898.
Designed by D. B. Updike and printed at the Merrymount Press, which had produced the same work as a private printing in 1896. First trade edition.
Gift of Eric F. Menke.
General LC BX5149.C5 T45 1898

Ships and Havens

Van Dyke, Henry.
New York: T. Y. Crowell [1898]
One of a series of Arts and Crafts books printed for Crowell by D. B. Updike. T. M. Cleland thought the book's "highly rubricated ecclesiastical aspect appears to have no other warrant than that its author was a clergyman." (Thompson, American Book Design and William Morris, p. 89).
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

Hand & Soul

Rossetti, Dante Gabriel.
[Portland: Mosher, 1899]
A direct imitation of the Kelmscott edition, published (according to Mosher) "at a price within reach of the American book-lover." $1.50 for one of 450 on paper (as here), or $2.50 for one of 100 on Japan vellum.
Georgetown, source not recorded.
Shandelle PR5244 .H4 1900

Tom Brown's School-days

Hughes, Thomas.
New York: Dodd, Mead, 1900.
"Arranged, Designed and Printed by the University Press, Cambridge, U.S.A." (colophon). Initials, head- and tail-pieces, and frontispiece by Adrian J. Oirio and Samuel L. Busha, apprentices of Will Bradley.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

A History of New Diedrich Knickerbocker

Irving, Washington.
London: John Lane, 1900.
Designed by D. B. Updike and printed at the Merrymount Press in a "Neo-Colonial" style; with illustrations Updike thought inappropriate, by Maxfield Parrish. The "English issue" of a book published by R. H. Russell of New York.
Gift of Robert W. Ayers.

Pre-Raphaelite Ballads

Morris, William.
New York: A. Wessels, 1900.
Decorated and illustrated by Helen Marguerite O'Kane, wife of Clarke Conwell and collaborator with him in the Elston Press. An Art Nouveau application of Morris design. No. 234 of 250 on "Imperial Japanese paper."
Gift of Bernard M. Wagner.

Two Lyrics

Tabb, John Bannister.
[Boston: Printed for the Craftsman's Guild by Carl H. Heintzemann at The Heintzemann Press, 1900]
Lettered and decorated by T. B. Hapgood, Jr. A "fine" example of a genre produced in quantity by lithographic printers as gift books. No. 202 of 375 on paper; this copy illuminated by Emilie Marthecia Whitten, 1901.
Georgetown, source not recorded.
Riedel PS2966 .C7 1900

Pippa Passes

Browning, Robert.
New York: Dodd, Mead, 1901.
A more powerful than average example of the trade craze for decorative borders, these executed by Margaret Armstrong, the best-known American designer of trade bindings. Printed at the University Press, Cambridge.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

The Cornhill Booklet

March, 1901.
Boston: Alfred Bartlett.
An emanation of the Arts and Crafts revival in New England; Thompson attributes the cover design to T. M. Cleland, who later operated his own "Cornhill Press."
Georgetown, source not recorded.
General LC PS1322 .E58 1901

For Charlie's Sake: and Other Lyrics and Ballads

Palmer, J. W.
New York and London: Funk & Wagnalls, 1901.
A trade book combining Bradley-esque initials, black letter, and a text face reminiscent of the 1880's. Printer not identified.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

In a Balcony

Browning, Robert.
[Chicago: Blue Sky Press, 1902}
Designs by F. W. Goudy and W. A. Dwiggins; the text after the title opening is straightforward, but densely set in pages of Morris proportions. No. 398 of 400 on paper.
Gift of Patricia England.
General LC PR4210.A2 T7 1902

The History of Oliver and Arthur

[Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin, 1903]
Designed by Bruce Rogers and printed at the Riverside Press. The design appropriately follows that of North European books of the early 16th century—the translation is based on a Basel edition of 1521.
Gift of Patricia G. England.
General LC PQ1572.O6 E5 1903

The Ninety-First Psalm from the Text of the Authorized Version of the English Bible

