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Fine Print Records, circa 1950-1992 (bulk 1974-1990)
BANC MSS 98/114 c  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Corporate History
  • Scope and Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Fine Print Records
    Date (inclusive): circa 1950-1992
    Date (bulk): 1974-1990
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 98/114 c
    Creator: Fine Print (San Francisco, Calif.)
    Extent: Number of containers: 34 cartons, 4 boxes, 3 v., 5 oversize boxes, and 13 oversize folders Linear feet: 47.05
    Repository: The Bancroft Library.
    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
    Phone: (510) 642-6481
    Fax: (510) 642-7589
    Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
    URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
    Abstract: Consists of press files, editorial files, and production files that document the content of the publication, along with marketing and promotion files, business and financial records, and files from Pro Arte Libri, that document the business side of publishing a journal. Also includes the professional and personal papers of founder Sandra Kirshenbaum.
    Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English
    Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Fine Print Records, BANC MSS 98/114 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

    Related Collections

    Bound set of published issues of Fine Print, fZ119.F55, v.1-16

    Material Cataloged Separately

    • Some printed materials have been transferred to the book collection and to the TYP Files of The Bancroft Library.
    • Videotapes/sound recordings have been transferred to the Microforms Collection of The Bancroft Library.

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    Fine Print Records were purchased by The Bancroft Library from Pro Arte Libri in May 1995, with additions made in December 1996, April 1999, and August 2001.

    Corporate History

    The idea for Fine Print: a Newsletter for the Arts of the Book was conceived by Sandra Kirshenbaum, independent bookseller, in 1974, in response to her observations on a lack of communication and collaboration among practitioners of the "book arts" despite the renaissance underway among printers, typedesigners, papermakers, calligraphers, binders, and collectors. With the enthusiasm of Steve Corey, and printers, George Ritchie and Linnea Gentry, the four became an editorial team and set up shop in Sandra Kirshenbaum's home in San Francisco.
    The first issue of Fine Print was delivered to Andrew Hoyem's press on December 23rd, and in January 1975, final copy for Vol. 1, No. 1 was mailed to nearly 2,000 potential subscribers. By Vol. 2, the subtitle was changed from newsletter to: "The Review for the Arts of the Book," and coverage focused on press book reviews written by well-known, authoritative reviewers. At first, the type style and design changed with each issue (an idea initiated by Andrew Hoyem), but by Vol. 6, No. 1, a design by Linnea Gentry using Spectrum type was set as a standard, internal format, with a different designer for each cover.
    Fine Print's Tenth Anniversary Issue, Vol. 11, No. 1, appeared in January 1985, and despite the journal's outstanding success in fostering communication and collaboration among book artists, as well as making the world of type design, bookbinding, and printing history accessible to all, the journal continued to experience financial difficulties. In 1987, Pro Arte Libri was formed as a non-profit organization to advance the work of Fine Print, through grants and dedicated leadership, but the effort failed. In 1990, the journal ceased publication and in 1992, Pro Arte Libri was dissolved.

    Scope and Content

    The records of Fine Print (San Francisco, Calif.) span the years from 1950 to 1992, but chiefly date from 1974, when the journal was conceived, to 1990, when it ceased publication. The collection consists of press files, editorial files, and production files that document the content of the publication, along with marketing and promotion files, business and financial records, and files from Pro Arte Libri, that document the business-side of publishing a journal. Finally, the professional and personal papers of Fine Print's founder, Sandra Kirshenbaum, provide insight into the creative force behind the journal.
    Of particular significance is the vast quantity of correspondence and printed ephemera, press releases, reviews, and articles relating to nearly 500 presses and printers in the U.S. and abroad. The collection documents not only the production of each issue of the journal, but the artistic development of numerous well-known individual printers and presses, and the editor's vision for collaboration among the community of book arts practitioners.