Oak Knoll Press

Please note: Oak Knoll Press is unfortunately not accepting new manuscripts at this time.



Book Collecting
The foremost topic of our publishing program. We are very interested in books about great collectors and their methods, how-to-collect manuals, anecdotal stories and/or mis-adventures. Solid, well written histories about the origins of the great collections. Stories about incredible real-life finds in odd places and the passion of the hunt. These topics can be serious or humorous, or at their best, a little of both. Some suggested titles are:
  :: Adventures in Book Collecting
  :: The World of Collecting Antiquarian Books
  :: Guide to Book Collecting
  :: All You Wanted To Know About Book-Collecting
  :: Why Collect Books?
  :: Book Collecting - A Passion of the Mind
  :: A Bibliographical Guide to the Best Books on Book-Collecting
  :: Humor of the Ex Libris
  :: Lost Treasuries: Great Book Mysteries
  ::Passion's Pursuits: The Love of Books

Some of the most enjoyable books ever written in our field are from the point of view of savvy, globe-trotting booksellers. These include "insider" stories on the building, or selling, of the great private collections. This would also include stories about world famous book auctions and interesting pieces on the people behind the national or international antiquarian book trade:
  :: Untold Stories Behind the Great Book Auctions
  :: Twelve Remarkable American Booksellers (mini bios with photos)
  :: Twelve Remarkable British Booksellers
  :: Twelve Remarkable European Booksellers
  :: Tales of an Antiquarian Bookseller
  :: My Forty Years as a Bookseller
  :: Old Book Shops and their Owners (with photos)
  :: Legendary Bookmen of ?

This genre is one of the important fields associated with the "book arts." These works are usually written by skilled craftsmen who have mastered this unique art form and wish to pass on their hard won techniques. However, histories of some of the great bookbinders, or their works, always find interest:
  :: Bookbinding - A Work of Art & Craft
  :: The Art of Craft Bookbinding
  :: A History of Fine European Bookbinding
  :: One Hundred of the World's Most Beautiful Bookbindings

Another genre of book collecting knowledge. Any good, comprehensive how-to manual on this art form is always welcomed. Also wanted are well researched histories of papermaking from ancient times to the present. Books with samples are appreciated:
  :: Hand-Made Papers of the World
  :: The History of Paper
  :: The Art and Lore of Papermaking
  :: Making Paper by Hand - A Practical Manual
  :: Modern Papermaking Handbook

Book Design
This important subject matter should not only include the "how-to" part of good internal book layout, but the fascinating fields of book jacket history and art. This should include dust cover design as well. Works on the histories of book design through the ages and what is considered "excellent" today would be of special interest.

Type and Graphic Typography
A solid, well written book on this discipline could be of great help to desktop publishers, typographers, graphic artists and instructors. A strong work that starts with a brief history of traditional principles and moves on to the needs of today's fast paced world of advertising and computer-graphic professionals. A good bio-history of famous typographers and their contributions to the graphic arts.

Paper Marbling
Another genre within the interest of the book collector. The reborn art of marbling paper in beautiful, swirling designs for covers and endpapers of fine books, has always fascinated collectors and paper enthusiast alike. Works (with samples or photographs of patterns) on the history and unusual techniques of this art form would be appreciated. Some suggested titles:
  :: The Art and Craft of Marbling
  :: Paper Made Exotic
  :: The Fine Art of Marbling Paper

The Private Press
The "private press" holds a unique position in the world of book collecting. Some of the most beautiful and rarest books in the world were printed by a host of "scholar-printers. The stories of these remarkable printers and their books make fascinating reading. Histories of the printers and bibliographies of their works are needed. The stories of many of the small presses have been published, however, many have not. Also, there has not been a good bibliography of American Presses since Ransom. Furthermore, a well-researched, English language work is needed on foreign private presses:
  :: The Private Press in America
  :: The Private Press in American Literature
  :: A History of the Private Press
  :: The Bibliography of American Private Presses
  :: The Private Presses of Great Britain
  :: Europe's Private Presses
  :: The Hammer Creek Press and its Works
  :: The Elston Press and its Works, etc.