[Hingham, Mass.: The Village Press, 1904]
Composed and printed by Frederic and Bertha Goudy. An updated and restrained version of early printing. No. 109 of 200 copies.
Gift of Eleanor W. Zimmerman.
General LC BS1450 91st .V5 1904

Justinian and Theodora

Hubbard, Elbert and Alice.
[East Aurora: The Roycrofters, 1906]
Designed by Dard Hunter. The dominant floral decorative motif on the title opening is repeated throughout in headpieces, initials, and colophon.
Gift of Patricia G. England.
General LC PS2042 .J8 1906

Tares: a Book of Verses

Watson, Rosamund.
Portland: Thomas B. Mosher, 1906.
A completely typical and well-wrought example of Mosher's standard typographical presentation. No. 46 of 100 on Japan vellum.
Gift of Jeffrey B. and Marion P. Shields.
General LC PR5748 .W5 1906

The Angel of Death. Illustrated by Carl Larsson.

Wallin, Johan Olof.
Chicago: Engberg-Holmberg, 1910.
An old-fashioned design for the date, printed in two colors throughout, the same border repeated on each text page. Produced by one of Chicago's largest religious publishing houses.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

The Door in the Wall

[Prospectus for] Wells, H. G.
New York and London: Mitchell Kennerley, 1911.
Designed by F. W. Goudy and embodying the first use of his Kennerley type, designed for this book.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

Type Spacing

Currier, Everett R.
New York: J. M. Bowles [1912]
Printed by Norman Munder of Baltimore, with printer's mark of the Currier Press designed by F. W. Goudy. The text is straightforwardly printed, as befits a reprint from a technical journal. One of 300 copies.
Gift of Patricia G. England.
General LC Z253 .C88 1912

The Very Pleasant & Delectable Tale of Cupid and Psyche

[San Francisco: John Howell, 1914]
Printed by Taylor, Nash and Taylor of San Francisco, with a frontispiece by Ray R. Coyle. A Renaissance version of Morris. No. 143 of 250.
Gift of Eleanor W. Zimmerman.
Shandelle PA6209.M5 P3 1914

Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

Newark: Printed for the Carteret Book Club by the Carteret Press, 1915.
The first publication of the Carteret Press, with a two-color wood engraving by Rudolph Ruzicka. The various book clubs have along filled an important role in supporting and commissioning fine printing. One of 200.
General LC PK6513 .A1 1915b

Amicus et Célestin

France, Anatole.
[New York: Museum Press] 1916.
Designed by Bruce Rogers for Henry Watson Kent and printed in the then-new Centaur type. With woodcuts by Timothy Cole after Bryson Burroughs. One of 200 on Batchelor.
Gift of Eleanor W. Zimmerman.

Ars Typographica

Spring, 1918.
New York: The Marchbanks Press.
The first issue of "an occasional miscellany of the printing art" (prospectus); printing supervised and decorations created by F. W. Goudy.
Gift of Eleanor W. Zimmerman.

A Thousand and One Afternoons in Chicago

Hecht, Ben.
Chicago: Covici-McGee [1922]
Designed and illustrated by Herman Rosse; printed by the Printing Service Company, Chicago. A full-blown attempt to produce a "Chicago book" in look as well as text—at $2.50 retail.
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. James Q. May.

John Reed Under the Kremlin. With an Introduction by Clarence Darrow.

Steffens, Lincoln.
Chicago: Walden Book Shop [1922]
Printed by Will Ransom. The delicacy of the ornaments belies their comparatively large size. One of 235 copies.
Gift of Eleanor W. Zimmerman.

The Silverado Squatters

Stevenson, Robert Louis.
New York: Scribner's, 1923.
Printed by John Henry Nash. With chapter headings by Howard W. Willard which are completely integrated into the shape and balance of the text page. No. 79 of 380 copies.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

Old French Title Pages

Lang, Andrew.
San Francisco: Grabhorn Press, 1924.
Typography more reminiscent of French manuscripts of the 15th-16th centuries than of printed works of the time. One of 725 copies, of which 260 were for members of the American Institute of Graphic Arts as its fourteenth keepsake.
Gift of Patricia G. England.
General LC Z242.T6 L3 1924

William Caxton

[Prospectus for] Blades, William.
San Francisco: Windsor Press, 1926.
"Typography reminiscent of Caxton as displayed in the representative pages" (p. 1).
Gift of Eleanor W. Zimmerman.

