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Merrymount Press Records: Finding Aid
mssMerrymount Press  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
This collection consists of the business records of the Merrymount Press of Boston, Massachusetts, and papers of its owner Daniel Berkeley Updike (1860-1941). The Press, which operated for 45 years, was known for its excellence in typography and design, especially in the field of decorative printing and bookmaking.
Background
The Merrymount Press was founded in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1896 by Daniel Berkeley Updike (1860-1941). The Press, which operated for 45 years, was known for its excellence in typography and design, especially in the field of decorative printing and bookmaking. In 1893, Updike established himself as an independent printing designer, but it took several years to acquire type, and only in 1896 did he name his business the "Merrymount Press." The Press completed a variety of printing jobs including small jobs like bookplates, letterhead, invitations, and cards; institutional and commercial work including school catalogs, diplomas, and advertising booklets; trade publications for publishers; privately printed books; and limited editions, including two of the Press's most well-known works, the Altar Book (1896) and the Episcopal Church's Book of Common Prayer (1930). Updike and the Press worked with a variety of suppliers, publishing houses, craftsmen, and artists, including illustrators T. M. Cleland, W. A. Dwiggins, and Rudolph Ruzicka. Daniel Berkeley Updike (1860-1941) was born in Providence, Rhode Island, on February 24, 1860. Updike did not attend college; at 18 he began working as an assistant at the Providence Athenaeum, before becoming a clerk for Houghton, Mifflin and Company in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1880. Updike worked for the company for a decade before transitioning to their Riverside Press imprint in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Updike worked there for two years before emerging independently as a printing designer in 1893 in Boston; he named his business the "Merrymount Press" in 1896. Updike became known for scholarly interest in typography; his book "Printing types, their history, forms, and use: a study in survivals," based on lectures, was first published in 1922. He was a founder of the Society of Printers in Boston and a president and a member of the Board of Directors of the American Institute of Graphic Arts. Updike died in Boston on December 29, 1941.
Extent
331 boxes and 236 volumes
Restrictions
The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.
Availability
Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.