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Private presses collection (19th-20th C.)

Included in this collection is a set of books from British, European, and American private presses operating in the 19th and 20th centuries. The Private Press movement, associated with the Arts and Crafts movement, originated at the end of the 19th century with the founding of William Morris’ Kelmscott Press. Kelmscott Press published 53 titles (18,000 copies in all) of high quality hand-printed books, and laid the foundations for the revival of private presses in Great Britain and Europe. The main presses represented are Golden Cockerel (c. 215 items), Kelmscott (c. 60 items), and Cuala (c. 60 items, the press associated with W. B. Yeats). In total, about 100 presses/publishers are comprised in the collection, from Alcestis Press to Woburn Press, the most represented authors being Morris, Shakespeare, Spenser, and Yeats.

An associated collection also includes a diverse section of fine bindings, in which British and continental books from the 16th century to the 20th century are held.

Date range: Late 19th-20th century.

Significance: Of international significance.

Strengths: British private presses.

Size: c. 1,300 private presses volumes, plus c. 500 fine bindings’ volumes.

Languages: English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Greek, and Latin.

Keywords: Private presses, fine bindings, William Morris, Arts and Crafts movement, printing

Notes: An associated collection of Gregynog Press volumes contains almost every title published in its early 20th century printings, as well as most of the later 20th century publications, of over 100 volumes in total.