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Collecting area: Books and book history (Page 2 of 2)

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Murray, Samuel E., 1906-1989

Samuel E. Murray Papers

ca.1945-1989
14 boxes 7 linear feet
Call no.: MS 568
Depiction of Samuel Murray, 1966
Samuel Murray, 1966

One of the pioneers in the ephemera trade, Samuel E. Murray (1906-1989) was a long time antiquarian bookman, based at his home in Wilbraham, Mass. Born on Christmas Day, 1906, Murray interrupted his college studies to go to sea, but after the Depression left him unemployed, he landed a position as sales representative for McGraw-Hill and, later, G. & C. Merriam and other firms. Always an avid book collector, Murray left the publishing industry in 1970 to become a full time bookseller. Without ever advertising or issuing catalogs, he developed a wide reputation among dealers and collectors for his keen eye and perspicacity with rare and uncommon books. A generalist by trade, Murray had a particular fondness for colorplate books and travel literature, but was renowned both for his extensive reference library and for recognizing early on the value of ephemera. After a lengthy bout with myelofibrosis, Murray died at home on June 4, 1989.

The Murray Papers contain correspondence between Murray and a range of his fellow booksellers and clients, as well as his extensive card files on fellow book dealers and wants lists. The collection offers insight into the operations of a well known antiquarian bookman during the 1970s and 1980s.

Subjects

Antiquarian booksellers--MassachusettsBook collectingBooks--Want listsPrinted ephemera--Collectors and collecting--Massachusetts

Contributors

Antiquarian Booksellers Association of AmericaEphemera Society of AmericaMurray, Samuel E., 1906-1989
New Victoria Publishers

New Victoria Publishers Records

1974-2009
6 boxes 11 linear feet
Call no.: MS 883
Depiction of From the top down: Beth Dingman, Claudia McKay Lamperti, Petey Becker, Bonnie Arnold, and ReBecca Béguin (ca. 1976)
From the top down: Beth Dingman, Claudia McKay Lamperti, Petey Becker, Bonnie Arnold, and ReBecca Béguin (ca. 1976)

Founded in 1975 in Lebanon, NH, by Beth Dingman, Claudia McKay (Lamperti), Katie Cahill, Nina Swaim, and Shelby Grantham, New Victoria Printers became one of two all-female print shops in New England at the time. Believing strongly that “the power of the press belongs to those who own it,” they began to solicit work from non-profit and politically-oriented groups. Like its namesake Victoria Press, an 1860s women run print shop in London owned by Emily Faithful, an early advocate of women’s rights, New Victoria was also committed to feminist principles. The shop offered work and training in printing, machine work, and other traditionally male dominated fields; initially focused on printing materials from the women’s movement; and was organized as a collectively owned and democratically run organization.

Additionally, the shop functioned as a de facto women’s center and lesbian hub for Lebanon and the surrounding area, often overlapping with the lesbian social club Amelia Earhart’s Underground Flying Society, (a.k.a. the Amelia’s). The print shop was a place of education, community, creativity, and activism, and soon publishing opportunities, as the group founded New Victoria Publishers in 1976 to publish works from their community. The print shop closed in 1985, with Dingman and McKay taking over the running of the non-profit publishing company out of their home in Norwich, VT, with an emphasis on lesbian fiction in addition to other women-focused works. An early bestseller, Stoner McTavish by Sarah Dreher, put them on the map, with the company publishing over a hundred books by and about lesbians, winning three Lambda Literary Awards and several other honors.

The New Victoria Publishers Records consist of photographs, newsletters, and cards put out by the collective, materials printed by the press, marketing and promotional materials, author correspondence, graphics and cover art, book reviews, financial and legal records, histories of the organization, news clippings, and an almost full run of the books published by the company. The collection is particularly rich in documenting the work and production of a women owned business within the feminist press movement as well as the lesbian publishing industry.

Subjects

Collective labor agreements – Printing industryFeminist literature – PublishingLesbian authorsLesbians' writings -- PublishingWomen printers – New EnglandWomen publishers – New England

Contributors

Beth DingmanClaudia McKayNew Victoria PrintersNew Victoria Publishers

Types of material

Photographs
Parker, Barbara

Barbara Parker History of the Book Collection

1508-1905
75 items 12 linear feet
Call no.: RB 007
Depiction of Illustration from Petrarch, 1508
Illustration from Petrarch, 1508

A long-time librarian at UMass Amherst and Brown University, Barbara Parker was an avid collector of rare books. Interested in the history of printing, binding, and book design, and herself a bookbinder, Parker collected widely, from early printing to the Victorian book artists of the Chiswick Press.

The Parker Collection contains an eclectic mix of books to illustrate various aspects of the history of the book through 1900. Intended for hands-on instructional use, the collection includes eight volumes printed prior to 1600, a leaf from the Nuremberg Chronicles, and an assemblage of works by Charles Whittingham and the Chiswick Press. In addition to fine examples of binding and illustration, the collection includes works printed by Elsevier, Gregorium de Gregoris, and Domenico Farri, five by Joseph Barbou, and two each by the Aldine Press, Simon Colin, and John Baskerville.

