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The Caxtonian



Bibliophile Events





In the course of its 100+ years of existence, the Caxton Club has published sixty-two formal publications and fifty-eight other printed pieces. Bibliographic descriptions of the publications that are still available are given below. Most Caxton Club books are out-of-print and obtainable only from antiquarian dealers. Ordering information is at the bottom of this section.

Video Recordings have been made of speaker presentations at many Caxton Club events. DVDs of these recordings are available for purchase.
A DVD Catalog describing each presentation along with details for placing
an order may be downloaded and viewed by clicking here.

Other People’s Books: Association Copies and the Stories They Tell
Chicago: The Caxton Club, 2011.

This 234-page book recounts the stories of 52 association copies of books printed between 1470 and 1986, explaining the association between that copy and someone who owned it, wrote it, or was connected with it in some interesting way. It contains 112 color photographs. Other People's Books: Association Copies and the Stories They Tell is a lively historical account of the journey of 24 books to institutional collections and 28 to private hands.

The books reside in England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Sweden, and the United States. They range in topic from astronomy, ornithology, political science, and psychology, to art, film, history, and literature. While many of the books have presentation inscriptions directly from the author, others were inscribed by someone who was closely connected with the authors. The book highlights the owners of these volumes now, many of whom are famous names in literature and history or are book scholars and collectors. An introduction by G. Thomas Tanselle on the history of association copies is also included.

Essays have been contributed by these authors: Roger S. Baskes, Philip R. Bishop, John C. Blew, John P. Chalmers, Stanley Ellis Cushing, Kathryn DeGraff, Mark G. Dimunation, Lorna Donley, Samuel B. Ellenport, Stephen Enniss, Chatham Ewing, Jill Gage, Edward Gaynor, Richard J. Gemmell, Earle Havens, Celia Hilliard, Edward C. Hirschland, Thomas A. Horrocks, Alan Jutzi, Scott Krafft, Kay Michael Kramer, Richard J. Kuhta, Mark Samuels Lasner, Jon Lellenberg, George D. Meredith, Jerry Morris, Stephen Parks, Robert McCracken Peck, Per Rälamb, Garth D. Reese, Jr., Millard M. Riggs, Jr., Paul T. Ruxin, George Sargent, Nicholas B. Scheetz, Alice Schreyer, Dr. Steven Schuyler, Molly Schwartzburg, Terry I. Seymour, Joel Silver, Junie L. Sinson, Ronald K. Smeltzer, David Spadafora, Bruce Stephenson, Samuel Streit, James Tanis, G. Thomas Tanselle, Steve Tomashefsky, Richard E. Turley, Jr., Ann C. Weller, David L. Vander Meulen, and John Wiley, Jr.

Publication number LXVI. 1000 copies.

Member Price $65

Non-Member Price $75

Inland Printers: The Fine-Press Movement in Chicago, 1920-45
Chicago, December 2002

In the growth era between the two World Wars, amidst the huge, bustling, profit-driven Chicago printing industry, there existed a subculture of artisans and artists who, laboring in the commercial trades by day, pursued a different aesthetic in their off hours. These were the few dozen men and women who created and nurtured fine-press and literary-imprint publishing in Chicago.

Their work was on exhibition and their world explored in Inland Printers: The Fine-Press Movement in Chicago, 1920-45 at the Chicago Public Library Harold Washington Library Center, Special Collections and Preservation Division.

The aesthetic of the fine-press movement was grounded in William Morris's Arts and Crafts movement, which valued objects for their beauty and function, idealized hand craftsmanship and insisted upon the involvement of the artist at every stage of production. In Chicago, this aesthetic combined with the anti-establishment, progressive values of the writers and artists of Chicago's post World War I cultural scene and evolved its own unique aesthetic and agenda, participating in international modernism and later embracing the New Bauhaus.

"Inland Printers: The Fine-Press Movement in Chicago, 1920-45 looked at not only an artistic movement, but also at a cultural era," says Kim Coventry. "The inter-war period was a time of tremendous commercial, industrial and intellectual growth. The Chicago fine-press movement, artistic sibling to this city's giants of printing and graphic arts, typifies both aesthetic and social concerns of an age." The exhibition included examples of work from the following small presses and literary imprints: Ralph Fletcher Seymour (1897---1963); Alderbrink Press (1905-39); Private Press of Will Ransom (1921-30); Trovillion Private Press (1908-58); Steen Hinrichsen (1921-23); Department of Printing Arts, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1921-32); Holiday Press (1926-49); Pony Barn Press (1925-46); Sign of the Hand (1925-56); The Broadside Press (1930-40); The Monastery Hill Press (1939-43); The Printing Office of Philip Reed (1946-?); October House (1948-52); Black Cat Press (1932-84); Normandie House (1937-44); The Norman Press (1938-74); At the Sign of the Gargoyle (1943-56); and Pochahontas Press (1937-50).

A 40-page catalogue, generously illustrated with four-color and black and white illustrations, accompanied the exhibition. With an introduction by Paul F. Gehl, Custodian of the John M. Wing Foundation at the Newberry Library, Chicago, and entries on each press.

