Henry Morris's Favorites
All of the books in this section were personally identified by Henry Morris as being among his personal favorite productions. For each of these books, Morris commissioned a special box from the binder who produced the edition, which was then used to house all of the manuscripts, correspondence, and other documents related to the book's production. In some cases he had also commissioned special bindings for his personal copies of these books. Morris writes that "I don't know if other presses do this, but I think it's a good way to keep all the material for a favorite book in a convenient and attractive manner." Of his books, Morris writes "there are always problems and challenges in producing a book and things don't always work out as desired. But when you think you have a book with good content and most of the details of the making are right, it becomes a favorite. Over the years it has been a pleasure to occasionally examine these unique reminders of time and effort well expended."
Mr. Gladstone's Washi: A Survey of Reports on the Manufacture of Paper in Japan: The Parkes Report of 1871. newtown, PA: Bird & Bull Press, 1984.
In the 1860s, British Prime Minister W. E. Gladstone asked the British Foreign Office to gather information on Japanese papermaking methods. These requests eventually led Sir Harry Parkes, the British envoy to Japan, to oversee the production of a Parliamentary Report on the subject, the Reports on the Manufacture of Paper in Japan, also known as the Parkes Report. He also assembled a complementary collection of handmade Japanese paper and paper-related objects. The collection was sent to England in 1871, and then forgotten until 1978. Mr. Gladstone's Washi documents the history and context of the Parkes Report and the effect which Japanese papermaking methods had on the West. It also recounts the author's rediscovery of the Report's supplementary materials. Additionally, the book contains several facsimiles, including: the Parkes Report, twenty Japanese watercolors from the accompanying collection assembled by Parkes, and thirty woodcut illustrations from the 1798 papermaking manual, Kamisuki Chohoki, which served as models for the watercolors. In 1988 Morris identified this as "the finest book I've published on Japanese paper history." Writing in 2008, he said that "it's a favorite book I look at now and then with a warm feeling of satisfaction in having been able to produce it."
Kamisuki Chohoki: A Handy Guide to Papermaking. Berkeley, CA: The Book Arts Club, 1948.
Facsimile edition of this 1798 Japanese papermaking manual. The woodcut illustrations used in the manual served as models for the watercolors employed in the Parkes Report.
Reports on the Manufacture of Paper in Japan. London: Printed by Harrison and Sons, 1871.
Original printing of the Parkes Report. The illustrations printed in the report were based off of watercolors which were later published, in facsimile, in Mr. Gladstone's Washi.
Manuscript draft of title-page design for Mr. Gladstone's Washi, 1983. Bird & Bull Press Archives.
Prospectus for Mr. Gladstone's Washi, showing final title-page design, 1984. Bird & Bull Press Archives.
Chinese Handmade Paper. newtown, PA: Bird & Bull Press, 1986.
Floyd Alonzo McClure was best known as an authority on bamboo. From 1919 to 1941 he researched and taught in China. It was during this time that his interest in bamboo also led to an interest in papermaking; bamboo serves as the main source for paper fibers in China. While in China he learned about the craft of papermaking first-hand from its practitioners. Chinese Handmade Paper was originally written in 1928 as his thesis for his Master of Science degree. When he returned from China, he brought with him a large collection of Chinese handmade papers which he hoped to use as samples in an envisioned commercial publication of his thesis. This publication, unfortunately, never saw fruition in his lifetime. McClure's paper samples and research files were rediscovered in 1980 by Elaine Koretsky. That discovery led to the publication of this Bird & Bull Press book, which prints McClure's thesis alongside paper samples from his collection.
Chinese Handmade Paper. Typescript with manuscript corrections, . Bird & Bull Press Archives.
Chinese Handmade Paper. Printers' dummy, 1986. Bird & Bull Press Archives.
One of the paper samples shown on the typescript, the Leung Chi paper, was eventually eliminated, as it was so thin as to be almost impossible to glue onto the printed book. The printers' dummy shows an errata sheet that replaced the sample in the finished version.
Photograph of Floyd McClure and his assistants onboard the Roanoke, [1920s?]. Bird & Bull Press Archives.
