University of Notre Dame


Hesburgh Libraries

Rare Books & Special Collections

Fine Printing & Book Arts

Philip Hagreen. Benedicite omnes volucre coeli domino. Wood engraving, ca 1920s.

The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections’ holdings of fine press printing materials are extensive. As the Kelmscott Press is notable as both an impetus to the revitalization of fine printing and for its revival of medieval literature, our collection includes several titles produced by the press. Our Cuala Press Collection features first editions of significant Irish authors and a complete collection of broadsides and Christmas cards produced by the press. Other noteworthy collections of private press materials held by the Department include those corresponding to the Stanbrook Abbey Press, the Overbrook Press, and the Perishable Press.

Unique to the University is the Department’s Eric Gill Collection, which contains over 2,000 items including manuscript sketches and printing proofs, greeting cards, calendars, wood blocks, and photographs of Gill and his artwork. The Gill Collection includes materials by individuals who worked or apprenticed with Gill, including Hilary Pepler, Philip Hagreen, Joseph Cribb, David Jones, and Desmund Chute. Also present are near-complete collections of imprints of the associated Golden Cockerel Press and St. Dominic’s Press.

Artists’ books are an area of growing collection emphasis for the Department. Prominent among our collections is a large quantity of books produced by Ediciones Vigía in Matanzas, Cuba. Other author-based collections, such as that of Robert Creeley held by the department, also contain notable artists’ books.

Illustrated rare book collections include a substantial quantity of first editions and ephemera relating to Edward Gorey and a large collection of titles of classic works of literature published by The Limited Editions Club. The Department also possesses two notable paperback collections, that of Armed Services Editions and Penguin Editions.