This genre is another important field of interest. We are always looking for well-researched, disciplined bibliographies on noted authors. Many 20th century authors are without a good bibliography and some have none at all. A complete bibliography serves as a check list for collectors as well as librarians, booksellers and researchers. Oak Knoll Press and St. Paul's Bibliographies co-publish the distinguished "Winchester Series on Twentieth Century Writers" as well as its "Publishing Pathways" and other books. A small sample of some of the bibliographies we are looking for are:
  :: A Bibliography of James Joyce
  :: A Bibliography of John Steinbeck
  :: A Bibliography of William Faulkner, etc.
A bibliography can also be on a particular subject, such as cook books, fishing, the Civil War, medical arts, Bibles, sailing or any of hundreds of collectable fields. Their titles could be:
  :: A Bibliography of Books on the American Civil War
  :: A Bibliography of American Cook Books
  :: A Bibliography of 19th Century Children's Books
  :: A Bibliography of the World's Bibles
  :: A Bibliography of Delawareana, etc.
  :: A Bibliography of American Law Books of the 19th Century

This genre has a wide appeal. For us to be interested in a work, it would have to be about a famous author, book collector, publisher, printer, book illustrator, bookseller or a person who had an major impact on the world of books.

We feel there needs to be further books written which links the beautiful books of yesteryear with the great libraries that house them. Works that tell the histories of these great institutions, their masterpieces and their architectural splendors in a compelling way. Photographs and/or line illustrations of the exteriors and interiors would be an added attraction to these manuscripts:
  :: Social Impact of the Public Library
  :: The Treasure Libraries of America
  :: The Treasure Libraries of Great Britain
  :: The Great Libraries of Europe
  :: America's Temples to the Printed Arts
  :: Great Libraries of the World, etc.

Publishing is said to be the art and science of "making public the printed word." In this field one can explore a wide range of subjects. From histories of publishing and bibliographies of the great publishers, to interesting stories of founders and the new techniques they brought into the business. Publishing has gone through a revolution in the last thirty years. A revolution still unrecorded by a contemporary historian:
  :: Winds of Change, My Forty Years in Publishing
  :: Gutenberg's Computer
  :: The Last Revolution: Paper to PC
  :: Death of an Art Form: From Type to Byte

Book Illustration
Art and books have been fellow companions since the first scrolls were hand written in ancient Egypt. Histories of this evolution, documenting the advance of book illustration from crude, wood block printing of medieval craftsmen, to the artistic revolutions of the Renaissance and periods beyond, offer a wide range of subject material. Works about famous book illustrators, their techniques and inspirations are desired:
  :: Famous Book Illustrators of the 19th Century
  :: The Graphic Works of Rudolph Ruzicka
  :: The Art of Book Illustration
  :: The History of Art in Books
  :: Book Illustration in the Age of the French Revolution
  :: Book Illustration in the Age of Art Nouveau
  :: Art Deco and Books
  :: Book Art and the Renaissance
  :: Copper-Plate Engraving: End of an Art Form
  :: Half Tone to Digital Photography: The New Book Art
  :: The Works of Ben Shahn
  :: The Complete Works of Bewick and his School

Book Conservation Verses Repair Fraud
This is an important topic to all collectors, librarians and bookmen alike. A well-researched work on the everyday care of one's library and the expert repair techniques required in book conservation would be of the greatest interest. The serious collector needs to know how to spot paper repairs, re-binding, missing or added pages and a host of other signs which can greatly alter the price of a book. Some suggested titles would be:
  :: The Care & Conservation of Fine Books
  :: The Techniques of Book Repair
  :: Five Centuries of Book Repair - What to Look For
  :: You Can't Judge a Book by its Cover
  :: Rare Book Collector's Guide to Damage Assessment

Fakes and Frauds
Rare book collecting, like many other collectibles, has attracted the eye of the forger for centuries. Some have crudely apply their limited skills while others have become masters of the art. Forgeries have even become collectible in their own rights. An authoritative work covering the careers of past masters of forgery, their techniques and how they were caught, plus tricks-of-the-trade today, would be of great interest. to collectors as well as curators. Suggested titles:
  :: Great Book Frauds of Yesteryear
  :: Techniques of the Master Book Forgers
  :: The History of Book Forgery
  :: A Book Collector's Guide to Gilded Lilies

We hope this "wish list" will help communicate our interest to the authors of tomorrow. Should you wish to start a project on one of the above subjects, please send us a letter of your interest. We would be most happy to help suggest a format. The earlier we get involved in a typescript, the better for all that is concerned. In this way the "Oak Knoll Series on the History of the Book" will continue to be one of the outstanding collections in our field.