Forming the core of the Rare Book Room at Denison Library is the John I. Perkins Collection of more than six thousand volumes bequeathed in 1941 by this Los Angeles book collector who wished his books to be used by students. Subsequently, there have been many generous benefactors and donors who have contributed to this collection. Important resources for the study of the history of the book are here, including cuneiform tablets, papyrus and palm leaf books, thirteenth to sixteenth century illuminated manuscripts, incunabula, and splendid examples of modern presswork from the turn-of-the-century to the present. The great English presses from the late 19th and early 20th centuries are part of the collection; and the books printed by William Morris at his Kelmscott Press are in perfect condition. Books produced at the Ashendene Press and others printed and bound at the Doves Press are included. Famous American presses run by John Henry Nash, Bruce Rogers, the Grabhorn brothers, and Ward Ritchie are also represented. More contemporary presses include Andrew Hoyem’s Arion Press, Walter Hamady’s Perishable Press, and the Bird and Bull Press of Henry Morris.
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This collection is located in Denison Library.