Scope and Content
Related Archival Material
Title: Robert E. Bason Capra Press publisher's collection
Identifier/Call Number: Printers Mss 87
UC Santa Barbara Library, Department of Special Research Collections
Language of Material:
13 linear feet
Bason, Robert E.
Date (inclusive): 1970s-2000s
Abstract: This collection consists of over 300 books (many first editions) published by the Capra Press of Santa Barbara, California.
The collection includes original signed contracts, photographs, notes, and advertising materials.
Physical Location: The collection is located at the Southern Regional Library Facility (SRLF).
The collection is open for research. The collection is stored offsite. Advance notice is required for retrieval.
Copyright has not been assigned to the Department of Special Research Collections, UCSB. All requests for permission to publish
or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Research Collections. Permission for publication
is given on behalf of the Department of Special Research Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended
to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained.
[Identification of Item], Robert E. Bason Capra Press publisher's collection, Printers Mss 87. Department of Special Research
Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.
Gift of Robert E. Bason, 2014.
On Collecting Capra Press by Robert E. Bason: "The line between book collecting and bibliomania is apparently thin. I may have crossed it when, twenty-some
years ago, I started collecting books printed by Santa Barbara's own Capra Press. For no known reason, I had earlier begun
a collection of books by Santa Barbara authors. That, I soon realized, was a hopeless task. Everyone in Santa Barbara is
writing a book. The list was endless - and growing. I eventually gave up and donated my books to Special Collections at
UCSB. But, in the process, I had come across some beautifully-printed books by Capra Press and thus began my fascination with
Noel Young and all things Capra. Eventually, in about 2000, I tried to meet Noel - but by this time he was well along in years
and poor health and, while still friendly and congenial, his printing heydays were over and even his memories were gone or
going. It was then that I found out that his family was in the throes of closing down Capra Press, not having found a buyer.
It took me only a few days to decide that I really wanted to buy the Press and try to keep it going. It took longer for the
family to decide to sell to me. Capra Press was, after all, an institution of some renown. Ultimately, I prevailed and it
was a happy day for me when, in 2001, I became the second owner (and, by default, the publisher) of Capra Press. Now, in 2014,
the end result of this collecting or mania (you decide!), is what I am proud to call "The Publisher's Collection of Capra
Press." Of the over 300 books published by Capra, some 95% are present in this collection. Most are signed by the authors,
often inscribed to Capra Press or its publishers. "Lying in" (as we like to say in book collecting circles) in many of the
books are original letters from the authors, pictures, notes and advertising materials. In a number of them are the original
signed contracts for publication. The high spots of Capra Press publishing are almost all present in this collection: almost
the entire 41-volume signed, limited and trade editions of Capra's famous Chapbook Series, all the Henry Miller books, Raymond
Carver, Ross MacDonald, Gretel Ehrlich, Robert Easton, Lawrence Durrell, Anais Nin, Erica Jong, Kay Boyle, Thomas Sanchez,
Lawrence Clark Powell, Kenneth Rexroth, Peter Beagle, John Sanford, Tess Gallagher, Alex Comfort, and on and on. Certainly,
as one of my literary friends said, "Well, this collection will never be done again."
Scope and Content
This collection consists of over 300 books (many first editions) published by the Capra Press of Santa Barbara, California.
The collection includes original signed contracts, photographs, notes, and advertising materials. Included are complete runs
of the Capra Chapbook Series (both hard- and paperback), Capra Back-To-Back Series, and an alphabetical run of the publisher's
own collection, including many personalized items, signatures, and inscriptions, covering about 95% of all books published
by the Capra Press and some other books printed by Noel Young.
The collection is divided into the following series:
Series 1. Capra Chapbook Series Hardback. Hardback limited, all signed, numbered, complete collection of all 41 chapbooks.
Series 2. Capra Chapbook Series Paperback. Complete collection of all 41 books in the series, all first editions (unless otherwise
noted) together with copies of subsequent prints. Signed only as noted.
Series 3. Capra Back-To-Back Series. The complete series of 11 volumes. Signed only as noted.
Series 4. Capra Books. This series of Capra books is the publisher's own collection, and thus contains many personalized items, signatures
and inscriptions. All books are in their original state. Arranged alphabetically by author.
Related Archival Material
The Lilly Library at the University of Indiana purchased the earliest files of Capra Press and maintains a substantial archive
of the earlier work of the Press. It can be visited on-line at http//www.indiana.edu
Special Research Collections at the University of California, Santa Barbara, holds the last twenty years of Capra's records,
as well as a collection of the published works. A guide to the archives is available: www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/kt6489s24q/
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Publishers and publishing -- California -- Santa Barbara
Authors, American -- 20th century
California -- Imprints
Capra Press -- Archives