Scope and arrangement
The papers of Edmund G. Gress consist of correspondence, letters of congratulations, subject files, and meeting minutes that document Gress's role in the world of the book arts. The papers are primarily correspondence files, either general correspondence discussing day to day issues or correspondence regarding the celebrated sesquicentennial issue of The American Printer (boxes 1 & 2), and the traveling exhibit of historical prints from the publication.
The General Correspondence (Series I; 1915 - 1934; box 1) is divided into Incoming and Outgoing folders. Incoming correspondence is arranged by author's name; outgoing is arranged by date. A good deal of the correspondence is his solicitations for typographic signatures from various persons of note in the graphic arts field. Many of the letters, which come from all over the world, are on fine or handmade papers and have original printer's devices and fine examples of letterhead styles of the era.
The American Printer magazine materials (Series II; 1926; box 2) consist primarily of congratulatory letters for the sesquicentennial issue of the magazine and the subsequent touring exhibit of all the historic prints it published. Comments on other special issues published under Gress are also included. No other records from the publication are included here, except for an occasional note or order among the general correspondence.
The American Institute of Graphic Arts material (Series III; 1925 - 1929; box 2) was generated by Gress' election to the Committee for Special Services, and is primarily correspondnce regarding this committee's work. There is also a map of the United States that identifies A.I.G.A. membership across the country and a file of reports and miscellaneous printed items.
The Subject Files (Series IV; 1920s - 1930s; boxes 2-3) includes miscellaneous items of interest to Gress and some of the most interesting items in the collection, including an 1896 article by the noted American printer Theodore DeVinne (b.2, f.16), a short essay by Charles Jacobi (b.2, f.17), along with some other notes, an attendance roster for a class or lecture on Gress' Fresh Note American Period Type and slide captions or lists of slides for his other lectures. A list of names for what appears to be the systematic requesting of typographic signatures and examples of printed materials and typographic styles are also found here, along with some photographs.
Significant signatures in the collection include: Frederick Goudy, Bruce Rogers, Arctic explorer Richard E. Byrd, Robert Grabhorn, W. A. Dwiggins, Richard W. Ellis, Burton Emmett, Horace Hart, W. E. Rudge, T.M. Cleland, and Elbert Hubbard III of Roycrofters fame.
The Edmund Geiger Gress papers are arranged in four series:
- 1915 - 1934
- 1925 - 1929
- 1910s - 1930s