Organization and Arrangement
Scope and Content
Title: The Plantin Press Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1931 -1986
Collection number: Shelfmark: Press coll. Archives Plantin
Marks, Saul, 1905-1974.
Creator/Collector: Marks, Lillian.
Extent: 14 linear feet
William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
Shelf location: For current information on the location of these
materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
Source of Acquisition/Provenance
Acquired: Dawson's Book Shop, Feb. 2, 1987.
Collection is open for research.
Copyright has not been assigned to the William Andrews Clark Memorial
Library, UCLA. All requests for permission to publish or quote from
manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Librarian. Permission
for publication is given on behalf of the William Andrews Clark Memorial
Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to
include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be
[Indentification of item], Plantin Press Archives, 1925-1986.William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California,
The Plantin Press, a small private press in Los Angeles and considered one of North
America's finest, was started in 1931 by Saul and Lillian Marks. Saul Marks, having
learned the printing trade while a youth in Poland during the First World War, emigrated
to the United States in 1921. Here he met and married Lillian Simon in 1928. With the
coming of the Depression, the Marks moved to Los Angeles in 1930 and there set up shop.
Saul and Lillian Marks purposely kept the Plantin Press a small operation so that each
book or project could receive personal attention. Saul Marks died on November 27, 1974,
leaving Lillian Marks to continue the press. This she did until the decision was made in
1985 to sell the business.
The work of Saul and Lillian Marks earned high praise on this continent and abroad for
its uniformly high quality with appropriate and notable presswork. The Plantin Press
printed approximately one hundred fifty-five books, pamphlets, keepsakes, etc. not
including numerous programs, announcements, invitations, and stationery sets. The books
of the Plantin Press were consistently awarded recognition in the printing world for
their fine workmanship.
Organization and Arrangement
Following as close as possible to the original order as designed by Lillian Marks, the
archive is arranged in 8 series as follows:
- ARTISTS &
TYPOGRAPHERS (3 boxes)
- BUSINESS (6 boxes)
- TYPOPHILES (3
- TYPE FOUNDRIES, PAPER (2 boxes)
- SUPPLIERS (3
- OTHER PRINTERS (2 boxes)
- MISCELLANEOUS (3 boxes)
- FINANCIAL RECORDS (11 boxes)
Original order has been followed down to the folder level with a few exceptions. Folders
containing correspondence, invoices, statements and like matter are arranged
chronologically. Folders containing items with no clear chronological organization have
been in most instances left in their original order. Folder headings are those assigned
by Lillian Marks, again with a few exceptions. There has been no separation of material
by type. Therefore in a folder on a particular subject, the researcher can find
correspondence, printed items, photographs, negatives, galley proofs, etc. In the
following finding aid, a general contents description has been given such as
correspondence or invoices if this designation portrays the majority of items in the
folder. If the file contains a publication, photograph or some other item of possible
interest, this has also been noted. Obviously, it is impossible to include everything,
and the following list is by no means a complete contents lis! t. A more detailed
contents list, created as the time the files were being arranged, has been placed at the
front of each folder. These lists generally give the order of the contents as they were
originally found. When requesting items, please state series, folder heading, box
and folder number.
Scope and Content
The archives consist of subject files on artists, typographers, clients, business
contacts, suppliers, projects, etc. Individual files contain correspondence, lectures,
photographs, greeting cards, and examples of artwork. Also to be found are printed items
by Plantin Press and other printers, drafts of books, galley proofs, work sheets, sample
pages, photographs and negatives of illustrations, color separations, prospectuses, etc.
Job printing such as wedding announcements, programs, stationery sets, business cards,
invitations, membership cards and menus can be found in files such as those of the Los
Angeles County Museum of Art, Union Bank and the University of Southern California.
Financial records consist of ledger and journal sheets, account cards, invoices,
statements, purchase orders, tax papers, canceled checks, paid notes and other business
Included in the files are materials relating to typographers and other presses such as
the Grabhorn Press, Rampant Lions Press, Stanley Morison, Will Cheney, Vance Gerry, Ward
Ritchie, Grant Dahlstrom and the Castle Press, Patrick Reagh, Fred Goudy, The Golden
Cockerel Press, John Dreyfus, Paul Standard, Adrian Wilson and Beatrice Warde. Examples
of work by artists such as Reynolds Stone, Ilya Schor, Fritz Eichenberg, Ernest Freed,
Gene Holtan and Stan Washburn are also included.