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Elmer Adler Papers

Consists of the personal papers of Adler as well as the business archives of two of his adventures in graphic arts, the Pynson Printers and The Colophon. Included is correspondence relating to his early interest in graphic arts through L. Adler Brothers & Co., a family-owned clothing manufacturer, and the Memorial Art Gallery, both of Rochester, N.Y. Subsequent career developments, outside of New York, are also documented, including Adler's tenure as Curator of Graphic Arts at Princeton (1940-1952), a department which he was instrumental in creating, his educational lecture tours, and the establishment of La Casa del Libro, a typographical museum in San Juan, Puerto Rico. There is also an autograph collection of 18th and 19th-century material, including New York and Massachusetts deeds.The business archives of Pynson Printers, Adler's printing enterprise, consist primarily of press jobs. These jobs range from simple advertisements to complete publication and production of books and are all examples of fine printing. The progression of many of these productions, especially The Colophon, is documented through correspondence; the finances of this press is revealed through voucher files, check stubs, and numerous ledgers. The Colophon archives consist primarily of correspondence from readers, contributors, and the presses that printed many of the signatures for the earlier editions. A large part of this reflects the economic situation of the 1930s. There are also several boxes of original manuscripts and financial statements.Adler's great personal involvement in all of his undertakings prevents a clear-cut division between his private life and business endeavors. He maintained both personal and professional relationships with important figures in the graphic arts and publishing fields, including Alfred A. Knopf, Bennett Cerf, Dard Hunter, Rockwell Kent, John T. Winterich, Al Stanford, and Arthur Sulzberger. His work, especially Breaking into Print, brought him in contact with many well-known authors, such as Willa Cather, Robert Benchley, H. L. Mencken, Christopher Morley, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Throughout the collection there is correspondence representing many private and commercial presses and book clubs, most notably, the New York Times, Random House, the Carteret Book Club, the Grolier Club, and the Limited Editions Club.