We recommend – Fantasies & Hard Knocks


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Richard-Gabriel Rummonds (b.1931)
Port Townsend, OR: Ex Ophidia Press, 2015

Richard-Gabriel Rummonds is recognized as one of the world’s pre-eminent handpress printers of the late twentieth century. For nearly twenty-five years, using the imprints of Plain Wrapper Press and Ex Ophidia, he printed and published illustrated limited editions of contemporary literature on iron handpresses, primarily in Verona, Italy and Cottondale, Alabama. Rummonds’ work has been exhibited in Rome, New York, and San Francisco. In 1999, a retrospective exhibition of his work was held at the Biblioteca di via Senato in Milan, Italy. His books are held in museums, libraries and private collections worldwide.

Rummonds was appointed founding director of the MFA in the Book Arts Program at the University of Alabama in 1984. He has taught workshops around the world, including the University of Utah.

Fantasies & Hard Knocks, “embellished with over 450 images [most in color] and 65 recipes,” is a candid autobiography chronicling the printing and publishing of Rummonds’ pieces issued with Plain Wrapper Press and Ex Ophidia imprints.

In 1966, Rummonds founded Plain Wrapper Press in Quito, Ecuador, moving it to Verona, Italy in 1970, where he mastered his craft on nineteenth-century handpresses and established a worldwide reputation for excellent fine press productions. In 1982, Rummonds established Ex Ophidia in Cottondale, Alabama.


His memoir is filled with deeply personal anecdotes of working closely with many of the most acclaimed and renowned authors and artists of the time, including Jorge Luis Borges, Anthony Burgess, Italo Calvino, C. F. Cavafy, John Cheever, Brendan Gill, Dana Gioia, Jack Spicer, Paul Zweig, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Fulvio Testa, R. B. Kitaj and others.


Rare Books, Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library holds a significant archive of the works, library, and ephemera of Richard-Gabriel Rummonds.

Memorial Day 2015


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My heart’s a scrapbook pasted by a child.
The lines run rampant and the colors wild
In pictures unrelated, and the words
Hop inconsistent like the tracks of birds.
And every other page holds empty space
Where time tore out the pictures of your face.

Luise Putcamp jr from Sonnets for Survivors, Kaleidograph Press, 1952
“Aftermath” published here with permission of the author

Harper’s Pictorial History of the Great Rebellion
Alfred H. Guernsey (1824-1902)
Chicago, IL: McDonnell Bros, 1866-1868
E468.7 G932 1866 oversize

Culled from the pages of Harper’s Weekly, the most popular magazine of its day, Harper’s Pictorial History of the Great Rebellion illustrated the chronology of the Civil War and a brief history of the United States with an emphasis on the causes of the war. Most of the copy was taken directly from issues of the magazine as it covered the war. Harper’s sent both reporters and artists with the troops. Nearly one thousand original engravings kept recent past in memory: battle scenes, camps, marches, soldier life, portraits of officers, and maps. Artists such as Thomas Nast and Winslow Homer contributed to the magazine. Editors Alfred H. Guernsey and Henry M. Alden worked to compile and publish a definitive history of the war, using their own magazine as their main source, adding unpublished information as well. The Chicago edition was issued contemporaneously with the New York first edition, using the same sheets.

“Time travel exists” – University of Utah student Mary Royal writes about Rare Books impact


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Time travel exists. On the fourth floor of the Marriott Library I have sat with the founding fathers as they pondered the questions facing the new nation on the heels of the American Revolution, been astounded at the invention of movable type in the revolution of the printing process, and solved mathematical principles with Euclid. While the famous people who turned the wheels of history are not miraculously hiding out on the U’s campus, the works they created are.


The rare books collection holds treasures from all corners of the globe that are available to anyone who wishes to uncover the magical milestones in history that helped to shape our present reality. A simple trip to the rare books will undoubtedly inspire and present questions that will lead to more trips back to the collection.

My freshman year at the U I took a class on the Reformation. The syllabus for the course dictated that on a certain day we would gather at the rare books collection at the library. At the time I didn’t know what to expect, and I certainly didn’t realize that this one time excursion out of the classroom and into the library would forever change my experience at the U and my understanding and passion for the study of history.

