HISTORY: The Mercantile Library has built a small teaching and study collection of exemplary works of fine printing, either acquired in recent years for this purpose, or selected from the general stacks in order to create this collection and to illustrate the history of printing and book illustration.
SCOPE: The collection focuses on nineteenth and twentieth century illustrated texts, works of selected English and American private presses as acquired by the Library when issued, and increasingly on works from private printers which deal with collection strengths-the American West, river and railroad subject matter. A particularly strong aspect is the presence of hundreds of volumes of publishers' pictorial trade bindings from 1880-1925. Local presses are included as a special focus.
HOLDINGS: Ca. 1000 volumes, shorter keepsakes, and broadsides.
ACCESS: Special collection M-125 is partially catalogued, and a special file exists on site. Portions of the collection may either be photocopied, digitally scanned or photographed, depending on condition.