The Private Press of Roy A. Squires
For more than a decade I have toyed with the idea of writing some kind of article about Roy A. Squires, "private pressman." Given California's long tradition of private press publishing and fine printing, I could never understand why Squires was all but unknown to collectors and even printers who were his contemporaries (part of the reason undoubtedly was his "genre" literary tastes).
Many of the people who collaborated with Squires were dead by the time I started asking around, and he didn't leave any kind of an archive. The few people I could contact who had known him either didn't have much specific information about his printing, or (in one case) didn't want to answer any questions at all. My "research" ended up consisting primarily of amassing a more-or-less complete collection of his publications (more if you count simply having a copy of each title; less if you insist on the more scarce and obscure variants). I also managed to gather a number of his letters to subscribers, which are full of wit and interesting details.
I'm not sure if it's instead of or in preparation for, I've started a blog about Squires' press. I'm going to do one post for each of his publications with images, in chronological order, plus any interesting bibliographic details culled from his letters or other sources.
There isn't much in common between what HM gets up to and Squires' publishing, so I don't anticipate an overlap in readership. I'm challenged to explain why I've been interested in his work for so long. Perhaps because it was some of the first letterpress printing I ever saw (and to this day it may be the only letterpress printing young collectors encounter, whether they're aware of it or not), and perhaps also because the modest scope of his publications made the whole endeavor seem possible to a beginner. Inspiring others is the greatest accomplishment for artists or craftsmen.
AND ANOTHER THING
A new, ongoing feature coming soon: the HM Garage Sale! Mostly (non-HM) books being culled from the my private collection, priced to move. Even with the move over, I'm into shedding weight...