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VIII. Wood Blocks

Scope and Contents

Numbering: Although he grouped blocks together according to purpose—usually according to the book for which he designed them—DePol did not generally give individual blocks unique numbers. For example, the three blocks he used for William Jay Smith’s The Tin Can (Roslyn: Stone House Press, 1988) are all marked “B-4.” Often he applied the same code for all of the blocks pertaining to a specific book, but he did not do this systematically. Blocks he designed for Norbert Kraft’s Heartwood (Roslyn: Stone House Press, 1983), are marked “B-1,” “B-2,” “B-3.” Three blocks designed for Constance Carrier’s Witchcraft Poems (Roslyn: Stone House Press, 1988) are each marked “B-7,” but another block, “B-16.” A block for Eight Poems for Saint Walt, by William Heyen (Roslyn: Stone House Press, 1985) is marked "A-19", the same designation as a block he designed as the American Printing History Association (APHA) logo. Some blocks do not have a mark at all, and these have been designed as [X]

List: Boxes 1-8 in the following list represent the cataloging system arranged by John DePol. (Note that sometimes this means entries for blocks engraved for a particular book are generally, but not always, listed together.) With a couple of exceptions, each box description consists of three parts: the first is a brief Scope Note that begins with a count of the blocks in the box, a general statement about their purpose and approximate dates of creation; the second part is a more precise Contents Note, beginning with the phrase “Box X contains,” that gives a count of the blocks used for each particular book with dates of first publication. Here, blocks that were created for other reasons than for books are clumped together under the allusive rubric, miscellaneous. The third part is the actual Inventory. Scope and Contents notes were combined when the scope and content of a particular box could be described clearly in a sentence or two. Within each box, the entries appear in alphanumerical order. Entries that duplicate a figure previously used are indented.

Entries for book illustration blocks (the majority of entries) appear in two general forms—author and title, for the initial entry, and title only for each successive entry.

Boxes after Box 8 had been cataloged by DePol and are arranged more or less as they arrived at the Libraries.

Language of Materials

From the Collection:



Arrangement: The arrangement of the first section of engraved wood blocks in The Libraries collection (boxes 1-8) is John DePol’s. In most instances, DePol wrapped the block in white paper, with a proof of the enclosed block on one side, and handwritten description on the other. Special Collections has photocopied both the text and image of each block on the reverse side of single sheets of paper and placed them inside the boxes. The inventory list below includes selective transcriptions of DePol’s texts. Where The Libraries own prints or proofs of the blocks, a note has been made beside an entry for the print or proof, e.g. Correlates to wood block in the collection (see C-10, box seven)