Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Bason (Robert E.) Capra Press publisher's collection
Printers Mss 87  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (206.09 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access Restrictions
  • Use Restrictions
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Historical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Related Archival Material

  • Title: Robert E. Bason Capra Press publisher's collection
    Identifier/Call Number: Printers Mss 87
    Contributing Institution: UC Santa Barbara Library, Department of Special Research Collections
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 13 linear feet (13 cartons)
    Creator: Bason, Robert E.
    Source: Young, Noel
    Source: Capra Press
    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).

    Access Restrictions

    The collection is open for research. The collection is stored offsite. Advance notice is required for retrieval.

    Use Restrictions

    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.

    Preferred Citation

    [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.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Robert E. Bason, 2014.

    Historical Note

    From 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
    Autographs (manuscripts)
    Young, Noel
    Capra Press
    Capra Press -- Archives