Stone House Press Archive
- Majority of material found in 1943-1998 <lb/>Bulk 1980-1990
Scope and Content Note
This archive assembles material relating to books and broadsides published by the Stone House Press, along with broadsides from other presses, correspondence and ephemera, such as advertisements, announcements and printed keepsakes. Other prints and publications of interest to Morris Gelfand, the proprietor of the press are included.
The bulk of the archive consists of broadsides, papers and other printed material from the 1980s that illustrate the operation of a fine hand press business and the relationships that exist between a small press and its authors. Among poets working with the press at this time were Susan Astor, Robert Bly, Constance Carrier, Vincent Clemente, John Digby, Richard Eberhart, Jim Elledge, Dorothy Hobson Fitzgerald, Dorothy Le Baker Hatch, Ben Howard, Norbert Krapf, Gerard Previn Meyer, Joyce Carol Oates, William Jay Smith, William Stafford, and May Swenson. Gelfand also collaborated with the wood engraver John DePol on a number of publications, including From Dark to Light: wood engravings for the Stone House Press, and with Jon and Zena Cornin on the book Painter’s Credo. These collaborations and others are represented here with printed broadsides, layouts, proofs, large image negatives, lithographic plates, mock-ups, artwork, contracts, drafts, and publication planning notes, as well as personal and professional correspondence and sample poetry. A number of pattern papers designed by John DePol and used in Stone House Press books are also a part of the archive.
Included here are also broadsides from other presses, printed announcements, advertisements, holiday cards, keepsakes printed for the Typophiles and materials of personal interest such as a collection of cartoon drawings by French cartoonist Robert Carrizey.
Other material related to the Stone House Press and John DePol is held in Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University, and can be found in the library catalog or in the John DePol Collection.
Gelfand, Morris. “Introduction.” The Stone House Press: Books in Print & Forthcoming 1995/1996. Roslyn, NY: The Stone House Press, .
Gelfand, Morris. Morris A. Gelfand – Biographical Data. . Stone House Press Archive. Rutgers University Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives.
Gelfand, Morris A. A Type Miscellany. Roslyn, N.Y.: The Stone House Press, undated.
Joseph, Michael. “The Stone House Press (Morris Gelfand).” The John DePol Collection, GB 2, Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries. . John DePol Collection
6 cubic feet (5 legal manuscript boxes, 2 large flat boxes, 24 x 18 x 3.5" and one oversized flat box, 31.5 x 23.5 x 3.5")
Language of Materials
This archive assembles material relating to books and broadsides published by the Stone House Press, along with broadsides from other presses, correspondence and ephemera, such as advertisements, announcements and printed keepsakes. The bulk of the archive consists of broadsides, papers and other printed material from the 1980s that illustrate the operation of a small hand press business. Other prints and publications of interest to Morris Gelfand, the proprietor of the press are included.
Librarian and proprietor of the private Stone House Press, Morris A. Gelfand, was born in 1908 in Bayonne, New Jersey. With a B.S. From New York University in 1933, a B.S. in Library Science from Columbia University the following year and a Masters degree from New York University in 1939, Mr. Gelfand began a career centered on libraries and books. Following service in the U.S. Air Force in Europe, he remained with the military as a Library Officer at the Pacific Headquarters from 1945 to 1946. He returned to take a position as Librarian and Associate Professor, later Professor, at Queens College. In 1960, he received a PhD from New York University. In 1970, he became a Professor of Library Science at New York University.
In the course of his career, he developed expertise in libraries in developing countries, both teaching and consulting with the University of Rangoon in Burma (Myanmar), with the Ministry of Education in Thailand as a UNESCO library expert, with the Ford Foundation in Brazil focusing on university libraries, and with the American Library Association on a Rockefeller Foundation grant at the University of Delhi, India. His wrote extensively on libraries in developing countries, as well as on academic libraries in general. In addition to his academic activities, he involved himself in organizations related to books and printing. A founding member of the American Printing History Association, he served as its president from 1982 to 1984. He was a member and President of the Typophiles, a member of the Grolier Club, Archons of Colophon and the Printing History Society (England).