This picture was taken before setting off on a botanical expedition in Canton, China.
Proof of illustration of a Chinese paper mill, [circa 1986]. Bird & Bull Press Archives.
Pencil sketches, [1920s?]. Bird & Bull Press Archives.
Chinese Decorated Papers: Chinoiserie for Three. newtown, PA: Bird & Bull Press, 1987.
After printing Mr. Gladstone's Washi, Henry Morris and Hans Schmoller had planned to collaborate on further books on papermaking. Chinese Decorated Papers emerged as a project on "tea chest" papers, decorated foil papers which were used to line tea chests. Morris and Schmoller corresponded extensively on the project, and their letters would later form the first portion of this book. Hans Schmoller died unexpectedly on September 25, 1983, leaving his work on the book unfinished. His widow, Tanya Schmoller, assembled the manuscript for this book based upon the notes and materials that Hans Schmoller had already produced. The book also includes original samples of tea chest papers.
Chinese Decorated Papers: Chinoiserie for Three. newtown, PA: Bird & Bull Press, 1987. Bird & Bull Press Archives.
Henry Morris' personal copy of Chinese Handmade Papers. This copy was specially bound by Barbara Blumenthal.
Stamp die for Chinese Decorated Papers, . Bird & Bull Press Archives.
This metal stamp was used to print the text for the spine label on Chinese Decorated Papers. Unused test prints of the label text are shown beside it.
Proof paper samples for Chinese Decorated Papers, with instructions to the binders, . Bird & Bull Press Archives.
Thirty Years of Bird & Bull: A Bibliography, 1958-1988. newtown, PA: Bird & Bull Press, 1988.
The first Bird & Bull bibliography was published in 1980 with "the proposition that bibliography can be fun." Morris was an enthusiastic contributor to the project and provided personal commentaries on all of his books. As a consequence, the resulting book is as much a personal history of the Bird & Bull Press as it is a listing of its printed works. The second Bird & Bull bibliography followed a similar model, but was also a more elaborate project, featuring illustrations taken from books listed in the bibliography, as well as facsimiles of select prospectuses and ephemeral items. The second bibliography also benefited from the fact that in 1980 Morris began keeping a daily log-book of his printing work, with the specific intention of preserving a more detailed written record for use in compiling future bibliographies. The log-book itself would later see print, in two parts, as Two Birds With One Stone and Bird & Bull Log. Thirty Years of Bird & Bull is also significant for being the last Bird & Bull Press book printed on Morris' own handmade paper. After printing the bibliography, Morris decided to cease making his own paper, in favor of concentrating his efforts solely on printing and publishing.
Thirty Years of Bird & Bull: A Bibliography, 1958-1988. newtown, PA: Bird & Bull Press, 1988. Bird & Bull Press Archives.
Henry Morris' personal copy of Thirty Years of Bird & Bull. This copy was specially bound by Barbara Blumenthal, and features the Bird & Bull insignia stamped on the front cover.
Foreword to Thirty Years of Bird & Bull, manuscript draft, [circa 1988]. Bird & Bull Press Archives.
Dard Hunter & Son. newtown, PA: Bird & Bull Press, 1998.
Dard Hunter played a major role in renewing interest in the craft and art of handmade paper. He spent his life researching and documenting the history of papermaking. His books were printed on his own handmade paper, and usually contained original samples of the paper products he was writing about. His son, Dard Hunter II, spent over twelve years writing and publishing the Life Work of Dard Hunter, which documented, in personal detail, his father's life and career. In a similar fashion, Dard Hunter & Son, which is written by Dard Hunter II's son, Dard Hunter III, documents the careers of both men and provides an account of the making of the Life Work of Dard Hunter. The book was printed from type cut and cast by the Hunters and includes original specimens from their books. In 2008, Morris wrote that "producing this book was one of my most satisfying achievements."
Dard Hunter & Son. newtown, PA: Bird & Bull Press, 1998. Bird & Bull Press Archives.
