New finds related to William Morris

There are a couple of interesting, uncataloged items that we recently uncovered in the bottom of a flat folio file drawer in the Rare Book Room.  Both are related to the current exhibit (open through January 30, 2011) at the Central Library entitled The Ideal Book: William Morris and the Kelmscott Press.


Gift of Mitchell Kennerley, 1924

There were 52 complete titles produced at the Kelmscott Press during their run from 1891-1898.  Trial pages for a 53rd title were also printed on vellum (160 copies) in September, 1897 for a translation of Froissart’s Chronicles.  Although the Rare Book Room does not have this original printing, our first find was two facsimile pages that were printed for Frederic & Bertha Goudy in June, 1920 in New York City.   Frederic Goudy, it should be noted, was one of the finest American type designers.  The second find is a keepsake which was the first impression made in America on the hand-press formerly owned by Morris that at the time of printing (1924) was owned by Frederic Goudy.  The printing was done only a year before Spencer Kellogg, Jr. founded the Aries Press and later (1927) acquired the  very same press from Goudy for use by his Eden, NY-based operation.

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