Scope and arrangement
The bulk of the collection consists of Elmer Adler's correspondence files, 1927-1932, kept while he was running the Pynson Printers, and organizing and editing The Colophon. A small amount of correspondence is addressed to Adler's co-editors, Burton Emmett and John T. Winterich. Included among the letters are: telegrams; postcards; memoranda; clippings; order forms for subscriptions to The Colophon, back issues, slipcases, and books; examples of printed work; bills and invoices; notes; sketches; samples of paper, buckram, and other materials; a few photographs of The Colophon, probably used in advertisements; announcements; press releases; invitations.
Included are discussions of all aspects - artistic, production, financial, legal, personnel, etc. - of running the Pynson Printers; matters relating to specific books printed by Pynson, many of which were published by Random House, and a number of which were illustrated by Rockwell Kent; Adler's activities as a consultant in typography; planning, organizing, and editing The Colophon - including criticism and advice from colleagues after the first issue appeared; Colophon subscription, editorial, and production matters.
Two major correspondents are Bennett Cerf, at Random House, and Francis Meynell, at the Nonesuch Press, London, a close colleague of Adler's. Other correspondents include: Frank Altschul, Charles Boni, Thomas Maitland Cleland, Warren Chappell, Franz Christophe, Norman Douglas, W. A. Dwiggins, Burton Emmett, Peter Franck, George S. Heilman, Dard Hunter, Rockwell and Frances Kent, Henry W. Kent, William A. Kittredge, Donald Klopfer, Mitchell Kennerley, Alfred A. Knopf, Frederic G. Melcher, H. L. Mencken, Charles Merrill, Stanley Morison, Vrest Orton, Harold Ross, William Edwin Rudge, D. B. Updike, Irita Van Doren, Frederic Warde, John Winterich, and other publishers, printers, authors, illustrators, editors. Also, subscribers, librarians, bookstores, subscription services, paper suppliers, typefounders, binders, book clubs, and others.
Two separate series of files are included: Colophon subscription correspondence, and order forms, 1930-1933, and letters, 1933, to the editors in response to an offer of a brochure about The Colophon.
Three series: I. Correspondence, 1927-1932; II. Colophon Subscription Correspondence and Forms, 1930-1933; III. Colophon Brochure Requests, 1933