The Oak by the Waters of Rowan

Kellogg, Spencer.
Village of Eden: [Aries Press] 1927.
Decorations by Wanda Gág; printed by the author emphasizing the illustrative material. One of 295 copies.
Shandelle PS3521.E41827 O18 1927


Wilde, Oscar.
[San Francisco: Grabhorm Press, 1927]
Frontispiece and decorations by Valenti Angelo. The sans serif type and pseudo-Art Nouveau decorations make an odd but attractive vehicle for Wilde's play. One of 195 copies.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

A Rod for the Back of the Binder

Chicago: The Lakeside Press / R. R. Donnelley, 1928.
A promotional publication for the extra Binding Department of the press; the design, though not the types, is strongly reminiscent of Bodoni.
Detroit Z269 .D6 1929

With Petrarch: Twelve Sonnets

Synge, John Millington.
Larchmont: Peter Pauper Press, 1928.
Set and printed by Peter Beilenson, with a typical "architectural" title page design. The first book of the press. No. 32 of 100 copies.
Gift of Eleanor W. Zimmerman.

My City. Illustrated with Eight Etchings in Color by Max Pollak.

Dreiser, Theodore.
New York: Horace Liveright [1929]
Typography by Werner Helmer, the etchings reproduced offset, supervised by Hugo Knudsen. The open typography allows a balance to be struck with the large illustrations. No. 229 of 275 copies.
Shandelle Folios PS3507.R55 M8 1929

[Prospectus for] The colophon: A Book Collector's Quarterly

[New  York: Pynson Printers, 1930?]
A journal for collectors which aimed at, and achieved "a high typographic standard."
Gift of Eleanor W. Zimmerman.

Eneas Africanus

Edwards, Harry Stillwell.
The Book Club of Texas, 1930.
Printed by the Marchbanks Press, New York. The toned paper is balanced by an unusual paper-over-boards binding. No. 233 of 300 copies.
Georgetown, source not recorded.

Moby Dick or The Whale. Illustrated by Rockwell Kent.

Melville, Herman.
New York: Random House, 1930.
Printed at the Lakeside Press. The trade edition of Kent's famous interpretation, but with a typographical unity all its own.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

The Sermon on the Mount

[San Francisco: Printed for Edward L. and Estelle Doheny by John Henry Nash, 1930]
Elaborate even by Nash's standards, with hand-colored illustration and printing in gold. No statement of limitation, but intended as a presentation keepsake.
Georgetown, source not recorded.

The Mirror of the Parisian Bibliophile: A Satirical Tale

Bonnardot, Alfred.
Chicago: [Lakeside Press] 1931.
Printed, to a deceptively simple design, under the supervision of William A. Kittredge, with illustrations by José Longoria. No. 199 of 500 copies.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

The Time Machine

Wells, H. G.
New York: Random House, 1931.
Printed by the Abbey Press; an elaborately Dwiggins-designed and decorated trade book.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

Towards a Reform of the Paper Currency, Particularly in Point of its Design

Dwiggins, W. A.
New York: Limited Editions Club, 1932.
Produced virtually entirely by Dwiggins. No. 298 of 452 copies published by the Club for subscribers.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

A Dissertation upon Roast Pig

Lamb, Charles.
Rochester: Printing House of Leo Hart, 1932.
Typography by Will Ransom, designed to harmonize with illustrations by Wilfred Jones and Chinese characters by San Ho. No. 432 of 950 copies.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

Now That the Gods Are Dead. Illustrated by Lynd Ward.

Powys, Llewellyn.
New York: Equinox, 1932.
Repeating rules form an organizing motif throughout the book, the first produced by the Equinox Cooperative Press (founded by Ward, among others). No. 230 of 400 copies.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

The Story of the Village Type

Goudy, Frederic W.
New York: The Press of the Woolly Whale, 1933.
Designed by Melbert B. Cary in a style reminiscent of Goudy. Issued for members of the American Institute of Graphic Arts. One of 450 copies.
Gift of Patricia G. England.
General LC Z232.G68 A3 1933

An Immoral Anthology. Decorated by André Durenceau

[New Rochelle] Issued at the Sign of the Blue-behinded Ape, 1933.
Designed for an effective use of sans serif type and printed by Peter Beilenson. One of a series of more or less risqué titles issued by Peter Pauper's alter ego. One of 290 copies.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

Fra Luca de Pacioli of Borgo S. Sepolcro

Morison, Stanley.
New York: The Grolier Club, 1933.
Designed by Bruce Rogers and printed at the Cambridge University Press (England). One of 390 copies.
Gift if Patricia G. England.
General LC Folios NK3615 .P34 1933

Yew-Leaf and Lotus-petal: Sonnets. Woodcuts by John Buckland Wright.

Barlas, John Evelyn.
Berkeley Heights, N.J.: Oriole Press, 1935.
Joseph Ishill's highly ornamented typography reflects the poet's elaborate style. Unnumbered copy (edition of 130).
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

One More Spring

Nathan, Robert.
Stamford: The Overbrook Press, 1935.
Designed and illustrated by W. A. Dwiggins for Frank Altschul's idiosyncratic private press. One of 750 copies.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

Diggings from Many Ampersandhogs

[New York] The Typophiles [1936]
The third Typophiles keepsake; contents list and "colophon" fill seven pages; general title designed and printed by Joseph Blumenthal at the Spiral Press, with illustration by Rudolph Ruzicka. No. 85 of 125 copies.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

Boswell and the Girl from Botany Bay

Pottle, Frederick A.
New York: The Viking Press, 1937.
"Period" typography by M. B. Glick; printed by the Haddon Craftsmen. The author's copy, not numbered, of 500.
Gift of Mrs. William K. Wimsatt.
General LC PR3325 .P6 1937

The Constitution of the United States of America

Windham, Conn.: Hawthorn House [1938]
Printed by Edmund Thompson in a style suggesting, rather than aping, "Colonial" printing, in two colors; illustrated with two relevant postage stamps.
Gift of Mrs. Bingham Morris.

The Terry-Broderick Duel. Woodcuts by Mallette Dean.

Hall, Carroll Douglas.
San Francisco: The Colt Press [1939]
Typography by Jane Grabhorn, in what is often called the "California" style; presswork by Lawton Kennedy.
General LC E415.9.B84 H3 1939

Types, Borders and Miscellany

Taylor & Taylor.
San Francisco: Taylor & Taylor, 1939.
A finely printed type specimen book, the first to be given a "50 Books" award by the AIGA. No. 307 of 330 copies (of which 260 were for sale).
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

Typologia: Studies in Type Design & Type Making

Goudy, Frederic W.
Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1940.
"Arranged by Mr. Goudy in collaboration with Samuel T. Farquhar, manager of the press" (colophon). Autographed edition, no. 297 of 300 copies.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

At Dartmouth. The Phi Beta Kappa Poem.

Holmes, Oliver Wendell.
New York: Schuman's, 1940.
Designed in a very straightforward manner and printed by the Walpole Printing Office, job-printing arm of the Peter Pauper Press. No. 27 of 100.
Gift of Eleanor W. Zimmerman.