My class filed into the special collections classroom and were told to wipe our hands with baby wipes. As we cleaned our hands a large hardbound book was set before us. The book was obviously old and as the cover was opened to reveal the pages inside, it was clear it was not of this era. The thickness of the pages, paired with the indentation of the lettering on the page served as clues into a past that was far richer than any normal book in the shelves standing in the library below.

As I stared at the pages, completely enamored by their coloration, markings and engravings, the curator explained that the page sitting before us was an original leaflet of the Gutenberg Bible. Yes, that Gutenberg Bible, the first book printed after the invention of movable type. My heart started racing. I was standing in the same room, feet away from one of the most influential pieces of history in the world. This excitement I felt was multiplied when we were informed that we could come forward and hold it in our hands.

I think I partly expected to have to put on special gloves and admire the copy under glass. But as I moved up in the line, it became clear that I could hold the copy, no gloves, no glass, just me and the book. When the curator put the book in my hands, it was a feeling that I had never felt before. I can only explain it as a mixture of admiration, gratitude, and awe. For those brief moments that I held the leaflet of the Gutenberg Bible in my bare hands, the past and present collided. I was touching the same pages that came off the press nearly 550 years earlier.

I ran my hand over the page and could feel the indentations of the letters, and smell the old fibers of the paper. From this point on my experience at the U was forever changed. It wasn’t long after that trip to the rare books that I made the decision to declare my academic major in history. Every history class I took from that moment until my graduation I would find myself returning to the rare books.

Walking through the doors of the collection, for me, was like taking a step outside of the busy world we live in, to spend a few unadulterated moments with my historical friends. There have been times over the years that I have admittedly been moved to tears at the sight of certain books, and have felt completely unworthy to be in their presence. This happened recently during a project for my Worlds of Benjamin Franklin class.

As a requirement of the course we had to pick a book in the rare books to study and report on. After meeting with Luise Poulton, who was more than willing to sit down with me and explore options for the project, I decided upon the First Acts of the First Session of Congress of the United States. The cover of the book had completely separated from the spine of the book and the pages were old, some of them bent, with writing and notes filling the inside.

As I carefully turned the pages, I was overcome with the sense that I was holding a piece of America. This book is a first edition that was printed in 1790. As I researched the book, I discovered that this particular one was once the property of Nathaniel Rochester, a veteran of the Revolutionary War and the founder of Rochester, New York. As I began to unveil the history lurking behind the signatures on the inside cover I discovered that the book had also gone through the hands of veterans of the War of 1812 and the Civil War as well as influential legal minds in our country’s formative years. And finally, as I sat in the rare books reading room, I became the next person in the storied line of individuals who had the fortune of being part of this book’s history.

As a new graduate of the University of Utah’s History department I’ve spent recent days reflecting on my time at the U. During this reflection I have pondered on both the people that shaped my experiences as well as places that aided in the enrichment of educational pursuits. Although I have encountered multiple people and places that influenced the completion of my degree, I can say, without hesitation, that the rare books collection had the greatest impact on my desire to study history.

While my time in undergrad has come to an end, my relationship with the rare books collection is far from over. As I begin my legal studies at the U’s SJ Quinney College of Law this fall, I know I will find myself visiting a new set of historical friends. I’m confident the writings of John Locke have untold stories and lessons to teach me as I pursue my juris doctorate.

I have told Luise Poulton and Alison Conner, curators in the rare books department, on multiple occasions that I wish I could spend all day in the collection, going through the pages of history that the U has been charged with the immense responsibility of caring for. My wish for future generations of students at the U is that they have the opportunity, to visit the collection and experience the unparalleled feeling and emotion that accompany the opportunity to hold history in your hands. How lucky we are, as students past and present of the U, to have access to such a resource!

Mary Alicia Royal, BA, Class of 2015

Book of the Week – Articles of Peace Between the Most Serene and…


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Articles of Peace Between the Most Serene and…
Great Britain. Treaties, etc., 1660-1685 (Charles II)
London: Printed by John Bill, Christopher Barker, Thomas Newcomb and Henry Hills, printers to the King’s Most Excellent Majesty, 1677
First edition
E191 G78

For the signing of this treaty, the British government was represented by Rt. Hon. Herbert Jeffries, esq., lieutenant-governor of His Majesties colony of Virginia. Present were Sir John Berry and Francis Morison, esq., commissioners, and the Council of state of the colony. The treaty was signed, by marks, by the Queen of Pamunkey, the Queen of Waonoke, the King of the Nottoways, the King of the Nancymond Indians, and John West, son to the Queen of Pamunkey. University of Utah edition bound later by Riviere & son.

