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Rare Books Digital Exhibition — The Pursuit of Reading


Pursuit of Reading

Virginia Woolf said “…the pursuit of reading is carried on by private people.” So, too, is the pursuit of fine bookmaking. As the quality of bookmaking declined in the nineteenth century due to mass production, a few dedicated book lovers became book makers in order to keep traditional book arts alive.

San Francisco Bay...

Merrymount Press, Daniel Berkeley Updike

The small presses of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries focused on the art and craft of bookmaking. Texts ranged from early classics to the unpublished writings of those who would become the great authors of the twentieth century.

Bertha M. Goudy

Village Press, Frederic and Bertha Goudy

The printers, designers, typographers, illustrators, binders, and literati of the private presses had a huge impact on the publishing world and western literature for decades to come.

Goethe's Faust

Bremer Presse, Thomas Mann

The new bookmakers believed in the book as an object worthy of the text within it.

Spoil of the North wind, spread

The Blue Sky Press, Thomas Wood Stevens

The Rare Books Department invites you on a virtual stroll of our digital exhibition, The Pursuit of Reading, for an exploration of these small but influential presses.

Bosanquet Henry James

Hogarth Press, Leonard and Virginia Wolf


  • Carol Sandberg
    Posted at 15:07h, 29 October Reply

    Very cool. And I have a copy of the Bosanquet essay in my personal collection.

    • RareBooks
      Posted at 18:34h, 29 October Reply

      Thanks, Carol! That’s a nice library you have! Luise

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