University of Notre Dame


Hesburgh Libraries

Rare Books & Special Collections

The Overbrook Press Collection

The Overbrook Press, founded by Frank Altschul at his estate, Overbrook Farms in Stanford, Connecticut, is among the greatest of the American private presses. It was responsible for a curious mix of literary works and ephemera, often printed for political organizations. Altschul employed a very skillful staff who dedicated a great deal of craftsmanship to even the most ordinary of pamphlets. The press commissioned the work of contemporary artists for illustrated texts and printed a distinguished series of books of chess problems.

The Department of Special Collections owns 135 books from the Overbrook Press, comprising nearly half its production during its peak years of 1934-1959. Among the most notable items from this collection are the 1958 edition of the abbé Prevost's Manon Lescaut, the 1938 edition of Robert Louis Stevenson's Inland Voyage, and the 1939 edition of the poetry of William Shakespeare.