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Guide to the Scripps College Press Collection
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Collection Details
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  • Administrative Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Administrative History of Scripps College Press
  • Scope and Contents of the Records
  • Index Terms

  • Administrative Summary

    Title: Scripps College Press
    Creator: Scripps College
    Dates: 1941-2004
    Quantity: 9 cubic feet
    Repository: Claremont Colleges. Library.
    1090 Columbia Avenue
    Claremont, California 91711
    Abstract: The Scripps College Press Collection contains academic records, administrative records, correspondence, financial material, and publications and printings created since the press’ inception. The collection covers the years 1941 to 2004 with the bulk of the material ranging from 1941 to 1985.
    Collection Number: D1941.1
    Language: English
    Physical Location: Ella Strong Denison Library

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Access

    This collection is open for research with permission from Ella Strong Denison Library staff.

    Publication Rights

    All requests for permission to publish must be submitted in writing to Denison Library.

    Related Materials at Ella Strong Denison Library

    Title: Scripps College Fine Arts Foundation Collection

    Separated Materials

    Oversize material is located in boxes 9 and 10.

    Preferred Citation

    Scripps College Press Collection. Ella Strong Denison Library, Scripps College, Claremont, California.

    Acquisition Information

    Deposited by Denison Library as part of the Scripps College Archives between 1941 and1970, and between 1979 and 1986.

    Processing Information

    Preliminary arrangement by library staff. Processed by History Associates Incorporated, 2005.


    No addition to the collection is anticipated.

    Other Finding Aids

    Scripps College Fine Arts Foundation Collection.

    Administrative History of Scripps College Press

    The Scripps College Press, originally named the Hartley Burr Alexander Press in honor of the Scripps philosophy professor (1927-1939), was established in 1941. The Class of 1941 instigated its establishment by donating the press as part of their class gift. They also managed to convince Frederick W. Goudy, renowned type designer, to create a unique type for exclusive use by the Press. Catherine Coffin Phillips, author, printer, and grandmother of one of the graduating seniors, Pat Morrison, agreed to underwrite the cost ($500.00) of Goudy designing a typeface for the colleges use. This was an excellent coup by the graduating class considering Goudy had previously designed a type for the University of California for which he had charged $10,000. Now the Class of 1941 needed to locate a press. In response, Los Angeles printer Ward Ritchie generously donated his Washington hand press upon which to print, and room was made in the basement of the art building. In September of 1941, Goudy returned to the campus to dedicate the first use of the type.
    The first printing course was taught by Ward Ritchie who, between 1942 and 1946 volunteered as a printing teacher at Scripps. These courses were taught to small classes without credit as an extracurricular activity. In the fall of 1946, Joseph Arnold Foster came to Scripps to teach humanities, American literature, and printing, and continued to teach printing, with an emphasis on book design, until his retirement in 1971. Foster had a high level of technical ability, having studied with Porter Garnett at the Carnegie Institute of Technology’s Laboratory Press, one of the greatest teaching presses in the 1930’s and 1940’s. He was, therefore, also extremely knowledgeable of types and ornaments, and added many new typefaces and printing ornaments to the original collection of Goudy type, considerably enlarging the range of the students’ work. It was at this time that the name of the press was changed from the Harley Burr Alexander Press to the Scripps College Press, and when it was moved from the art building to Balch Hall.
    Due to funding difficulties the printing program was cancelled, and the press equipment was moved from the print shop, which had been built south of the library in 1965, and placed in storage. Over the next decade, the equipment was utilized for printing special projects for the college. Since the College was unable to underwrite the costs of the printing program, it was up to Robin Trozpek and Judy Harvey Sahak to instigate a fundraising campaign. In the following months, Robin Trozpek, Assistant to the President and former student of Joseph Foster, and Judy Harvey-Sahak, Librarian at Denison, raised enough money to teach printing for one year (from day one Scripps College Press had a strong tie to Denison Library, which today holds many of the handmade broadsides and books created by students at Scripps College). The letters of appeal, which were sent to approximately 500 potential donors, resulted in raising about one-third of the $16,000 needed. The remaining amount needed was donated as an anonymous gift by one alumna, and the Press re-opened in 1979.
    In December 1979 a search committee for a new master printer was formed. Christine Bertelson, owner of the Rara Avis Press, who studied with Elliot Offner (Rosemary Press), Leonard Baskin (Gehenna Press), and Walter Hamady (The Perishable Press) was offered the position. In the fall of 1980, Scripps Press reclaimed the print shop south of the Library.
    From 1980-1982 the typography course was offered on a not-for-credit basis, with some students arranging independent projects with individual faculty in other areas. The course was then offered for credit through the Art department following an academic review in the spring of 1982. Christine Bertelson continued teaching until September 1985, at which time Susan King, bookmaker, author, and owner of Paradise Press in Los Angeles, became a one year temporary replacement. Bertelson decided to remain in St. Louis, working as a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, so in the spring of 1986 a search was undertaken for a new master printer. Kitty Maryatt, a Scripps Alumna and owner of the Two Hands Press, took over as master printer and is currently Director of Scripps College Press. Two books are produced each year by the Typography class, and individual students produce books as independent study projects each semester.
    At the Press, students designed, printed, and illustrated their own writings as broadsides and books, using handset type, relief printmaking processes, and letterpress equipment. Basic bookbinding and papermaking techniques were also incorporated into the program. Students were also given the opportunity to produce collaborative pieces with the Master Printer. Secrets of Art and Nature (1981), was created by students and the Master Printer, featuring woodcuts by a Scripps graphics professor. A limited edition of four poetry broadsides including work by major contemporary poets Seamus Heaney and Adrienne Rich was created in 1984. Images of Women, Ellen Browning Scripps, was designed and produced in celebration of the founder’s 150th anniversary and distributed to Scripps students. Color Book and Color Poster (1987) provided additional opportunities for collaboration.
    With the reestablishment of the Press in 1980, the Goudy Lecture Series was instituted as an integral aspect of the program. Bibliophiles, scholars, and book lovers throughout the community were invited to the campus. In the period between 1980 and 1987, the list of Goudy lecturers includes some of the most accomplished and well-known book artists in the country. These book artists include: publishers and printers, such as David Godine, Ward Ritchie, and Charles Seluzicki; book binders Johanna Goldschmid and Hedi Kyle; printers and book artists Walter Hamady and Claire Van Vliet; papermakers Bob Serpa and Timothy Barrett and paper scholar Leonard Schlosser; illustrator Barry Moser; and Fine Print editor Sandra Kirshenbaum. Postcards and posters announcing the Goudy Lectures were printed at the Press.
    In 1987-1988 an extensive review of the Press and its program was undertaken. The outside evaluator, Kathleen Walkup from Mills College, made several recommendations, including: providing more long-range budgetary and staff support for the Press; clarifying the position of the Press and its faculty within the Scripps infrastructure; and re-establishing the Goudy Lecture Series. As a result of the review, the faculty position was increased to half-time, the Goudy Lecture Series was re-established, and a budget was established. In 1994 the Press was moved to the new Millard Sheets art building.

