This week, I’d like to highlight one of the Reference Collection’s many journal titles. The Colophon (REF.SE.1024, REF.SE.1025, and REF.SE.1026) was a limited edition quarterly journal created by Elmer Adler, founder of Pynson Printers, in New York in late in 1929. The series continued in various forms until 1950. Adler’s goal was to have printers from around the world contribute articles using their choice of papers, typography, and illustrations.
|from East Wind West Wind|
Articles ranged widely across the series, with many commenting on current / historical issues related to printing, publishing, or art. Others were intended to serve themselves as an example of printing or a work of art. Topics included illustrated Christmas cards in summertime, a review of recent (early 1900’s) books about paper and papermaking, an examination of English illustrators from the collection of George Arents, a literary criticism of Ireland’s first Shakesperian folio, and a highly illustrated look into Juan Ortiz and early American wood engravings, among many others.
|from Meditations of a Collector’s Wife|
Typically, issues included a range of styles, typography, and papers. Often, these included rare or experimental approaches not typically seen in mainstream publications. Each issue also included an original piece of graphic art (e.g. etching, lithography, or engraving), some of which were signed by the artist.
The original Colophon series ran from February 1930-March 1935, and was succeeded by The New Series from Summer 1935-Autumn 1938. The New Graphic Series continued later, running from March 1939-February 1940. The Center’s holdings include the full run of The New Series, four volumes from the original series, and one volume from The New Graphic Series. Whether you’re interested in the literary content, the vibrant illustrations, or the historical perspectives, I’d highly recommend you take a look at this series. With nearly 20 issues to choose from, there is much to find in this collection.
The Reference Collection is one of three collections at The Center for Book Arts. The other two include the Fine Arts Collection (composed of artists’ books and prints) and the Archives (containing Exhibition Catalogs and the Center’s ephemera). All three collections can be viewed on-line via the Center’s website or in person by appointment. Please note that the Reference Library is currently being cataloged, with roughly 98% completed.
-Sarah McCarthy, Librarian