Gift of Barbara Parker, May 2009
Language(s): LatinSpanishItalianFrenchGreekEnglish

Subjects

Books--HistoryPrinting--History

Contributors

Parker, Barbara
Pavese, Cesare

Cesare Pavese Collection

1931-2006 Bulk: 1931-1950
13 titles 2 linear feet
Call no.: RB 037
Depiction of

Simultaneously prolific and tragic, Cesare Pavese was a major figure in 20th century Italian letters. Born in the Piedmont region in 1908 and educated in Turin, Pavese was drawn to English-language literature as a student, writing his thesis on Walt Whitman (1930). Nearly overnight, he became well known as a translator of modern American and British fiction, from Melville, Faulkner, and Steinbeck to James Joyce and Gertrude Stein, and at the same time, he began to publish his own creative work beginning with Lavorare stanca, a book of poetry, in 1936. Although sentenced to three years of internal exile for his anti-fascist sympathies (1938-1941), he continued to write, capped by the appearance of his first two novels in 1941 and 1942. The war’s end saw Pavese blossom into an exceptionally creative period, however even as his renown grew, the effects of depression and a failed love affair with the American actress Constance Dowling led him to suicide in August 1950. Two months before he had been awarded the prestigious Strega Prize.

This collection of first and early editions by Cesare Pavese, donated by Lawrence G. Smith, includes first and early editions by Cesare Pavese, five of which are inscribed: three to Constance Dowling, one to his friend Leone Ginzburg (and later to Dowling), and the fifth to Doris and Harry. Smith also donated dozens of other volumes by and about Pavese to the Library’s general collection.

Gift of Lawrence Smith, 2018.
Language(s): Italian

Subjects

Dowling, Constance, 1923-1969Italian literatureWhitman, Walt, 1819-1892

Types of material

BooksFliers (Printed material)
Rural Massachusetts Imprints Collection

Rural Massachusetts Imprints Collection

1797-1897
48 items 3 linear feet
Call no.: RB 012
Depiction of John Metcalf
John Metcalf

Although printing requires a substantial capital investment in equipment before any hope of profitability can be entertained, there have been numerous attempts over the years to set up printing houses in communities with astonishingly small population bases. In even the most remote Massachusetts towns, people like John Metcalf (Wendell), Ezekiel Terry (Palmer), and John and Solomon Howe (Enfield and Greenwich) operated as printers during the nineteenth century, specializing in a quotidian array of broadsides, song sheets, almanacs, toy books, and printed forms, hoping to supplement, or provide, a decent living.

This small, but growing collection consists of materials printed prior to the twentieth century in small Massachusetts towns, defined as towns with populations less than about 2,500. Although few of these houses survived for long, they were important sources for rural communities. Typically simple in typography, design, and binding, even crude, the output of such printers provides an important gauge of the interests and tastes of New England’s smallest and often poorest communities.

Subjects

Children's books--MassachusettsPrinters--Massachusetts

Contributors

Howe, John, 1783-1845Howe, Solomon, 1750-1835Metcalf, John, 1788-1864Terry, Ezekiel, 1775-1829

Types of material

AlmanacsBroadsides
Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP)

Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP) Records

1992-2016
4 boxes 4.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 868
Depiction of

Originating in 1991, the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP) was established “to create a global network for book historians working in a broad range of scholarly disciplines.” With more than 1,000 members, research interests include the composition and reception of books as well as their survival and transformation over time.

Records cover the earliest days of the organization’s development, including founding documents, and document a variety of their activities from hosting conferences and publishing a newsletter to promoting scholarship.

Subjects

Authors and readersAuthorshipBooks--HistoryPublishers and publishing
Swedish Book Design

Swedish Book Design Collection

1922-1961 Bulk: 1922-1942
ca.250 vols. 17 linear feet
Call no.: RB 026
Depiction of Ivan Bunin, Herrn Fran San Francisco
Ivan Bunin, Herrn Fran San Francisco

James H. Fraser and his wife Sibylle were eclectic and sometimes omnivorous collectors of the book arts, dedicated to the scholarly exploration of visual culture, the book, and the avant garde. A former Director of the Library at Farleigh Dickinson University and a consultant to many other academic libraries, James Fraser developed an omnivorous passion for German and Eastern European graphic design and book culture and had interests that ranged from Socialist children’s books to Judaica, the American left, Mongolian printing, and Japanese posters of the 1980s. James Fraser died in the fall 2013 and was survived by Sibylle and their two children.

This unusual collection of over 250 volumes is a product of the Frasers’ interest in Swedish book jacket design. Consisting nearly entirely of soft cover volumes printed between the 1920s and 1960s, primarily pre-war, and not necessarily written by Swedish authors, the collection reflects the work of many illustrators drawing on a range of graphic styles, from avant garde modernism to the later parts of the collection, which includes translations of popular works by writers such as Ian Fleming and Agatha Christie.

Subjects

Book jackets--Sweden

Contributors

Fraser, James H.Fraser, Sibylle
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