The Caxton Club was founded in Chicago in January 1895 by fifteen ardent bibliophiles. According to their charter, their intent was "the literary study and promotion of the arts pertaining to the production of books and the occasional publishing of books designed to illustrate, promote and encourage these arts." Today, the Caxton Club numbers over 300 resident and non-resident members of all ages—authors, binders, book artists, collectors, conservators, dealers, designers, editors, librarians, publishers, and scholars—who still share the love of books.
In its 125 years, the Caxton Club has published fine books on a variety of subjects that includes Americana, art history, the history of printing, literature, and the book arts.
Now in its second century, the Caxton Club continues its commitment to publishing and the book arts, specializing in topics related to Midwest. The Club has arranged numerous exhibitions in cooperation with well-respected cultural institutions and libraries. In addition, the Club's regular programs, newsletter, joint meetings with related organizations, and field trips provide the membership with a forum to learn about the history, production, and collecting of books.
In addition, the Club is committed to the encouragement of book collecting and the book arts among members of succeeding generations. Towards that goal, the Club solicits applications for grants that are presented annually to students in the book arts, and offers support to innovative young book collectors.
Each month, with the exception of July and August, members and guests gather on the third Wednesday evening for a presentation by a distinguished scholar on a subject related to books or the book arts. The talk is preceded by a casual social hour. Following the presentation, dinner is served to those who have arranged to stay and continue the conversation. Similarly, on the second Friday of most months, members and guests are invited to attend a luncheon, followed by an illustrated book-related presentation given by members or local experts.