Broadcast Addresses to the People of Great Britian

Churchill, Winston.
San Francisco: Ransohoffs, 1941.
Printed by the Grabhorn Press in a fully developed "monumental" style. One of 250 copies.
Gift of the British Embassy, Washington, D.C.
General LC Folios D743.9 .C5196 1941

The Picture of the Heavenly Jerusalem in the Writings of Johannes de Fecamp

Hurlbut, Stephen A., ed.
Washington: St. Albans Press, 1943.
Printing of the various parts occupied the author-printer from 1929 to 1943 (though not to the exclusion of much other work). A major effort from a wholly amateur printer. No. 4 of 320 copies.
Gift of Eric F. Menke.
General LC BV317.J4 H8 1943

The three-cornered Hat

Alarcón, Pedro Antonio de.
New York: H. Bittner, 1944.
Set and printed by Victor and Jacob Hammer at their press at Wells College, with 21 woodcuts by Fritz Kredel. One of 500 copies.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

Elements of Geometry Book I

New York: Random House, 1944.
Designed by Bruce Rogers in a style favoring the Renaissance more than did Pickering in 1847; printed at the Press of A. Colish. One of 500 copies.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

To Alain White

Allen, Edgar W. and Eric M. Hassberg, eds.
Stamford: The Overbrook Press, 1945.
Printed (despite the war) on Fabriano paper, with a drawing by Valenti Angelo. White was a prime instigator of the Overbrook Press's series of chess books; this is perhaps the grandest. One of 300 copies.
Gift of Mrs. William K. Wimsatt.
General LC GV1451 .W56 1945

Notes on Modern Printing

Armitage, Merle.
New York: Wm. E. Rudge's Sons [1945]
Designed by Merle Armitage in collaboration with the printer/publisher. Chiefly a review of Armitage's work. One of 3,000 "for the trade" of a press run of 5,000.
Gift of Patricia G. England.
General LC Z246 .A74 1945

Business and the Radical Indictment

Wright, David McCord.
York, Pa.: The Maple Press Company, 1945.
Designed by Howard N. King and printed by Maple Press; decorations and initials by Valenti Angelo. A distinguished example of the Christmas keepsake genre. No. 795 of 900 copies.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

A Masque of Mercy

Frost, Robert.
New  York: Holt [1947]
Designed and printed by Joseph Blumenthal's Spiral Press. A step up on the usual "signed, limited" issue of a work by a popular author. No. 608 of 751 copies.
Gift of Patricia G. England.

Monsieur Teste

Valéry, Paul.
New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1947.
Designed by Alvin Lustig, who integrated designs for text, title page, binding, and dust jacket. Printed by the Plimpton Press.
Gift of Esther Tyler Campbell.

Ace High, the 'Frisco Detective

Tripp, C. E.
San Francisco: Book Club of California, 1948.
Printed at the Grabhorn Press, in a design harking back nostalgically to the "Old West"; with illustrations by Mallette Dean. One of 500 copies.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

The Centaur Types

Rogers, Bruce.
Chicago: October House, 1949.
Title page by Rogers, with typography reminiscent of the first books set in Centaur. Printed by Poole Brothers, Chicago. Unnumbered copy (edition of 1,000).
General LC Z250.5.C44 R63 1949

Some Oriental Versions of the Turtle

[New York] Hammer Creek Press, 1952.
Printed by John Fass. A compilation of designs related to the mark of the press, with a further selection of ephemera, some related to the subject of this work.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson

Sowerby, E. Millicent, comp.
Washington: The Library of Congress, 1952. 5 volumes.
An elegant presentation of very difficult matter, within severe limits on cost, especially for paper. Printed by the Government Printing Office.
Purchase; and gift (vol. 3) of John P. Chalmers.

The House of Moonlight

Derleth, August.
Iowa City: Prairie Press [1953]
Designed and printed by Carroll Coleman, with a simplicity that almost hides the color work. One of 550 copies.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

Doctor Faust

Owens, Harry J.
[Chicago: Caxton Club, 1953]
Designed by Victor Hammer with powerful and appropriate allusion to early German printing. Printed by Jacob Hammer, with woodcuts by Fritz Kredel. One of 350 copies.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

Mrs. Gamp

Dickens, Charles.
[New York] New York Public Library, 1956.
Designed by T. M. Cleland, with typography restricted to the facsimile pages' weight and shape. Printed at the library under the supervision of William R. Thurman; collotypes by Meriden Gravure. One of 500 copies.
Gift of Mary Ziegler Fockler.
Dickens PR4563 .A35

