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Private presses

Wide ranging examples from British, European, and American private presses operating in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Embroidered binding by Kelmscott Press.

Wide ranging examples 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 in the collection 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 16th-20th century fine bindings, with examples from the Hampstead Bindery to Sangorski and Sutcliffe.

The Salisbury Library contains an associated collection of Gregynog Press volumes, which includes almost every early 20th century title, as well as most of the later 20th century publications, of over 100 volumes in total.

About this collection

Collection type: Print

Dates: 19 century, Early 20 century

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

Formats: Books

Subjects: Literature and journalism, Art and music, Travel

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