New Acquisition: a full run of the FPBA’s Journal ‘Parenthesis’

Box, journal and fine press portfolio of the de luxe issue #11 of the FPBA’s Parenthesis.

The covers of Parenthesis #’s 19, 21 & 22.

This past June the Rare Books Collection acquired a complete set of the Fine Press Book Association’s (FPBA) bi-annual journal Parenthesis.  The FPBA has been around since the mid-1990s, and is made up of printers, book collectors, librarians and anyone  who “share common interests in the art of printing, the matching of worthwhile texts with significant images and artistic expression through the structure of a book.” Parenthesis was first issued in 1998, and has been running bi-annually ever since.  According to their website, the journal “deals broadly in fine and private press printing as well as bookbinding, typography, collecting, publishing and related areas … while it is best known for its insightful reviews of fine press books, the magazine publishes essays, commentary, news, how-to articles and profiles of presses and personalities shaping the fine printing community.”

The de luxe issue of #18 of Parenthesis.

The standard issue of this journal is, as to be expected, a beauty to behold: the layout, typeface and illustrations all add to the importance of the articles being published. However, the FPBA also offers de luxe editions of Parenthesis which are case-bound and presented in a slip case with a parcel of items specially printed by presses from around the world. These editions provide lovely examples of a multitude of styles and presswork. A full list of contents of each of the issues can be found here.

The letterpress portfolio for #13 of Parenthesis.

We acquired a full set of this journal this year (no. 1-current), and were fortunate enough to obtain 10 de luxe editions. These are being added to the Librarian’s Collection, where many other fine press works and works about fine presses can be found. This journal should provide an excellent resource for any researcher interested in modern scholarship on the private printing industry or for lovers of the modern fine press movements.


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