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Grolier Club Exhibitions

E. Haven Hawley

I collect items that provide me with insight about how people make and use printing technologies. Much of my collection is a mixture of manuals and teaching examples related to printing, papermaking, and related trades, from letterpress in the 19th century through stencil duplicating in the latter 20th century.  

I also collect printed artifacts that allow me to learn about people whose voices I haven’t been able to learn about in other ways. Through my collection, I increase my understanding about how specific groups of people gain access to and use technologies, as they create shared identities and portray themselves to others.  

Often, these two strands intertwine. Artifact analysis helps me to reconstruct evidence about printers and publishers who otherwise have not left many records. Studying a physical object alongside the text lets me consider the ways that specific people have used common technologies to advance their social values or identities.


“Another New and Beautifully Illustrated Fancy Book….” 

[New York? Boston?]: [s.n.], [186-] 

A discreet 193 x 124 mm handbill, “Another New and Beautifully Illustrated Fancy Book” offered access to illicit books and prints for adventurous readers. Numerous illustrations enhanced the three books listed. A note penned into the margin promised sale of “12 fancy pictures for $1”. With protection of vendors and customers at a premium, such notices omitted contact information and promised secure, confidential delivery – for an additional price.