Online Exhibition – Nahuatl Spoken Here


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Nahuatl Spoken Here


Utah papyri published


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An article in the most recent issue of Analecta Papyrologica (XXVI 2014), published by Sicania University Press, Messina, Italy features four pieces of papyrus from the J. Willard Marriott Library’s Arabic Papyrus, Parchment and Paper collection. “Les archives d’un maquignon d’Égypte médiévale?” was written by Naïm Vanthieghem.



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Edmund Bunny (1540-1619)
Oxford: Printed for John Barnes, and are to be sold neere Holborne, 1613
Second edition
HQ813 B86 1613

This controversial treatise objected to the judgments of the reformed church that a man could lawfully divorce (“put away”) his wife for adultery, and marry another. Historically the position of the Roman Catholic Church had been that former spouses could not remarry during each other’s lifetimes. The Elizabethan and Stuart divines who advocated full divorce in cases where adultery was at issue believed a marriage contracted after a decree of separation should be validated. Edmund Bunny voiced his opposition to the then-established permission of the Roman Catholic Church for remarriage. Of the controversy, he said that the practice of divorce and remarriage was not unusual and used an unnamed but apparently important family of the time who had done just that. The three-page appendix contains the final words in a long-running controversy between Bunny and Robert Parsons (1546-1610), an English Jesuit priest. Parsons, author of The Christian Directorie, was incensed when Edmund Bunny published an expurgated or, by Roman Catholic thinking, pirated, Protestant edition in 1584. Parsons launched a vitriolic attack on the Protestant edition and its author, Bunny, denouncing what he called “this shameless shift of corrupting other men’s books.” An argument in print ensued, lasting through a 1589 revised version of Parson’s work by Bunny, a response by Parsons in 1607, an answer by Bunny in June 1610 in the appendix to the first edition of this book. Bunny got the last word. Parsons died in April of the same year. Edmund Bunny’s father, Richard Bunny (fl. 1584) served Henry VIII and Edward VI and, as a Protestant, suffered under Queen Mary. Edmund was disinherited by his father when he announced his intention to enter the Roman Catholic Church.

Vesalius leads the library


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Dramatized “Day in the Life” video highlights Rare Books’ Vesalius.

Congratulations to Jordan Hanzon, Knowledge Commons student assistant, video editor.

Book of the Week – Miscellaneous Poems


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“Had we but world enough, and time”

Miscellaneous Poems
Andrew Marvell (1621-1678)
London: [By Simon Miller?], 1681 for Robert Boulter, at the Turks-Head in Cornhill
First edition

This collection marks the first appearance of the majority of Andrew Marvell’s poems, including “To His Coy Mistress,” one of the most celebrated lyric poems in the English language. The collection was “taken from exact copies, under his own handwriting, found since his death among his other papers, witness my hand this 15th day of October, 1680. Mary Marvell.” So states the “Letter to the Reader.” However, the edition was published under mysterious circumstances. There is no record that Marvell ever married. Mary Palmer was Marvell’s housekeeper. It is thought that friends of Marvell’s added the erroneous announcement, for reasons still hypothesized today. Some modern-day Marvell scholars accept that Mary Palmer was married to Marvell. Leaves S1 and X1 are cancels, replacing thirteen leaves, necessitated by the suppression of three long poems in honor of Oliver Cromwell, the publication of which was thought to be impolitic. The suppressed leaves are missing in all but two known copies of the printed folio, these two copies being incomplete. Popular rumor attributed Marvell’s death to poisoning by Jesuits. Illustrated with engraved frontispiece portrait of Marvell. Woodcut publisher’s device on title-page.

