The collection contains over 800 of Ritchie monographs and approximately 200 pamphlets, college catalogs, and other printed
matter from Anderson, Ritchie & Simon, the Ward Ritchie Press, and the Laguna Verde Imprenta. It also contains biographical
information about Ward Ritchie and his presses in the form of newspaper clippings, chapters from books, and essays written
by friends. Additionally, the collection contains galley proofs, material from a course Ritchie taught at Occidental in the
early 1930s, and ephemera.
Harry "Ward" Ritchie was born in 1905 in Los Angeles, California. His
interest in literature and publishing developed at an early age; as an
eighth-grader at the Marengo Avenue School in South Pasadena, he and a
fellow student launched a printed paper called The Marengo Literary
Leader. They printed student writings, including several of the early
efforts of classmate Lawrence Clark Powell, future University Librarian
at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Ritchie's lifelong
friend. In high school Ward Ritchie worked on the school paper and
yearbook, and as an undergraduate at Occidental College, he took a keen
interest in the poetry of Occidental alumnus Robinson Jeffers and that of
Occidental English professor Carlyle MacIntyre. As a printer he would go
on to publish editions of both their works. After graduating from
Occidental College in 1928, he entered law school at the University of
Southern California. He quickly realized, however, that law was not
congenial to him. After discovering the journals of the great English
printer Thomas J. Cobden-Sanderson, co-founder of the Doves Press, who
was once himself a discontented lawyer, Ritchie decided to give up law
and become a printer and book designer. He enrolled in a printing class
at a nearby trade school and got a job at the Abby of San Encino Press in
10 linear ft. (2 manuscript boxes, 17 flat storage boxes).
800 to 900 monographs
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