Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Old Stile Press mss., ca. 1989-2009, consist of materials documenting the process of traditional book design, production and publication from one of the most prolific and independent of British Presses. The Old Stile Press has been at the forefront of the British private press movement for over twenty-five years. It is particularly notable for the freedom it gives artists to respond to texts written by such authors as Oscar Wilde, George Mackay Brown, W.S. Graham and others.

The collection traces the progress of more than fifty titles from the project's inception, through galley proofs of type, to printing, binding and distribution. Also included are records which document the processes of hand-printing and publishing as pursued by Frances and Nicolas McDowell, as well as lengthy and detailed correspondence with creative individuals from the worlds of literature and the visual arts in addition to suppliers of paper and binding supplies. Correspondence relating to projects begun but abandoned; ephemeral printing; and records relating to the financial operation of a press offer a view into the broader community of private press printing in Britain during the second half of the twentieth century.

An inventory is available.

Acquired: 2010

Collection size: 180,000 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.