Sunday, December 21, 2008

Book Review: "Stephen Daye and His Successors, 1639-1921"

Harvard University Press seems to have issued the short publication Stephen Daye and His Successors, 1639-1921 (1921) as a sort of memento or publicity effort.

Printed on fine laid paper, with drawings and initials by George Trenholm, the book includes brief unsigned essays on the first printers in Cambridge and Boston, "the university press of today" ("Underlying all the activities of The University Press, of course there are always those basic business principles which its clients have learned to take for granted: courtesy, fair dealing, and truthfulness - simply the gentleman's method of doing business"), the publication and printing process, certain historic Cambridge landmarks, the monthly journal then published by the Press (The Printing Art), and on the reference library collected at the press' Cambridge headquarters.

While any of the topics covered in these short pieces are treated at greater length in other places, this slim volume provides a suitable introduction and offers a welcome window into the publishing atmosphere and processes of the early 1920s.