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Preliminary Guide to the William Edwin Rudge Collection
Printers Mss 2  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access Restrictions
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Materials at UCSB

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: William Edwin Rudge Collection
    Dates: ca. 1903-1983
    Bulk Dates: 1940s-1950s
    Collection number: Printers Mss 2
    Collection Size: ca. 27 linear feet (28 document boxes, 9 cartons, 15 oversize boxes, 1 oversize crate, and 2 map folders).
    Repository: University of California, Santa Barbara. Library. Dept. of Special Collections
    Santa Barbara, CA 93106
    Abstract: Business records and personal papers of William E. Rudge, his family, his printing firm, and associates.
    Physical location: Boxes 1-34 (SRLF); Boxes 35-53 (Annex 2); Map Folders 1-2 (Map Cabinet 20/16).
    Languages: English

    Access Restrictions

    None. Most materials stored off-site; advance notice required for retrieval.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Department of Special Collections, UCSB. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special 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

    William Edwin Rudge Collection. Printers Mss 2. Department of Special Collections, Davidson Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

    Acquisition Information

    Multiple donations from Rudge family members, along with some small purchases from various dealers, ca. 1967-1999.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection was acquired over many years, ca. 1966-1999, from family members Fred Rudge and Edwin Rudge (WERIII), as well as Edwin Rudge's daughter, Joanna Rudge Long. Former Rudge employee and UCSB Special Collections consultant Hobart O. Skofield did much of the work accumulating the manuscript and related Rudge imprint collection, and also acquired materials from other Rudge alumni and various dealers.


    The collection contains the following series:
    • Series I: Biographical / Family / Bibliographical. Includes genealogy compiled by Hobart Skofield; material about family members, some compiled by Skofield; lists and correspondence about Rudge imprints, also compiled by Skofield and Rudge family members. Boxes 1-4.
    • Series II: Rudge Business Files
      • Subseries A: Printing House of William Edwin Rudge [PH/WER]. Run by WER II; includes correspondence, finances, history, prospectuses and imprints. Boxes 5-9.
      • Subseries B: William E. Rudge's Sons, Inc. (1932-1945). Run by FGR; includes history [1932 journal and other], prospectuses and imprints. Boxes 10-12.
      • Subseries C: William Edwin Rudge, Publishers. Run by WERIII; includes various printing jobs, Elm Tree Press, Print (general/editorial, financial, promotional /advertising / circulation files; incl. correspondence with Merle Armitage, Frederic W. Goudy, James Guthrie, Victor Hammer, Elanor Steiner-Prage, and Ward Ritchie) and Print Collector's Quarterly files; also, information about technical processes such as Rudge Duplitypes. Boxes 13-26.
    • Series III: Presses and Printers. Brochures, samples, and ephemera from other companies and printers. Includes Colt Press, Grabhorn Press, Merrymount Press, John Henry Nash, Peter Pauper Press, and Bruce Rogers. Boxes 27-31.
    • Series IV: Rudge Alumni. Includes alumni newsletter, Rudge Roundup. Boxes 32-34.
    • Series V: Photographs. Mainly black/white prints of Rudge family members and printing operations; also, panoramic view of Camp Dix, 1918. Box 35.
    • Series VI: Artifacts. Includes printing plates and related. Also, large replica of Rosetta Stone. Boxes 36-37, 53.
    • Series VII: Oversize. Includes oversize prospectuses and samples, photographs, portfolios and scrapbooks. Boxes 38-52, Map Cabinet 17/1.
    Acronyms frequently used in the guide:
    • FGR: Frederick [Fred] Gould Rudge
    • PCQ: Print Collector's Quarterly
    • PH/WER: House of William Edwin Rudge [II]
    • WERII: William Edwin Rudge, II
    • WERIII: William Edwin Rudge, III

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    William Edwin Rudge (Firm)
    Rudge, William Edwin, 1876-1931
    Rudge, William Edwin, 1908-
    Publishers and publishing.

    Related Materials at UCSB

    Several hundred monographs and other printed works, mainly by the Printing House of William Edwin Rudge, have been cataloged separately and can be searched via online catalogs such as Pegasus (UCSB Libraries) and OCLC.
    The following manuscript collections and oral histories also contain material about the Rudge firm and associates:
    • Beilenson [Peter] Collection, ca. 1929-1980. Biographical information, lists, prospectuses, printing specimens, and other ephemera, mainly about Beilenson, his early days with the William Edwin Rudge firm, Peter Pauper Press (Mount Vernon, NY), and the Walpole Printing Office (New Rochelle, NY). (Printers Mss 5).
    • Dothard [Robert Loos] Collection, ca. 1938-1963. Correspondence, Christmas cards, stock certificates and ephemera, mainly relating to the printing firm of William E. Rudge's Sons, Inc. Dothard was one of the five original partners of the firm and the firm's typographer for several years. He later had a long, distinguished career as a book designer, with many of his books being accepted for the Fifty Books exhibitions of the American Institute of Graphic Arts. (Printers Mss 6).
    • Duenewald [Ralph M.] Collection, ca. 1971-1983. Mainly correspondence between Duenewald and Hobart Skofield, re the William E. Rudge printing firm (Printers Mss 7).
    • Erickson [Edward O.] Collection, 1972-1984. Mainly copies of correspondence between Erickson and Hobart Skofield, both William Edwin Rudge Press alumni, about the history of Rudge and other printing firms, and associates such as Ralph Duenewald, Milton Glick, and Bruce Rogers. (Printers Mss 8).
    • Glick [Milton] Oral History, 1971. Interviews about printing, with a former printer associated with the William Edwin Rudge firm and Viking Press. (OH 43).
    • Rogers [Bruce] Collection, ca. 1920-1954. Correspondence from the internationally renowned typographer and designer, to Fred Rudge, Melvin Loos, and others, as well as manuscript and proofs of Rogers' Paragraphs on Printing (William E. Rudge's Sons, 1943), and other design items. Also, copies of many of the more than 500 books designed by him. (Printers Mss 16).
    • Rudge Chapbook Archive, 1978-1985. Correspondence, research files, drafts, artwork, proofs, and other material relating to the publication of Typophiles Chapbook 57: William J Glick, William Edwin Rudge (New York: Typophiles, 1984). Hobart O. Skofield, former Rudge associate and creator of the UCSB Printers Collection, worked extensively with Glick on the project. (Printers Mss 9).
    • Rudge [William Edwin III] Oral History. (OH 80).
    • Skofield [Hobart] Oral History, 1982. Recollections of Skofield, re his years as an apprentice with the Printing House of William Edwin Rudge, experiences with the Rancheros Vistadores, development of what is now the Skofield Printers Collection. (OH 6).
    • Skofield [Hobart Oliver] Papers, ca. 1927-1987. Two series: personal/family materials re Hobart O. Skofield, his father Ray L. Skofield, and a large number of genealogical files; and a printers/presses series, with a large amount of material relating to Skofield's association with the Rudge printing firm, as well as long-term correspondence with other prominent printers and research/subject files on numerous mostly-American presses and printing interests. (Printers Mss 1).