Special Collections / Private Press

The Private Press Collection is a growing collection of material issued by private presses, particularly in the Midwest. As part of the Art and History of the Book subject holdings, the works held in the collection demonstrate examples of fine printing, fine binding, creative book making, artists' books, or literary works selected for private publication. Our holdings range from renowned presses such as the Walter Hamady's Perishable and John Martin's Black Sparrow Presses, to sculptural books from the Flying Fish Press, to fine printing produced for the Limited Editions Club. A master list of the presses that we actively collect is available online.

We also hold archival materials of the John Cumming Private Press and a copy of the proof for Raymond E. Gnat’s The Books and Work of the Philosopher Press at the Sign of the Green Pine Tree in Wausau, Wisconsin, with a Note Regarding Other Wisconsin Private Presses (2008). In addition to being an author, Gnat collects private press publications. He has donated six books to the Private Press Collection.