    Scope and Contents of the Records

    The Scripps College Press Collection contains academic records, administrative records, correspondence, financial material, and publications and printings documenting the history of the Scripps College Press. With the exception of a few photographic prints in the photographic material series, and videotapes located in the topic files series, this collection consists largely of textual records. Textual record types primarily include correspondence, newspaper clippings, reports, notes, financial statement, and publications and printings printed both at Scripps College and at other printing presses.
    The largest series in the collection is Series 10, Publications and Printings,' which consists of booklets, broadsides, and other material related to printing at Scripps College. Other large series include Series 2, Academic Records, and Series 7, the Goudy Lecture Series.
    The collection is organized into 10 series:
    • Series 1: Academic Program, 1971-1994, .5 cubic feet
    • Series 2: Administrative Records,1939-2002, .75 cubic feet
    • Series 3: Correspondence, 1908-1994, .5 cubic feet
    • Series 4: Equipment and Supplies, 1944-1996, .25 cubic feet
    • Series 5: Financial Records, 1978-1992, .25 cubic feet
    • Series 6: Fundraising, 1979-1992, .15 cubic feet
    • Series 7: Goudy Lecture Series, 1980-2001, 1.5 cubic feet
    • Series 8: Master Printer Series, 1980-1999, .25 cubic feet
    • Series 9: Photographic Material, 1965-1992, .15 cubic feet
    • Series 10: Publications and printings, 1941-2003, 5.5 cubic feet
    • Series 11: Topical Files, 1940-1975, .5 cubic feet

    Index Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Scripps College Press--Archives.
    Scripps College (Claremont, Calif.)--Archival resources.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Genres and Forms of Materials