Price $15.

The Caxton Club 1895–1995
Celebrating a Century of the Book in Chicago
by Frank Piehl
Chicago: The Caxton Club, 1995.

Conceived by members of the Centennial Committee of the Caxton Club, it has been designed and produced in the tradition of fine letterpress books. The book is illustrated with photographs of prominent Caxtonians, scenes from the history of the Club, and examples of its publications.
       The book is composed in a typeface modeled in part after Eusebius, a metal typeface originally created in the 1920s by Caxtonians Ernst F. Detterer and Robert Hunter Middleton, which in turn was based on the classic face of Nicolas Jenson of 1490. In 1994 the typeface was digitized and adapted for this book by Paul Baker, aided by Bruce Beck.
      With a page size of 7 by 10 inches, the volume numbers 224 pages lithographed on 80-pound Mohawk Superfine archival paper. Printed at the Crawfordsville, Indiana plant of R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company, it is Smythe-sewn and case bound in gray cloth over boards with white stamping and a paper label in color, enclosed in a slip case of similar construction. The edition is limited to 1,000 numbered and signed copies, of which 900 are offered for sale to members of the Caxton Club and others. Fifty unnumbered copies are held in sheets for sale to hand binders.
Publication number LXI. 114 copies. Prices for individuals are, for Members, $60.00 and, for Non-members, $75.00 (Non-members please order directly from Oak Knoll Press).
Available exclusively from Oak Knoll Press for bookstores and book jobbers.

Western Life in the Stirrups
A Sketch of a Journey to the West
in the Spring & Summer of 1832.
By Virtulon Rich
Edited with an introduction by Dwight L. Smith

Chicago: The Caxton Club, 1965.

Duodecimo, xix + 81 pages, with frontispiece portrait and 3 photographic illustrations of the binding and text of the original manuscript. Designed by Greer Allen and printed by the Printing Department of the University of Chicago, Chicago. Bound in brown half-cloth, gold-stamped on the spine, with sides of marbled paper over boards, duplicating the original journal. The endpapers are reproductions of an 1832 map from Mitchell's Travellers Guide Through the United States. The edition consisted of 800 copies. One copy was distributed to each member free of charge, and the subscription price for remaining copies was $10.00.
Publication number LIV. 212 copies. Price for Members: $10.00; Non-members: $25.00.

Memoirs of the Life of John Adlum
in the Revolutionary War

Edited with an introduction by Howard H. Peckham
Chicago: The Caxton Club, 1968.

Duodecimo, xii + 143 pages + colophon. Designed by Greer Allen. Composed by R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company at The Lakeside Press, Chicago, and printed at the Acorn Press in Maywood, Illinois. 500 copies were bound in full blue slate G. S .B. Fabric's S-522 cloth over flexible boards, blue-stamped on the spine, with a printed paper label on the front cover; and 600 copies were bound in paper for the William L. Clements Library Associates by Spinner Brothers Company, Chicago. The total edition consisted of 1,100 copies in Monotype Fournier on Mohawk Superfine paper. One copy was distributed to each member free of charge, and the subscription price for remaining copies was $10.00.
Publication number LV. 73 copies. Price for Members: $10.00; Non-members: $25.00.

On a Variety of Subjects
By Paul M. Angle
Introduction by Hoke Norris
Chicago: The Chicago Historical Society and The Caxton Club, 1974.

Octavo, xxiii + 192 pages, with a photographic portrait frontispiece. Designed by Cameron Poulter and printed by Edwards Brothers, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Bound in full orange-red cloth over boards, gold-stamped on the spine, with printed dust jacket. The edition consisted of 2,000 copies, 500 reserved for the Caxton Club and 1,500 for the Chicago Historical Society. Publication of this book was made possible in part by the Philip K. Wrigley Fund of the Chicago Historical Society. One copy was distributed to each member free of charge, and the subscription price for additional copies was $6.25.
Publication number LVII. 174 copies. Price for Members: $6.25; Non-members: $10.00.

RHM Robert Hunter Middleton
The Man and His Letters
Eight Essays on His Life and Career
Various authors
Chicago: The Caxton Club, 1985.

Small quarto, ix + 100 pages + colophon, illustrated with a portrait of Middleton, reproductions of his typefaces, and photographs of his work. With essays by Greer Allen, Carolyn Reading Hammer, R. Russell Maylone, Rhodes Patterson, Herbert Pinzke, John Schappler, James M. Wells, and Gordon Williams. Preface and design by Bruce Beck. Edited by Bruce Young. The text was composed and printed by the Heritage Printers in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the illustrations were lithographed by Loftin and Company in Gastonia, North Carolina. Chapter headings and other display typography were set in Ludlow Eusebius by Richard Huss in Willow Street, Pennsylvania, for inclusion on the type pages. Bound by the Delmar Company in Charlotte, North Carolina, in black half-buckram, with a printed paper label on the spine and a reproduction of an alphabet-block label engraved in boxwood by Middleton in 1953 on the front cover; the sides of paper over boards are covered with a reproduction of one of Middleton's paste-paper designs, printed by the Schori Press in Evanston, Illinois. The edition consisted of 1,000 copies in Monotype Bembo on Mohawk Letterpress, 950 of which were bound and 50 copies were held in sheets for sale to hand binders. The subscription price was $25.00.
Publication number LX. 265 copies. Price for Members: $20.00; Non-members: $25.00.

