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F. W. Olin Library

Special Collections and Archive

The Fine Press Collection

The Fine Press Collection consists of fine and private press, limited edition, and artists’ books, including examples of unique books, and ephemera. The collection is especially strong in books written or made by women and local artists. Fine press bibliographies, exhibition catalogues for fine press printers, book artists, the book arts, and printing history are well represented. The collection includes books and broadsides by students from the Mills College Book Arts Program.

The Fine Press Collection is housed in the Elinor Raas Heller Rare Book Room. Books are generally shelved by press or printer name.

Highlights of this collection include books from the Kelmscott Press printed by the father of the Arts and Crafts Movement, William Morris (1834–96) in the late nineteenth century. The Kelmscott Press produced fifty-three books from 1891 to 1898. The Fine Press Collection contains thirty-six Kelmscott Press books, including the masterpiece of the Press: The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, designed by Morris and illustrated by his friend and colleague, Edward Burne-Jones, issued on June 26, 1893 in an edition of 438 copies.

The Fine Press Collection also has an outstanding group of books and ephemera printed by Claire Van Vliet at the Janus Press in West Burke, Vermont (founded in 1955).

Local presses and printers represented include Arion Press (Andrew Hoyem), Book Club of California, Colt Press (Jane Grabhorn), Flying Fish Press (Julie Chen), Grabhorn Press, Peter Rutledge Koch, John Henry Nash, Pacific Editions (Charles Hobson), Poltroon Press, Rather Press, and Adrian and Joyce Wilson, among many others.

The Fine Press Collection has a comprehensive collection of Eucalyptus Press books and ephemera. Rosalind Keep founded the Eucalyptus Press at Mills College in 1932. The Press was an integral part of the rich tradition of fine press printing in the San Francisco Bay Area that continues today. Materials are still being printed under this imprint under the auspices of the Book Arts Program.

(call number = P [press name])

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P: 510.430.2047
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E: jbraun@mills.edu

Last Updated: 12/16/13