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Collection of Ephemera on the Book in California

Call Number: WA MSS S-2901

Scope and Contents

Collection of pamphlets, broadsides, and other ephemera concerning the history of the book in California collected by John Swingle (Yale 1943), proprietor of Alta California Bookstore, Berkeley, California. Materials relate to publishing, fine presses, booksellers, collectors, and institutions in California. Items include pamphlets on California book organizations, such as the Book Club of California; catalogues of booksellers, presses, and institutions; and files on individuals involved with the book arts and trade.

Major printers, presses, institutions, organizations, libraries, and booksellers are represented with files. Hubert Howe Bancroft, H.H. Bancroft and Company, and the Bancroft Library of the University of California, Berkeley, is extensively documented, as is the work of printers Ward Ritchie, John Henry Nash, James Ladd Delkin, Clyde Browne, and Grant Edward Dahlstrom and the Flame, Garret, Grabhorn, Eucalyptus, Acorn, Castle, and Colt presses. Libraries and educational institutions, including the Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery; the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library of the University of California, Los Angeles; San Francisco Public Library; Pasadena Public Library; Los Angeles Public Library; California State Library; Mills College; and the University of California system are documented through extensive files. California book clubs and historical societies are also well-represented, including the Book Club of California; the Bohemian Club; the Roxburghe Club; the California Society of Etchers; the Library Association of California; the California Historical Society; and the Historical Society of Southern California. Finally, booksellers and companies represented in the collection include Jake Zeitlin Books, Paul Elder and Company; Ernest Dawson and Dawson's Book Shop; and Swingle's Alta California Bookstore.

Further description and background information for this collection can be found in: Jennifer Pruett, "The Book in California," The Yale University Library Gazette, Vol. 54, no 1 (July 1979), pp 39-41.


  • 1807-1951

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Collection of Ephemera on the Book in California is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Alta California Bookstore, 1975.


10.47 Linear Feet (26 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, competing priorities, and whether or not further accruals are expected. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.

This collection received a basic level of processing in 2014, including rehousing and minimal organization.

Information included in the Description of Papers note and Collection Contents section is drawn from information supplied with the collection and from an initial survey of the contents. Folder titles appearing in the contents list below are often based on those provided by the creator or previous custodian. Titles have not been verified against the contents of the folders in all cases. Otherwise, folder titles are supplied by staff during initial processing.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Guide to the Collection of Ephemera on the Book in California
In Progress
by Alison Clemens and Danijela True
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

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Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.