Forty Years, in memoriam


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A Voyage to Cochinchina, in the Years 1792 and 1793: containing a general view of the valuable productions and political importance of this flourishing kingdom, and also of such European settlements as were visited on the voyage: with sketches of the manners, character, and condition of their several inhabitants…
Sir John Barrow (1764-1848)
London: Printed for T. Cadell and W. Davies in the Strand, 1806
First edition
DS506 B37 1806

John Barrow traveled with the Earl of Macartney to Cochin China, now known as Vietnam; Madeira; Jamaica; Rio de Janeiro; Java; and Djarkarta as part of the first British embassy to China, from 1792 to 1794. Barrow acted as official interpreter to the Emperor of China, who was contemptuous of the entire mission and dismissed it almost immediately. The Edinburgh Review, October 1806, was as underwhelmed with the Barrows book as the Emperor was with the British: “His views are often narrow, and oftener unsound…deceived by imperfect information.” Barrow had published a work on his travels to China in 1804 and was known as an expert on the Orient. His work evinced a belief in the superiority of British civilization. His extensive notes on Cochin China range from its history to particulars about its art, architecture, and religious ceremonies. According to Barrow the substance of his writings were taken from a manuscript memoir by Captain Barissy, a French naval officer who had commanded a frigate in the service of the King of Cochinchina. Barrow was the son of a Lancashire tanner, educated in the local grammar school. He became a teacher of mathematics to young men headed for a career in the navy. Illustrated with nineteen aquatint plates taken from drawings by William Alexander who also traveled with Macartney. This is the first illustrated English work on southern Vietnam.

The Beacon Banner: Short Stories about the War of Resistance in Vietnam
Huu Mai, et al.
Hanoi: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1964
First edition
PZ1 B356 PL4382 E2

Illustrations by Phan Ke An.

Vietnam Poems
John Balaban (b. 1943)
South Hinksey, Oxford: Carcanet Press, 1970
PS3552 A44 V5 1970

During the Vietnam War, John Balaban performed alternative service as a conscientious objector. He went with the International Volunteer Services to Vietnam where he taught until the Tet Offensive during which he was wounded in the shoulder by shrapnel. Balaban has been awarded The Academy of American Poets’ Lamont prize, a William Carlos Williams Award from the National Poetry Society of America, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and was twice nominated for the National Book Award. He was named the 2001-2004 National Artist for the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. In addition to writing, he is a translator of Vietnamese poetry. He is Poet-in-Residence and Professor of English in the creative writing program at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. Edition of six hundred copies.

Jeff Branin
Millbrook, Torpoint, Cornwall: Kawabata Press, 1981
PS3552 R318 N35 1981

Jeff Branin served a tour of duty in the Vietnam War in 1968 and 1969, building bunkers and latrines and serving as a replacement commanding officer. In these poems Branin writes of rocket attacks, casualties, atrocities against civilians and sexual misadventures using the jargon of the Vietnam-era US soldier.

War of Ideas: the U.S. Propaganda Campaign in Vietnam
Robert W. Chandler
Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1981
DS559.8 P65 C45 1981

This book focuses on advertisement techniques used as propaganda by the United States during the Vietnam War. Many of these pieces were taken by American anti-war campaigns for use in their own material. Chandler writes that US propaganda in Vietnam was targeted toward three groups: communists and communist supporters in South Vietnam, masses and elite in North Vietnam, and non-communists in South Vietnam. University of Utah copy gift of Walter Jones, as part of his Collection on the Vietnam and Indochina Wars, donated to the J. Willard Marriott Library in 2011.

In the Nam What Can Happen?
Ted Berrigan (1934-1983) and George Schneeman (1934-2009)
New York: Granary Books; Minneapolis: Hermetic Press, 1997
PS3552 E74 I656 1997

