Got away from the studio for a bit this month, though not from work - sadly, it came along, in a box, and demanded daily attention. Nonetheless, we found time to go foraging for things that would make interesting additions to the HM library. Like most addicts who've been at it for some time, we need increasingly obscure and extreme junk to fix, or it just isn't worth the bother. A few things turned up...

A copy of Roy Squires' diminutive first publication, the only copy we have ever seen or heard of being on offer. It's a series of poems in Spanish by Clark Ashton Smith.

A trial (& incomplete) setting of Cobden-Sanderson's "Credo," proofed on onion skin paper. Compositor and printer unknown (but surely American).

An invitation to the publication party for Arion Press' Moby-Dick (ours must have been lost in the post...). We're hoping to learn more about the production of this book one day, particularly how the paper was dampened and handled. (We've heard mention of machines used at places like the Riverside Press to dampen paper, but know no details.) During our work on Oddballs, Barry Moser mentioned in a note that the engravings and text were locked-up and printed at the same time. This bit of ephemera appeals because, presumably, it was printed the same way.

A little notice for the final Kelmscott publications, & requesting payment in advance "in order that the press may be closed without avoidable delay." How about that word spacing in the sixth line...

Coincidentally found on the same trip, a copy of Neil (Yellow Barn Press) Shaver's The Kelmscott Golden Legend, featuring an original leaf from that 1892 publication (with an engraved ornamental O on its verso). A lovely book, printed on handmade Batchelor & Son paper (dampened, needless to say) by a lovely & generous man.

A prospectus for the Allen Press' Printing with the Handpress (issue price, $68.50; see HM Handpress Library #2).

A 1930 prospectus & retrospectus from the Nonesuch Press. Most Nonesuch work has a commercial blandness, but this little piece exhibits some humanity.

A woodcut portrait by Leonard Baskin of Hendrick Goltzius (1558 – 1617), a Dutch printmaker and painter.

A folio-sized publication marking the purchase by the United States Government of Dr. Otto V. F. Vollbehr's collection of 3,000 incunables, including a Gutenberg Bible (shown below is the frontis, with the good doctor fondling his [soon to be the Library of Congress'] copy of the Bible). The text is the address by Frederick W. Ashley, Chief Assistant Librarian of the Library of Congress, to the Eleventh National Conference on Printing Education, marking the acquisition. For a few decades at the start of the last century, publishing this kind of thing was a matter of course among universities and institutions. "Designed and printed by George Henry Carter, B. Ph., L.L.B., Public Printer of the United States of America, at the Government Printing Office in the City of Washington to the number of four hundred and twenty copies bound in parchment, impressed on handmade paper with Cloister types in two columns of forty-two lines each and illuminated with handmade initial letters similar to the Gutenberg Bible in the Library of Congress of the United States of America MCMXXXII," reports the colophon.

Book Craft by Ruth H. Kemp, being Book Number Eight of the Library of the Seven Crafts of the Camp Fire Girls (Camp Fire Outfitting Co., NYC, 1935). Despite the name, the series actually stretched to 10 volumes. We also saw Block Printing & Stenciling (which included some paper decoration crafts, like marbling and paste) but the things were too expensive, so we stuck with just the "Book Craft" volume, which should help fill some of the many holes in our education.