Henry Morris' personal copy of Dard Hunter & Son. This copy was specially bound with Dard Hunter's branch, leaf, and bull's head watermark stamped on the cover. The same design can be seen on the Dard Hunter book shown in the adjacent exhibition case.
Old Papermaking. Chillicothe, Ohio: [Mountain House Press], 1923.
The Life Work of Dard Hunter: A Progressive Illustrated Assemblage of His Works as Artist, Craftsman, Author, Papermaker, and Printer. Chillicothe, Ohio: Mountain House Press, 1981-1983.
Photographs of the printing of Dard Hunter and Son, [circa 1998]. Bird & Bull Press Archives.
Photograph of Henry Morris and Dard Hunter at Mountain House, Chillicothe, Ohio, July 1962. Bird & Bull Press Archives.
Moveable type used to print Dard Hunter and Son, . Bird & Bull Press Archives.
This type was originally made by Dard Hunter and his son, Dard Hunter II, and was supplied to Henry Morris by Dard Hunter III especially for printing Dard Hunter and Son. Two printed proofs of the type-settings are shown beside them.
The Handmade Papers of Japan: A Biographical Sketch of its Author and an Account of the Genesis and Production of the Book. newtown, PA: Bird & Bull Press, 2001.
Thomas Keith Tindale went to Japan in 1946 as an American advisor to the Japanese Civil Service. During his time in Japan, he assembled the text and materials for The Handmade Papers of Japan (1952), despite having no prior interest or experience in papermaking. Morris lauds this as one of the finest works on Japanese papermaking. The book contains an authoritative text supplemented with extensive photographs, drawings, and hundreds of original paper samples, some dating back to the eighth and ninth centuries. Berger's book provides a biography of Tindale and a history of his book. In writing and researching this book, Tindale's son, Andrew Tindale, gave Sidney E. Berger unlimited access to Tindale's archives, which offered a wealth of previously unknown information. Morris also used this volume to reprint the text of Tindale's The Handmade Papers of Japan, which had previously been available only in the original 1952 edition, of which only 250 copies had been produced.
The Handmade Papers of Japan. Rutland, VT: C. E. Tuttle, Co., 1952.
Carved woodblocks used to print The Handmade Papers of Japan, 1 August 2001. Bird & Bull Press Archives.
These woodblocks were used to print the illustration shown facing the title page of The Handmade Papers of Japan. In order to print the four colors used in the illustration, four different woodblocks were carved. Each was used to print a different colored section, which was then printed over the main image. The main carving is shown in the center; the other blocks for coloring are shown around it.
My Log & Diary: 1994-2005: Interspersed With Anecdotes and Observations on Book Collecting, Printing, Private Presses and Other Bookish Matters. newtown, PA: Bird & Bull Press, 2005.
This book is a continuation of the log entries that were first printed in Two Birds With One Stone. Like its predecessor, it documents the daily operations of the Bird & Bull Press.
Fax to Henry Morris, 25 October 2005; with Henry Morris' manuscript notation, 3 November 2005. Bird & Bull Press Archives.
This fax shows two versions of the Bird & Bull logo used in My Log and Diary. The original design could not be printed clearly, due to how close the chain lines ran together. Every other line had to be removed from the design for it to print properly. The final version can be seen on the front cover of My Log & Diary. The copy shown here is Henry Morris' personal copy.
So Long, Hot-Metal Man: The Comprehensive Bird & Bull Type Specimen Book. newtown, PA: Bird & Bull Press, 2007.
Historically, type specimen books were printed by firms to display the varieties of metal type that they offered for sale; they functioned as sales catalogs. This type specimen book was created to showcase the great variety of metal types then in use at the Bird & Bull Press. It took Morris almost a year to set the type for this book. Of printing this book, he writes that "every day of it was interesting, challenging, and satisfying."
Binding samples for So Long, Hot-Metal Man, . Bird & Bull Press Archives.
These samples show two possible designs for the binding of So Long, Hot-Metal Man. The green design on the left was used for the final version.
Photographs of the printing of So Long, Hot-Metal Man, . Bird & Bull Press Archives.