Fifty Men & an Albion Hand-press

Santa Barbara: Albion Press, 1956.
Designed and printed by Mark Lansburgh as a specimen sheet in Palatino types. One of 46 copies on paper (of 50 in all).
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

The Significance of the Frontier

Turner, F. J.
Ithaca: Cornell University Press [1956]
"Designed, illustrated, hand-set, and hand-printed by Elfriede Abbe" (colophon), using an illustration to link a double title page opening.
Gift of Eleanor W. Zimmerman.
General LC E179.5 .T958 1956

Trial by Wilderness: the Emergence of George Washington

Miers, E. S., ed.
Kingsport, Tenn.: Kingsport Press [1957]
Designed by Warren Chappell in an appropriate style for the press's Americana Keepsake series; printed by Kingsport. One of 1,500 copies.
Gift of John J. Meng.
General LC E312.8 1753

Captain Cook and Hawaii

Samwell, David.
San Francisco: David Magee; London: Francis Edwards, 1957.
Printed by Lawton Kennedy in a style alluding to early editions of Cook's voyages. One of 750 copies.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

Mapping the Transmississippi West

Wheat, Carl I.
San Francisco: Institute of Historical Cartography, 1957-63. 5 volumes in 6 parts.
Designed as a monumental edition by Edwin and Robert Grabhorn; printed by the Grabhorns (vol. 1), Taylor & Taylor (vols. 2-4), and James Printing Co. (vol. 5).
General LC Folios GA405 .W5

Letters Redrawn from the Trajan Inscription in Rome

Catich, Edward M.
Davenport, Iowa: Catfish Press [1961] With portfolio of plates.
A calligraphically produced book of letter designs urged on by, and dedicated to, W. A. Dwiggins.

Four Early Stories...Etchings by Keith Achepohl

Agee, James.
Iowa City: Cummington Press, 1963.
In an unusual setting of double columns of unjustified lines; printed by harry Duncan with the illustrator's assistance. No 243 of 285 copies.

Interaction of Color

Albers, Josef.
New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1963. With portfolio of color specimens.
Designed by Norman Ives, printed at the Carl Purington Rollins Printing-Office At Yale. A complicated publication designed in a severely modern style. Edition of "about 125 copies."
80VB4 Vault

One Hundred Books Famous in Science

Horblit, Harrison.
New York: The Grolier Club, 1964.
A catalog for which cost was little object, designed and set by the Stinehour Press and printed (with reproductions) by the Meriden Gravure Company. One of 1,000 copies.
General LC Z7401 .H6

Forsculi sententiarum: Printers Flowers Moralised

[Northampton: Gehenna Press, 1967]
Type and ornaments arranged by Leonard Baskin; printed by Harold McGrath. No. 19 of 250 copies (that of Arno Werner, who "specially bound" 50).
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

There Was a Child Went Forth. Wood Engravings by Gillian Tyler

Whitman, Walt.
[Northampton: Gehenna Press, 1968]
Designed to maximize the impact of the illustrations; printed by Harold McGrath. No. 86 of 100 on Nideggen (of 200 copies in all).
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

The Granjon Arabesque

Offner, Elliot.
Northampton: Rosemary Press, 1969.
Type ornaments arranged by Offner and printed by him and Richard Warren; presswork by Frederick Rau. No. 165 of 250 copies. With a proof copy of one page.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

The Fortsas Catalogue: a Facsimile, with an Introduction

Rosenwald, Lessing J.
North Hills, Pa.: Bird & Bull Press, 1970.
A keepsake of the Philobiblon Club's meeting at Alverthorpe; printed on the press's own handmade paper. No. 147 of 250 copies.
Anonymous donor.

Passion Play: a Dramatic Fragment 1878

Shaw, George Bernard.
Iowa: Windhover Press, 1971.
The use of four colors eliminates any need for ornamental decoration. No. 89 of 350 copies.

