Academic journal article Printing History

Peterson, William S., and Sylvia Holton Peterson. the Kelmscott Chaucer: A Census

Academic journal article Printing History

Peterson, William S., and Sylvia Holton Peterson. the Kelmscott Chaucer: A Census

Article excerpt

Peterson, William S., and Sylvia Holton Peterson. The Kelmscott Chaucer: A Census. Newark, Del., Oak Knoll Press, 2011. ISBN 978-1-58456-289-4. xvi, 272 pages.

This meticulously documented and handsomely designed volume obviously belongs in most of the research libraries of the world concerned with fine printing, but it should be held more broadly than just in institutions whose acquisitions are guided by that subject interest. Professors William S. Peterson and Sylvia Holton Peterson have pursued the existing copies of this singular volume with the dedication that it truly warrants. By including biographical notes about the early purchasers of the book (and even photographic portraits of many of them), they have created a fascinating survey of the major collectors of the period and the extended provenance of these volumes. Another significant dimension of this census of the Kelmscott Chaucer is that it makes a concerted attempt to identify and locate the copies that were printed on vellum. The volume also devotes attention to the bindings that would become associated with this seminal printed work, and sixteen pages of color photography represent some of these important bindings. (For example, the copy at the Special Collections Research Center at Syracuse University Library donated by the noted collector Adrian Van Sinderen, a Yale man and a Grolier Club member ingeniously recruited by Chancellor William P. …

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