Overbrook Press

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The Overbrook Press of Stamford, Conn. was founded by Frank Altschul (1887-1981), investment banker, civic leader, philanthropist, and bibliophile. It began publication in 1934 with Margaret B. Evans as resident designer and compositor. The Helealt Corporation was the fiscal parent of the press. The press closed in 1969.

From the description of Overbrook Press records, 1929-1978. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 320936614

BIOGHIST REQUIRED The Overbrook Press was founded in 1934 in Stamford, Connecticut, by Frank Altschul, an investment banker and civic leader with a lifelong interest in book arts and printing. Altschul initially pursued printing as a hobby, experimenting with a small press in his New York apartment. In 1934, he was approached by designer Margaret B. Evans, who had been working for Ashlar Press. Ashlar was closing, and Evans hoped Altschul would continue its work.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Altschul set up the press in converted outbuildings on his Stamford farm and hired Evans as designer and compositor and John MacNamara as pressman. The Overbrook Press went on to print an eclectic variety of books and pamphlets, as well as ephemera such as awards and certificates. Evens placed great emphasis on technical expertise and craftsmanship, and even smaller pieces - political pamphlets such as Towards a More Creative Policy and short books on chess problems - were handled with surprising care.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Altschul set up the press in converted outbuildings on his Stamford farm and hired Evans as designer and compositor and John MacNamara as pressman. The Overbrook Press went on to print an eclectic variety of books and pamphlets, as well as ephemera such as awards and certificates. Evens placed great emphasis on technical expertise and craftsmanship, and even smaller pieces - political pamphlets such as "Toward a More Creative Policy" and short books on chess problems - were handled with unusual care.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Overbrook volumes were also known for fine illustrations. In the 1930s, the Overbrook Press published an edition of Robert Louis Stevenson's travelogue An Inland Voyage, which featured illustrations by French artist Jean Hugo. Hugo was commissioned to follow Stevenson's path through Belgium and France and produce gouaches of scenes along the route. The press worked with many other artists, including Valenti Angelo, Anna Simons, and Bruce Rogers, but is most closely associated with T.M. Cleland, who illustrated a number of Overbrook volumes. His most ambitious project was an edition of Prevost's Manon Lescaut, for which he created elaborate silk-screened illustrations. The volume, which was published in 1958 after six years of work, is considered one of the highest quality private press books of the time.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED The Overbrook Press operated for nearly thirty years, closing its doors in 1969.

From the guide to the Overbrook Press Records, 1929-1978, [Bulk: 1935-1961], (Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Overbrook Press. Overbrook Press records, 1929-1978. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Lawrence Clark Powell papers concerning John Steinbeck, 1935-1941. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Overbrook Press Records, 1929-1978, [Bulk: 1935-1961] Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
referencedIn Papers, 1840-1961. Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Adler, Elmer, 1884-1962. person
associatedWith Altschul, Frank, 1887-1981. person
associatedWith Angelo, Valenti, 1897-1982. person
associatedWith Cahoon, Herbert, 1918-2000. person
associatedWith Cleland, T. M. 1880-1964. person
associatedWith Cleland, T. M. (Thomas Maitland), 1880-1964 person
associatedWith Dulles, John Foster, 1888-1959. person
associatedWith Dwiggins, W. A. 1880-1956. person
associatedWith Eisenhower, Dwight D. 1890-1969. person
associatedWith Evans, Margaret B. person
associatedWith Frankfurter, Felix, 1882-1965. person
associatedWith Gunther, John, 1901-1970. person
associatedWith Hand, Learned, 1872-1961 person
associatedWith Helealt Corporation. corporateBody
associatedWith Helealt Corporation. corporateBody
associatedWith Hugo, Jean, 1894-1984. person
associatedWith Johnson, Lyndon B. 1908-1973. person
associatedWith Luce, Clare Boothe, 1903-1987. person
associatedWith MacLeish, Archibald, 1892-1982. person
correspondedWith Powell, Lawrence Clark, 1906-2001 person
associatedWith Rockefeller, Nelson A. 1908-1979. person
associatedWith Ruzicka, Rudolph, 1883-1978. person
associatedWith Stevenson, Robert Louis, 1850-1894. person
associatedWith Truman, Harry S., 1884-1972. person
associatedWith Updike, Daniel Berkeley, 1860-1941. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Connecticut--Stamford
Subject
Philanthropists
Illustration of books
Typography
Artists
Publishers and publishing--Connecticut--Stamford
Layout (Printing)
Book design
Presswork (printing)
Scholarly publishing
Book collectors
Civic leaders--Connecticut--Stamford
Civic leaders
Literature publishing
Publishers and Publishing
Occupation
Function

Corporate Body

Active 1929

Active 1978

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