Other items

An Alphabet Stone Cut by Eric Gill
Introduction by James M. Wells
Chicago: The Caxton Club, 1963.

The print (24 1/2 x 20 1/2 inches) was printed by RR Donnelley & Sons. Printed by R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company at The Lakeside Press, Chicago. The edition consisted of 533 copies printed in four-color Deeptone offset. One copy was distributed to each member free of charge, and the subscription price for remaining copies was $7.50.
Publication number LIII. 55 copies. Price: $10.

A Summary View of the
Rights of British America

A Facsimile of the First Edition
As Emended by the Author in His Own Hand
by Thomas Jefferson
Introduction by Lawrence W. Towner
Chicago: The Caxton Club, 1976.

Octavo, xxii + 23 pages + colophon, containing a facsimile reproduction of the first edition. The facsimile was reproduced from the original at the Library Company of Philadelphia. Designed by John B. Goetz. Composed by North Central Publishing Company, Saint Paul, Minnesota, and printed by offset lithography by the Meriden Gravure Company, Meriden, Connecticut. Bound by Stinehour Press, Lunenburg, Vermont, in a paper-stock reproduction of a Cockerell paper with a printed paper label on the front cover. The edition consisted of 1,000 copies in Caslon Old Face type, the type used for the original pamphlet, on S-N text stock. One copy was distributed to each member free of charge, and the price for remaining copies was $3.00 for members and $5.00 for nonmembers.
Publication number LIX. 51 copies. Price for Members: $3.00; Non-members: $5.00.

The Caxtonian Index,
September 1993–1998

Compiled by Dan Crawford
Detailed index for past Caxtonian issues, 1993–1998, during which time it became an eight-page publication. For information regarding back issues of The Caxtonian, also $2.00, please call Dan Crawford at 312/255-3710.
450 copies. Price: $2.

Chicago Under Wraps

Chicago Under Wraps
Exhibition Catalogue

Introduction by Victor Margolin
Designed by Lynn Martin
Chicago Under Wraps: Dust Jackets from 1920–1950.
Published by The Caxton Club, 1999.

The dust jackets in the exhibition, all printed between 1920 and 1950, are historically significant. Some depict scenes of Chicago; some were designed by Chicago-based graphic artists; and some were published by Chicago firms. They reveal trends in book design and illustrate a rich period of publishing in the Midwest's leading metropolis. "The book jacket's rise to prominence during the 1920s was part of a general expansion of the publishing business in North America," writes Victor Margolin, professor of art history at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who is the author of the accompanying catalogue. about 500 copies. Price: $5.

Rudy Ruggles Presents Arthur Swann
At the Meeting of The Caxton Club
Held on the Evening of May 1, 1956
By Rudy Ruggles
Chicago, The Caxton Club, 1969.

Octavo, 8 pages. Designed by Greer Allen and printed in the Printing Department of the University of Chicago, Chicago. Saddle-wire-stitched in paper covers. The edition consisted of 500 copies. Presented as a keepsake to members of the Club. Publication number 49. 172 copies.

Price: $2.

The Chicago Diaries of John M. Wing, 1865-1866

The personal diaries of fledgling journalist and entrepreneur John Mansir Wing create a unique portrait of a rough-and-tumble Chicago just after the Civil War. Before the great fire of 1871 left much of the city in ashes, Wing wrote of a city filled with new immigrants, ex-soldiers, and the thriving merchant class making its fortunes from both.

Edited by Chicago bibliophile and calligrapher Robert Williams and published in cooperation with The Caxton Club of Chicago, this volume also details the early adventures of a rural easterner who came to the "Metropolis of the West" in his early twenties and worked for some of the most influential journalists of his day. Wing shared conversations and cigars with notable politicians, businessmen, and war heroes including Sherman and Grant, all the while conducting an active romantic life with members of his own sex in boarding houses and barrooms.

Wing's greatest passion was book collecting. After a successful later career in journal publishing and investing, he provided an endowment to create the John M. Wing Foundation at Chicago's famed Newberry Library. The Wing Foundation became the first American public collection devoted to the history of printing. It remains today among the nation's best resources for the study of the bibliographic arts.

Despite his lasting importance in publishing and philanthropy and the fact that no serious history of Chicago can be written without reference to many of his publications, John M. Wing has been largely absent from most histories of the city's movers and shakers. Complete with historical annotations and bibliography of Wing's writings for the press, this fascinating personal account reclaims his deserved place in Chicago life and lore.

The book includes a Foreword by Paul F. Gehl, curator of the Wing Foundation, and an essay on "Newspapers in Jack Wing's World" by the late Richard Schwarzlose of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

142 pages
ISBN# 0-8093-2483-0

Member Price $15

Non-Member Price $20

Ordering information

To order any of the above, click here.