Emblemata: The Emblem Books of Andrea Alciato. newtown, PA: Bird & Bull Press, 2007.
Andrea Alciato (1492-1550), a Milanese law professor and leading humanist scholar, is credited with creating the emblem book, a genre which combined epigrams with illustrated emblems. To accompany Alvan Bregman's scholarly study of Alciato's life and work, Morris created eight contemporary emblems, which are illustrated with Wesley Bates' wood engravings. The book also contains original leaves taken from the 1589 Paris edition of Alciato's Emblemata. This copy was issued with one the original woodblocks, which is shown beside it.
Woodblock of "Incentive" emblem, [circa 2005].
Proof page of "Incentive" emblem, 13 October 2005. Bird & Bull Press Archives.
Engraved plates for title page design, [circa 2007]. Bird & Bull Press Archives.
Draft illustration of title page design, [circa 2007]. Bird & Bull Press Archives.
Andreae Alciati Emblemata. Patauij: Apud Petrum Paulum Tozzium, 1621.
This is a later printing of Aliciato's Emblemata. Aliciato's epigrams were first published in 1531 by Heinrich Steyner, who supplied simple woodcuts as illustrations. Subsequent editions by various printers featured more elaborate illustrations, as each publisher tried to outdo his rivals and increase his share of the market. Over 175 different editions of the Eblemata were printed during the sixteenth and seventeenth-centuries. The content of the Emblemata also changed over time: while the 1531 first edition was a short book containing 104 epigrams, by 1621 the book had grown to over 1000 pages containing 212 epigrams and extensive commentary.
[Omnia Andreae Alciati V.2. Emblemata. Paris: Apud Franciscum Gueffier, 1589]. Bird & Bull Press Archives.
These are unused leaves from the copy of the1589 edition of Emblemata that was used to supply leaves for the Bird & Bull Press Emblemata.
The Private Typecasters: Preserving the Craft of Hot-Metal Type Into the Twenty-First Century. newtown, PA: Bird & Bull Press, 2008.
This book prints contributions from fifteen modern-day type founders gathered by Henry Morris and Richard Hopkins. The contributors were asked to produce several pages using varieties of fonts and type settings, so as to showcase the wide variety of moveable type that is still being produced and used by private type casters.
The Private Typecasters: Preserving the Craft of Hot-Metal Type Into the Twenty-First Century. newtown, PA: Bird & Bull Press, 2008. Bird & Bull Press Archives.
Henry Morris' personal copy. This copy features a custom binding by Greg Campbell.
"Qui pulchra affectat, ardua perferat," proof page for The Private Typecasters, . Bird & Bull Press Archives.
The ornaments used in this page are facsimiles of ornaments that were originally used by English and French printers in the first half of the sixteenth century.
Proof page for The Private Typecasters, . Bird & Bull Press Archives.
This page was printed using a reconstruction of the metal type used by Johann Gutenberg for the printing of the Gutenberg Bible of 1454-1455, the first book printed with moveable type.
Photographs of the printing of The Private Typecasters, . Bird & Bull Press Archives.
The Feel of Steel: The Art and History of Bank Note Engraving in the United States. newtown, PA: Bird & Bull Press, 2009.
This book presents a history of bank note engraving in the United States. The engravers who printed bank notes were skilled craftsmen, many of whom also produced engraved portraits and illustrations for use in books. Bank notes were printed using the process of intaglio, which prints an image from an engraved metal plate. The process was extremely difficult and time consuming, but yielded images far more detailed and intricate than any other form of printing would allow. This book includes a section of prints that were printed from old engraved plates especially for the book by Michael Bean, a retired Bureau of Engraving and Printing plate printer.
One such print is shown on the frontispiece of this copy. It is printed from an 1865 engraving by Charles Burt for the Union Pacific Railroad. It depicts an allegorical female figure as the Transcontinental Railroad.
A second copy is opened to show one of the intaglio designs made especially for this edition. It was converted from a woodcut of the same image. The original intaglio plate can be seen beside it.
Intaglio plates for The Feel of Steel, 2009. Bird & Bull Press Archives.