Carl Purington Rollins papers
Scope and Contents
The Carl Purington Rollins papers document Rollins’s career as a master printer, graphic designer, author, and educator. The collection consists of personal and business correspondence; writings by Rollins and others; materials designed and/or printed by Rollins and others; and research files and notebooks. The materials document Rollins’s design and printing work at the community of New Clairvaux (New Clairvaux Press), Dyke Mill (Montague Press), and the Yale Press, as well as his own hand press, At the Sign of the Chorobates.
This preliminary inventory first lists the larger group of material that was given to Yale by the Rollins family in the early 1980s, and preliminarily processed in 1998, and then lists material acquired by purchase in 2002. Oversize material is indicated by Oversize (legal size document box) and Oversize + (folio-size flat boxes). The lack of dates for some material reflects the varying levels of processing of the papers.
Rollins’s library of books related to printing and printing history was given to the Arts of the Book Collection in 1981, and has been cataloged in Orbis, Yale’s online catalog.
Conditions Governing Access
The materials are open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright has not been transferred to Yale University.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of Rollins family members and acquired by purchase.
Preliminarily arranged in twelve series and one addition: I. Correspondence, 1902-1963. II. Writings, 1930-1983. III. Works and Projects, 1900-1963. IV. Awards, Honors, and Events, 1933-1963. V. Book Clubs and Bibliophile Groups, 1902-1965. VI. Presses, 1902-1963. VII. Printers and Designers, 1897-1976. VIII. Paper Specimens, 1877-1942. IX. Type Specimens, 1929-1949. X. Library and Museum Publications, 1910-1962. XI. Photographs and Realia, 1902-1958. XII. Notebooks, 1903-1958. 2002 Addition, 1903-1974.
40 Linear Feet (77 boxes)
Language of Materials
The Carl Purington Rollins papers document Rollins’s career as a master printer, graphic designer, author, and educator. The collection consists of personal and business correspondence; writings by Rollins and others; materials designed and/or printed by Rollins and others; and research files and notebooks.
Biographical / Historical
Carl Purington Rollins was born in West Newbury, Massachusetts, in 1880. He attended Harvard University from 1897 to 1900, and worked for the Georgetown Advocate, a small country newspaper. He subsequently worked for the Carl Heintzemann Press in Boston before joining New Clairvaux, a rural Utopian community, in Montague, Massachusetts, in 1903. Rollins taught a printing course in the community’s school and ran the New Clairvaux Press. He left the community in 1904, after losing the sight in one eye, but returned to Montague several years later, and purchased the Dyke Mill. While the New Clairvaux community failed in 1908, Rollins remained in Montague where he had established an arts and crafts cooperative at Dyke Mill where furniture, textiles, and printed works were made and sold. Eventually, the business became a press exclusively, the Montague Press. In 1918, Rollins joined the staff of the Yale University Press and was appointed Printer to the University in 1920. In the course of four decades, he designed more than two thousand books for Yale University Press as well as most of the University’s ephemeral materials. Rollins taught a course in bibliography and established the Bibliographical Press in the University library for student use. He also established a private press, At the Sign of the Chorobates, from which he printed publications including Wine Making for the Amateur (1930). He was the recipient of numerous awards and prizes, including the highest award of the American Institute of Graphic Arts in 1941. He received honorary degrees from Yale and was named Printer Emeritus when he retired from the University in 1948. Rollins married Margaret Dickey in 1915, and they had two children, Elizabeth and Caroline. He died in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1960.
A bibliography, The Works of Carl P. Rollins (New Haven, CT: Yale University Library, 1982), associated with an exhibit in Sterling Memorial Library in 1982-1983, and prepared by Gay Walker, is an invaluable source of information on Rollins and his work.
References: Katherine M. Ruffin and Chika Ota contributed to this biographical statement.
- At the Sign of the Chorobates
- Bibliographical Press
- Collective settlements -- Massachusetts -- Montague
- Dwiggins, W. A. (William Addison), 1880-1956
- Heintzemann Press
- Letterpress printing
- Montague Press
- New Clairvaux Press
- Printing -- Connecticut
- Printing -- Massachusetts
- Rogers, Bruce, 1870-1957
- Rollins, Carl Purington, 1880-1960
- Type specimens (documents)
- Utopian socialism -- Massachusetts
- Yale University Press
- Preliminary Guide to the Carl Purington Rollins Papers
- Compiled by Arts of the Book Staff
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.