Ted Berrigan was a poet at the epicenter of the sixties literary underground. He served in the US Army, sent to Korea in 1954, where he did not see action. He earned a BA in 1959 and an MA in 1962 from the University of Tulsa under the GI Bill. George Schneeman received a BA in Philosophy and English Literature from St. Mary’s College, began graduate work in English Literature at the University of Minnesota and then enlisted in the US Army. Posted in Verona, Italy, Schneeman began painting. From the colophon: “First made as a one-of-a-kind collaborative book in 1967-68…The present edition is a simulation of the original…” From Granary Books: “The original was passed back and forth between Ted Berrigan and George Schneeman for about a year, remaining in the hands of one or the other for weeks or even months at a time – poet and artist each adding, subtracting, working over words and images. The material used were pen and ink, white acrylic paint and collage…The ‘finished’ project languished in a drawer in Schneeman’s studio on St. Mark’s Place for thirty years. Produced when the Vietnam War was rapidly escalating, this work is by turns surreal, incisive, hip, outrageous, cartoon-like, flip, sinister, humorous, dreamy, sarcastic, witty – always right on target – a vivid evocation of the times and the broad range of emotional responses to the War.” Letterpress printed in several colors from magnesium plates on Rives 300 gm paper by Philip Gallo at The Hermetic Press. Unbound gatherings in a plexiglass case. Edition of seventy copies, twenty lettered (a-t), hors de commerce. University of Utah copy is no. 42, signed by Berrigan and Schneeman.

Vietnamese Hand Papermaking and Woodblock Printing
Fred Siegenthaler
Muttenz, Switzerland: Paper Art, 2003
TS1095 V53 S54 2003

Fred Siegenthaler writes on the nearly extinct traditional manufacture of paper in Vietnam: processes of making inks, paper, and printing. The book includes paper and print samples from Dong Ho, a village famous for its woodblock printing, located just outside of Hanoi. Included are fourteen different original hand papers and six colored original woodcuts. From the colophon: “The text of this book is printed on paper made of Rhamnoneuron blansae…handmade multilayered Daphne paper from Nepal was used for the cover of the book.” Edition of fifty copies, signed by the author.

Christ Meets Buddha
C. David Thomas
Wellesley, MA: C. David Thomas, 2009
N7433.4 T478 C4 2009

In 1968, C. David Thomas joined the US Army and was sent to Pleiku, South Vietnam as a combat engineer and artist. Thomas drew a picture of a fellow soldier’s girlfriend. In lieu of payment for the drawing he asked his friend, who worked in personnel, to change his records and shorten his stint in Vietnam from twelve to eleven months. Thomas was able to return to the United States weeks earlier than originally scheduled. The helicopter on which he routinely rode was shot down during what would have been the twelfth month of his tour of duty. There were no survivors. Thomas holds an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. He was a recipient of a Fulbright Scholar Grant to Vietnam. Thomas describes Christ Meets Buddha as autobiographical and a metaphor for his life. The digitally-created puzzle pieces contain religious imagery, war imagery, and family photographs. From the colophon: “These artist’s puzzle books are comprised of the six separate images…Each image is presented in its own linen box made by craftsmakers in Hanoi, Vietnam. All assembled puzzles are 29×23 inches made from twenty individual pieces. Each puzzle piece is printed using archival paper and ink by an HP Photosmart Pro B9180 inkjet printer. The pieces are then mounted on black felt and handcut…” Edition of ten copies. University of Utah copy is no. 1, signed by the author.

Postage Due: Forever Stamps
C. David Thomas
Wellesley, MA: C. David Thomas, 2009
N7433.4 T478 P67 2009

A series of unofficial postage stamps inspired by people and events from the Vietnam War era. From the introduction: “I never really thought about the importance of how we chose what images to place on our stamps until one day in 1995, when I went to the post office and asked for an interesting stamp. The woman behind the counter handed me a sheet of the recently issued Richard Nixon stamp. This stamp was issued only twenty years after he was forced to resign in disgrace as the 37th President of the United States. Needless to say, I handed them back to her with some choice words…in 1996 I went to the philately society in Hanoi, Viet Nam while doing research for a book on President Ho Chi Minh. I found dozens of stamps of Ho Chi Minh…and…a 1966 stamp depicting the shooting down of the 1,500 US aircraft brought down over North Viet Nam and one with the image of Norman Morrison, the man who immolated himself outside Robert McNamara’s office at the Pentagon. Just a few days before the US Post Office issued Robert Indiana’s LOVE stamp in 1973, the US heavily bombed the densely populated city Hanoi killing hundreds of innocent Vietnamese civilians…I have begun to understand the real power of this little jewel which may be the smallest form of propaganda available to all governments. These miniature posters travel all over the world…” Portfolio of unbound folded leaves issued in black linen box. Edition of twenty-five copies. University of Utah copy is no. 12, signed by the author.