Flora exotica. Woodcuts by Jacques Hnizdovsky

DeWolf, Gordon.
Boston, David R. Godine, 1972.
Designed by Carol Schloss, with types printed in color to balance its use in the illustrations. Trade edition, one of 3,500 copies.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

The Life of Parts...for Diane Wakoski

Vas Dias, Robert.
Mount Horeb: Perishable Press [1972]
Printed by Walter Hamady, using multiple "artistic" papers in a seemingly ephemeral format. No. 28 of 99 copies.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

Romance de la Guardia Civil Espanola...with Woodcuts by Jerome Kaplan

García Lorca, Federico.
Newark, Vt.: Janus Press [1974]
Designed and printed by Claire Van Vliet. The interlinear translation serves as part of a thematic color interpretation. No. 58 of 300 copies.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

Modern American Poets: Limited First Edition Broadsides

Boston: M. Bixler [1974]
A conservative, straightforward advertisement for poetry broadsides from Karyl Klopp's Pomegranate Press.
Sent by the Press.


Monday, James.
[Berkeley] Saint Heironymous Press, 1974.
Small-press poetry, designed with toned paper to complement the lack of weight of some of the sans serif type. One of 1,000 copies, set by hand, of the trade issue.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)
General LC PS3563.O517 T477 1974

TypoGraphia 1

[Bahr, Leonard F.]
[Harper Woods, Mich.: Adagio Press, 1976]
"...a collection of typographical exercises interspersed with notes on printing, typography and the private press" (p. 3). No 254 of "approximately 325" copies.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

Ten Poems

Dove, Rita.
Lisbon, Iolwa: Penumbra Press, 1977.
"The author's painted fingernails inspired the hand-colored illustration" (colophon). Supported by NEA grant funds. No. 77 of "approximately 200" copies.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

[Prospectus for] Fortress Marin

Killion, Tom.
Santa Cruz: Quail Press, 1977.
A flyer which focuses attention on its illustration; with added handwritten appeal by the author/printer.
Sent by Tom Killion.

Ode to Typography

Neruda, Pablo.
[Torrance, Cal.] Labyrinth Editions, 1977.
An attempt through typography to make book/medium and poem/message synonymous. Designed by Richard Bigus; printed at the Yale University School of Art. No. 63 of 100 copies.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

Thistles and Thorns: Abraham and Sarah at Bethel. With Wood Engravings by Barry Moser

Smyth, Paul.
Omaha: Abattoir Editions, 1977.
Rough paper (and binding) used to carry out the meaning of text and illustrations.  Printed by Timothy Anderson, Harry Duncan, and Randolph Klauzer. No. 113 of 253 copies.
Gift of Patricia G. England.
General LC PS3569.M9 T46 1977


Ginsberg, Allen.
Lincoln, Mass.: Penmaen Press, 1978.
An attempt through powerful illustration, "monumental" typography, and strong printing to provide a medium for a text of unusual violence. No. 79 of 300 on Rives, signed by author and illustrator (Lynd Ward).
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

The Poet Considers His Resources

Bradbury, Ray.
Northridge, Cal.: Lord John Press [1979]
An essay in semi-abstract, symbolic typography, designed and printed by Richard Bigus. Out-of-series copy (edition of 226).
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

[Calendar for] 1979

Dwyer's Bookstore.
[Northampton] Hampshire Typothetae, 1979.
A frankly decorative promotional piece for the store; illustration after Alphonso Shum's "The Bibliophile."
Gift of Penelope C. and George M. Barringer.


