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Private Press and Fine Press Works in Special Collections

A guide to fine press books available in Special Collections and University Archives.


Welcome to the Special Collections Guide to Private Press and Fine Press Books

This guide provides a listing of materials in Special Collections and University Archives at the University of Maryland relating to Fine Presses. This guide highlights material created by various Fine Presses that are available in the Maryland Room in Hornbake Library

The Private Press Movement, closely tied to the Arts and Crafts Movements and the subsequent Fine Press Movement, began in the late 19th century with William Morris and the Kelmscott Press. Morris hated the commercialization of easily manufactured, cheap products and sought to fight the trend brought on by industrialization, becoming the founder and leader of the Arts & Crafts movement. The Arts & Crafts movement and Morris' founding of the Kelmscott Press made way for the Fine Press movement, where artists, authors, and craftsmen showed appreciation for typography, design, illustration, printing and fine binding. The results were the production of books as an art form and the crafting of beautiful books. Due to care and consideration each element is given, fine press books are often small print-runs of high quality, produced by individuals or small businesses.

Private Press and Fine Press works can be found in Literature and Rare Books collections in Special Collections in Hornbake Library. Consult this guide for a list of works, arranged by individual press. Each press has it's own unique style, history, and output that can be explored. For more information on our private press and fine press holdings, contact us.

If you have any questions about the fine press movement or about how to view private press and fine press books in Special Collections, contact us.

Related Guides

For additional guides related to books in Special Collections select an option below.