History of Printing and Print Examples Collections

The more than 1,600 volumes in the History of Printing Collection covers not only printing, but all aspects of the history of the book, including typography, book collecting, paper, printing ink, manuscript books, illustration and illumination, book-binding, private presses in general and individual printers.

The collection of printing examples and fragments features more than 500 examples of printing from various periods and places, with over 70 examples from the 18th century and earlier.

The collection also holds a number of books printed by such private presses as Nonesuch, Whittington Press, Shakespeare Head, Golden Cockerel and Gwasg Gregynog.

Books from Antipodean presses are represented by, among others, Tara McLeod’s Pear Tree Press, the Ancora Press, the printer/poet Alan Loney in Melbourne, the University of Otago’s Otakou Press and the Wai-te-ata Press at the University of Victoria in Wellington.

Highlights include:

  • An Aldine Octavo edition of Catullus, Propertius and Tibullus printed in 1502.
  • A 1564 edition of Thucydides previously owned by 16th-century Scottish humanist and poet Mark Alexander Boyd, heavily annotated in a contemporary hand.
  • A volume of Richard Knowles’ Turkish History from 1687, once owned by famed diarist and naval administrator Samuel Pepys.
  • Fine private press editions.

In addition there is a collection of over 100 printing fragments ranging from the incunabula period (pre-1501) to the 18th century.

History of Printing and Print Examples Collections