After retiring from the world of librarianship and academics, Mr. Gelfand wrote, in The Stone House Press: Books in Print and Forthcoming, that “he wanted to fulfill a long-deferred ambition—to design, print and publish books of his own choosing.” This led to the founding of The Stone House Press, begun in 1978 in the basement of his house with a Chandler & Price platen press. Over time, he added equipment, types and ornaments. The press focused on contemporary writers and poets, producing books, broadsides, and chapbooks, as well as ephemera, such as printed keepsakes for meetings of The Typophiles. In his broadside, A Type Miscellany, he described The Stone House Press as a private press “dedicated to good design and fine letterpress printing of literary texts by living authors. Despite the manifest attraction of the computer, the Press will persist in printing by letterpress. The fascination of designing and printing real books on fine papers remains irresistible.” The “designing and printing of books” extended to illustration of the printed works. He worked closely with wood engraver John DePol, and with other artists to produce illustrated and embellished text. The relationship with John DePol, in particular, produced 15 books and a number of broadsides, as well as flyers and keepsakes.
Morris Gelfand continued as proprietor of the Stone House Press until 1996, when he sold the type and equipment to William Miller of The Printery. He continued to work on projects at the Press one day a week until shortly before his death in 1998.
Output of the Stone House Press won awards at the Annual Book Show of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) and are represented in a number of college and public libraries. The press also participated in group and solo fine press exhibitions. His bilingual edition of Songs of Childhood by Federico García Lorca was in the “Fifty Books of 1994” show.
The material is arranged in three series:
Papers (Boxes 1-5)
Broadsides and Printed Material (Boxes 6-7)
Oversized (Box 8)
The Stone House Press Archive was donated to the library by Lisa Gelfand, the daughter of Morris A. Gelfand.
The following books and chapbooks printed by the Stone House Press that were part of the archive donation have been cataloged and placed in the library’s collection:
- Bertin, Charles. Christopher Columbus.
- Carrier, Constance. Witchcraft Poems.
- Checklist: Stone House books and ephemera, 1978-1988.
- Collier, John. Shadows which Haunt the Sun-Rain.
- Cornin, Jon. Painter’s Credo.
- DePol, John. From Dark to Light: wood engravings for the Stone House Press.
- DePol, John. John DePol: six wood engravings for Christopher Columbus.
- Digby, John. Incantations.
- Flexner, James Thomas. Poems of the Twenties.
- García Lorca, Federico. Songs of Childhood.
- Gelfand, Jim. Rimbaud’s Sail: Songs by Jim Gelfand.
- Gelfand, Jim. Treasure Chest: Song Poems.
- Hatch, Dorothy. Curious Act of Poetry.
- Heyen, William. The Shore.
- Heyen, William. With me far away.
- Liebaers, Herman. Books over bombs: IFLA in Moscow, August 1991.
- Meyer, Gerard Previn. Renewals: selected poems & translations.
- Portfolio One/1983: Ten Illustrated Poetry Broadsides.
- Smith, William Jay. The Cyclist.
- Smith, William Jay. The Tin Can.
- Stepanchev, Stephen. Descent: a Selection of Eight Poems.
The following broadsides printed by the Stone House Press and illustrated by John DePol were part of the archive donation and have been cataloged and placed in the library’s collection:
- Astor, Susan. "Longevity."
- Elledge, Jim. "Homemade."
- Fitzgerald, Dorothy Hobson. "Holiday Altar Trees."
- Hatch, Dorothy LeBaker. "Appraisal."
- Heyen, William. "At West Hills Long Island."
- Krapf, Norbert. "Walnut."
- Oates, Joyce Carol. "Leavetaking at Dusk."
- Rimbaud, Jean-Arthur, translated by Gerard Previn Meyer. "Rimbaud en route."
- Smith, William Jay. "Journey to the Interior."
- Stafford, William."Why I am Happy."
- Swenson, May. "Come In, Go Out."
When multiple copies of a document were available, three copies were retained. Some material duplicating that found in the John DePol Collection was removed and added to folders in that collection.
- Guide to the Stone House Press Archive
- Edited Full Draft
- Elizabeth M. Phillips, Michael Joseph
- July 2017
- Language of description note
- Finding aid is written in English.
- Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University received an operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State.
- March 2009: Items listed as n.d. changed to undated, per DACS
- September 2009: revised coding to add encoding analogs to some elements per the EAD report card
Part of the New Brunswick Special Collections Repository