Press of the Woolly Whale collection, 1928-1972 (inclusive), 1928-1941 (bulk)

Press of the Woolly Whale


3.0. linear feet (8 boxes).
Organized into two series: I. Publications and Production Files. II. Other Papers.
The collection primarily consists of ephemera issued by the Press of the Woolly Whale between 1928 and 1941, including prospectuses, booklets, invitations, broadsides, holiday cards, mailing labels, certificates, and programs, among other items, most of which were drawn from the stock of the press when it was donated in 1969 to the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University; books printed by the press were also received but were cataloged separately. Series I, Publications and Production Files, is arranged according to David Pankow's chronological bibliography in Melbert B. Cary, Jr. and the Press of the Woolly Whale (Rochester, 2002). Accompanying some of the titles are production files kept by George Van Vechten Jr., the printer at the Press of the Woolly Whale. These files may include original and carbon typescripts, paper samples, title page designs, dummies, page proofs, corrected galleys, notes, receipts, and some correspondence with Cary, Frederic Goudy, and others. Some files also contain original drawings by Alban B. Butler, Warren Chappell, W.A. Dwiggins, and Fritz Kredel, and a set of stencils used by Dwiggins. Filed at the end of the series is a range of ephemera printed for the American Institute of Graphic Arts and National Orchestral Association.
Series II, Other Papers, contains copies of the Buffalo and Rochester exhibition catalogs, obituaries for George Van Vechten Jr., a holiday card from Paul Wescott with a trade sign design for the press, and notes made by Mary Flagler Cary about press publications.
The Press of the Woolly Whale was founded by Melbert B. Cary Jr., a New York businessman and prominent figure in the fields of typography and private printing during the second quarter of the twentieth century. The press was in operation in New York City between 1928 and 1941 and produced limited edition volumes, publications related to printing and typography, and a variety of ephemera that reflected the interests, professional relationships, and humor of Cary and his friends. Two exhibitions profiled the press's achievements (at the Grosvenor Library, Buffalo, New York, in 1939, and Rochester Institute of Technology in 1972); the catalogs from those exhibitions contained bibliographies which were superseded by David Pankow's checklist in Melbert B. Cary, Jr. and the Press of the Woolly Whale (Rochester: Cary Graphic Arts Press, 2002).
Melbert Brinkerhoff Cary Jr. (1892-1941) was born in New York, educated at the Groton School and Yale University, and died in New York. He was director of Continental Type Founders Association, president of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, and proprietor of the private Press of the Woolly Whale.
George W. Van Vechten Jr., American printer, typographer, and book designer, was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, attended Carnegie Institute of Technology, and died in Metuchen, New Jersey, in 1962, at age 55. He produced private and limited edition works for thirty-five years with Frederic W. Goudy at the Village Press, with Melbert B. Cary Jr. at the Press of the Woolly Whale, and from 1941 to 1962 at his own Van Vechten Press in Metuchen.
Press of the Woolly Whale Collection. Melbert B. Cary Jr. Graphic Arts Collection, The Wallace Center, Rochester Institute of Technology.
System requirements: Adobe Acrobat Reader software to access finding aid.
In English and German.

Related Resources

View this description in WorldCat: