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Ward Ritchie Collection
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The collection contains over 800 of Ritchie monographs and approximately 200 pamphlets, college catalogs, and other printed matter from Anderson, Ritchie & Simon, the Ward Ritchie Press, and the Laguna Verde Imprenta. It also contains biographical information about Ward Ritchie and his presses in the form of newspaper clippings, chapters from books, and essays written by friends. Additionally, the collection contains galley proofs, material from a course Ritchie taught at Occidental in the early 1930s, and ephemera.
Harry "Ward" Ritchie was born in 1905 in Los Angeles, California. His interest in literature and publishing developed at an early age; as an eighth-grader at the Marengo Avenue School in South Pasadena, he and a fellow student launched a printed paper called The Marengo Literary Leader. They printed student writings, including several of the early efforts of classmate Lawrence Clark Powell, future University Librarian at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Ritchie's lifelong friend. In high school Ward Ritchie worked on the school paper and yearbook, and as an undergraduate at Occidental College, he took a keen interest in the poetry of Occidental alumnus Robinson Jeffers and that of Occidental English professor Carlyle MacIntyre. As a printer he would go on to publish editions of both their works. After graduating from Occidental College in 1928, he entered law school at the University of Southern California. He quickly realized, however, that law was not congenial to him. After discovering the journals of the great English printer Thomas J. Cobden-Sanderson, co-founder of the Doves Press, who was once himself a discontented lawyer, Ritchie decided to give up law and become a printer and book designer. He enrolled in a printing class at a nearby trade school and got a job at the Abby of San Encino Press in South Pasadena.
10 linear ft. (2 manuscript boxes, 17 flat storage boxes). 800 to 900 monographs
All requests for permission to publish or quote from holdings must be submitted in writing to the Special Collections Department. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections 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.
Collection is open for research.