Graziano, Frank.
Initiation Edited and Translated by Mary Feeney.
The Bieler Press [1979]
The arrangement emphasizes the decorative/organizational value of simple rules and modest color harmony. Designed by Gerald Lane. No. 42 of 160 copies.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

Moby-Dick; or, The Whale

Melville, Herman.
San Francisco: The Arion Press, 1979.
Designed and printed by Andrew Hoyem, with wood engravings by Barry Moser which provide substantive rather than interpretive illustration to the monumental text.
General LC Folios PS2384 .M6 1979

The Lamb of Abyssalia

Oates, Joyce Carol.
[n.p.] The Pomegranate Press, 1979.
Design and graphics in an extremely vigorous style by Karyl Klopp. No. 17 of 50 on Rives (of 900 copies in all).
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

Chaucer Marginalia

Ratch, Jerry.
Berkeley: Sombre Reptiles (in Association with Tombouctou Press), 1979.
The irregular typographic desig incorporates a series of recurring ornament/ images in various colors. One of 50 in cloth (of 250 copies).
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

Journey to the Dead Sea

Smith, William Jay.
Omaha: Abattoir Editions, 1979.
Horizontal layout reinforces the poet's long line; with relief prints by David Newbert. One of 222 copies.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

The Private Presses of San Serriffe

Bachaus, Theodore.
[Port Clarendon] San Serriffe Publishing Company, 1980.
The first published account of 8 stylistically important presses of San Serriffe, with examples of their work. Distributed in the U.S. by Bird & Bull Press. No 1 of 350 copies.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

Bread and Puppet. The Dream of the Dirty Woman

Newark, Vt.: Janus Press, 1980.
Accordion fold of joined sheets; relief plates by Claire Van Vliet. The dream's ambiguity is emphasized by symbolic uses of color. Supported in part by NEA grant funds. No. 16 of 85 copies, with recording of the incidental music.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

Printing Poetry: a Workbook in Typographic Reification

Burke, Clifford.
San Francisco: Scarab Press, 1980.
Designed by the author, printed by Spring Valley Press. "This is a book about the craft of letterpress printing" (p. 1). In general, Morris would approve.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

Dante's Inferno

The Divine Comedy/Inferno. Drawings by Barry Moser

Berkeley [etc.] University of California Press [1980]
Title opening apart, text and illustrations are segregated. Designed by Moser and Czeslaw Jan Grycz; type set by Michael and Winifred Bixler. Trade edition.
Gift of Patricia G. England.
General LC PQ4315 .M3 1980

On a Ledge of Light. Illustrated by Marnie Reynolds

Dudley, Michael.
[Amherst and Oneonta] Swamp Press, 1980.
Constructed to open from both sides, in a binding reminiscent of a common photo folder. No. 43 of 100 copies.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

Eastward the Armies

Everson, William.
[Torrance, Cal.] Labyrinth Editions, 1980.
An attempt to achieve clarity through simplicity and scale. Designed and printed by Richard Bigus, illustrations by Tom Killion. No. 67 of 250 copies.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

Archaic Torso of Apollo

Rilke, Rainer Maria.
[n.p.] Square Zero Editions, 1980.
A rather more decorative than symbolic broadside, designed and printed at the Black Stone Press. One of 26 lettered copies (of 1260, signed by the translator, Robert Bly.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

Dead Color

Wright, Chad.
San Francisco: Meadow Press, for Charles Seluzicki, Salem, Oregon, 1980.
Horizontality emphasized by creation of (effectively) a three-wide layout. Printed by the illustrator, Leigh McLellan. One of 285 copies.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

Orbis typographicus

Zapf, Hermann.
[Prairie Village, Kans.] Crabgrass Press, 1980.
Series of 25 separate quotations in "more or less" experimental typography designed by Zapf and printed by Philip Metzger over a 10-year period. One of 99 sets.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

The Allen Press Bibliography

[Greenbrae, Cal.: Allen Press, 1980]
Designed, printed, and bound by Lewis and Dorothy Allen, with specimen pages from earlier books inserted. One of 140 copies.
(Loaned for the exhibition.)

On the Cliffs

Swinburne, A. C.
[Lexington, Ky.: King Library Press, 1980]
Text printed both sides on a single sheet of paper measuring 9 3/16 by 73 3/4 inches with a continuous "visual interpretation" by John Tuska printed in 3 colors. Unnumbered copy (edition of 75).
(Loaned for the exhibition.)


Compiled and edited by George M. Barringer.