University of Notre Dame


Hesburgh Libraries

Rare Books & Special Collections

The Perishable Press Collection

Since its founding in 1964, the Perishable Press has been one of the most influential American private presses. The press was founded by Walter Hamady, a professor of art at the University of Wisconsin, and was based in nearby Mt. Horeb. Hamady published mostly contemporary poetry and short fiction, generally by lesser known American authors. The influence of the press can be attributed to the large number of students attracted to work with Hamady who then sought to adopt his eclectic design and high level of craftsmanship in their own printing.

Over the course of four decades, the Perishable Press produced more than 125 handcrafted books bearing Hamady's close attention to the smallest details of book design. The Department of Special Collections owns 33 imprints from this press concentrated in the early days of its production in the late 1960s and early 1970s, as well as the 100th book of the press, the Gaebboerjabb number 5, published in 1981.