The Caxton Club brings together archivists, authors, binders, book artists, booksellers, collectors, conservators, designers, editors, librarians, printers, publishers, scholars, and others. Members from these diverse backgrounds form a community that shares a love of printed, handwritten, and digital books and related textual objects, such as pamphlets, broadsides, maps, and ephemera. The club provides a forum to learn about the arts, history, and technologies of these materials, as well as a space to share the joys of appreciating and collecting them.

GRANTS: 2019–20 grant recipients: Meha Rey, Yann Trividic, Sara Jensen, Kathie DeLamater, and Annabel Pinkney.
PUBLICATIONS: The club has published 153 formal publications and other printed pieces in its 125+ years.
CHICAGO 101 AUTHORS: Each of the 101 titles is the focus of an essay by a leading scholar, writer, or bibliophile.
MELLON FELLOWS: Each year the club provides copies of Other People’s Books to Mellon Fellows at Rare Book School.

Caxton Members: Submit your item to our online exhibit, Caxtonians’ Collections.
Exhibit is open to all.


Caxton Club programs will resume in September with a second Friday daytime program at Noon CT. All daytime Caxton Club events will be virtual. Third Wednesday evening programs begin at 6:30 PM CT and will either be virtual-only (Zoom) events or in-person events with virtual (Zoom) access. Live program activity times may differ, so please check times listed for each event.

Virtual programs will consist of quality Zoom presentations with real-time Q&A features immediately following. All programs — virtual or in-person — require advance registration on the club’s website. This allows Zoom instructions to be sent before programs, and for planning for in-person programs where space is limited. As usual, we will record all programs and make them available for viewing in the Past Programs section of our website’s Members Only section.

Only registrants who miss a program or wish to view it again will be given the opportunity to request a link to a recording of the program.

    • 06/09/2023
    • 12:00 PM
    • 6/9/2023 12:00 PM CT/1:00 PM ET. Zoom presentation is free and open to all. Preregistration required via website. ULCC live attendance – Zoom presentation and optional lunch ($35) immediately following. Reservations required by 12:00 PM CT 6/7/23

    June Midday Program

    We’re hoping that our June speaker will have enough material to draw on in order to fashion a presentation. After all, she has access to only 21 million choices.

    Tara O’Brien serves as Director of Preservation & Conservation Services at Philadelphia’s Historical Society of Pennsylvania. (The library was founded more than a decade before Chicago was even incorporated as a city … and we’re behind on cheesesteak sandwiches as well.) Philadelphia has a rich tradition in print, and Tara will share superb examples of how the book arts came to life in printing, binding, and illustration.

    Tara is an accomplished printmaker, teacher, and preservationist/conservationist. She’ll reveal America’s rich tradition in the book arts in a generously illustrated presentation. Much in demand as a speaker, she has lectured internationally on a range of topics.

    Register today for a presentation you’re sure to Brotherly Love

    Live attendance and optional lunch

    View Zoom program on eighth floor, Steel Room, Union League Club. Presentation begins at 12:00 PM CT. Optional lunch immediately following in the fourth floor Rendezvous. $35 includes non-alcoholic beverage, a cup of soup, and your choice of sandwich, salad, or hot entree, tax, and tip. (Must register and pre-pay by 12:00 pm 6/7/2023.)

    Zoom presentation is free and open to all.

    Zoom begins at 12:00PM CT/1:00 PM ET. Preregistration required via website.

    Please forward this notice to anyone who may find it of interest.

    • 06/20/2023
    • 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
    • 6/20/2023 5:30 – 7:30 PM Heritage Auctions 222 W. Hubbard St., Chicago

    On the Move

    Heritage Auctions cordially invites Caxton Club members to an exclusive preview of nearly one hundred incredibly rare and important documents from America’s history.

    Attendees will view the extremely rare first broadside edition of the Declaration of Independence – the very fine Philip D. Sang copy – with a starting bid of $1,000,000. In colonial times, broadsides quickly disseminated information to the general public. This example likely gave Massachusetts colonists their first chance to see the text of the Declaration of Independence and learn what transpired in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776. The broadside was printed in Salem, Massachusetts by John Rogers at the printing office of Ezekiel Russell July 14–16, 1776.

    Only six copies of this broadside edition are recorded: two in private collections (including the present copy) and four in institutions.

    Other Highlights include

    • Letter signed by George Washington written as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army to Founding Father George Mason, October 22, 1780.
    • Document signed by President Abraham Lincoln authorizing the blockade of the ports of seven southern states, which recognized the secessionists as belligerents and formally plunged the Union and Confederacy into Civil War, April 19, 1861.
    • Printed reward poster Abraham Lincoln Assassination is perhaps the most infamous reward poster in American history. War Department: Washington, April 20, 1865. First printing, first issue.
    • Archive of handwritten hotel room registration receipts and room keys – including Martin Luther King Jr.’s signed name and address as well as other civil rights leaders, advocates, and their opponents; Hotel Albert, Selma, Alabama, November 1964 – June 1966.

    Register today.


    Guests typically find metered street parking on the block surrounding Heritage Auctions. Validated parking also is available at Mart Parc Wells, 401 N. Wells St. A large green Mart Parc sign highlights the entrance just south of Hubbard St. on Wells. This is less than a block from the Heritage Auctions entrance. Cost is $14 for nine hours.

    • 06/21/2023
    • 5:30 PM
    • 6/21/2023 5:30PM In-person at ULCC, 65 W. Jackson Blvd, Chicago. Reservations required by 5:30PM, 6/19.

    June Evening Program

    This lecture will examine the parallel and divergent, as well as the oppositional and united trends in private versus institutional rare book collecting, through historical lens. Where do private collectors stand in relation to librarians in the rare book field? How is it now; how was it then? Do rare books have a “private mission” or a public one? Did this mission change with time?

    Following the development of the Smithsonian Institution’s prime rare book collection, the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology, from its private inception and first flourishing time period through its institutional beginnings and long second heyday to the present, the lecture will discover the frequent crossroads of the private and public spheres in the history of rare book collecting, which may also be its safety net for the future.

    Since 2008 Lilla Vekerdy has been Head of Special Collections at the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives. She oversees the operations of eight rare book collections and the publication process of major library publications, gives tours, lectures, and presentations, mentors research fellows and interns, participates in exhibitions, and enjoys the day to day interaction with historical materials in the Dibner Library of History of Science and Technology.

    Register for this program today!

    In-person at ULCC, 65 W. Jackson Blvd, Chicago. Social hour 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM. Bar accepts cash or credit cards. Light appetizers. Presentation to follow.

    This program is free but you MUST preregister via website by 5:30PM, 6/19


Midday Programs

Evening Programs


Read the current CAXTONIAN

Read the current FABS Jounal

211 South Clark Street,
PO Box 2329,
Chicago IL 60604-9997

Tel: +1 (312) 970-1294