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John Cumming Private Press

Overview

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Publication Materials

Financial Materials

Correspondence

Oversized

Miscellaneous



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John Cumming Private Press, 1876-2008 | Northern Illinois University

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Collection Overview

Title: John Cumming Private Press, 1876-2008

Predominant Dates:1963-1999

ID: RBSC/SPX/014

Extent: 3.0 Linear Feet

Arrangement: Series I contains Publication Materials, Series II consists of Financial Materials, Series III is Correspondence, Series IV is Oversized, and Series V includes Miscellaneous materials.

Date Acquired: 12/08/2008

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The John Cumming Private Press papers consist of printed (paper-based) published materials, financial records, correspondence, oversized materials, and miscellaneous materials.  The collection is divided into series based upon format.  Series I contains Publication Materials such as publication drafts of his books and materials printed by his private press, such as advertisements and programs.  This series is ordered by title apabetically and then by date if no title was given.  Series II consists of Financial Materials including invoices, purchase orders, receipts, and checks.  Series III is Correspondence between John Cumming and buyers/sellers, acquaintances, and friends.  Within this series there are also many letters pertaining to book orders.  Some of the author's correspondence was sent electronically via email, so the electronic documents are in the author's SFWA finding aid folder titled under their name and identification number.  The printed hardcopies can be found with the rest of their boxed correspondence.  Series IV materials are Oversized and are located in the Special Collections Oversized area.  Lastly, Series V contains miscellaneous materials related to his private press, such as newspaper articles, supply brochures, and background research for his books.

Collection Historical Note

John Cumming was born in 1915 in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts and he grew up in neighboring Worcester.  As a young boy, John already had an affinity for books and newsprint, coming from a long line of type engravers.  As a young man John worked as a sports reporter for the Worcester Telegram and Gazette.  John went to Eastern Michigan University on a track scholarship and later graduated.  He was soon employed with the Detroit Public School system as a journalism teacher and later a high school counselor.

While teaching, John went back to college and earned his Master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Michigan.  In 1961, John became the Director of the Clarke Historical Library.  In the years that John was the Director, he helped the library’s small collection grow, procuring rare books and creating a comprehensive assemblage of materials.  After twenty-one years as Director, John retired in 1982 and spent more time on his hobbies.

John had received a printing press from his parents at the age of seven and this hobby would grow to bring him notoriety as a small publisher.  John used a nineteenth century Chandler & Price platen press to print his books.  Each book took about a year to complete and two to three hours to hand set one page.  John was also an author of many books and journal articles that were published elsewhere.

John passed away in 2010, leaving behind his wife of more than seventy years, Audrey Marie Severance, two sons, Robert and John, and four grandchildren.

For more information about John Cumming and his Private Press, please visit https://www.cmich.edu/Pages/default.aspx

Administrative Information

Repository: Northern Illinois University

Access Restrictions: no restrictions

Use Restrictions: no restrictions


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series I: Publication Materials],
[Series II: Financial Materials],
[Series III: Correspondence],
[Series IV: Oversized],
[Series V: Miscellaneous],
[All]

Series I: Publication Materials
Box 1
Folder 1: Across the Southern Trail to California [publication draft] page 1 to page 10, Oct 1982
Folder 2: The Diary of a Ninety-Eighter [publication drafts in black and white of cover and insert|4 copies], 1968
Folder 3: The Diary of a Ninety-Eighter [publication drafts in color of cover and back page|7 copies], 1968
Folder 4: The Diary of a Ninety-Eighter [lino-mats typesetting test printout for book], no date
Folder 5: The Diary of a Ninety-Eighter [advertisement for John Cumming's book|3copies], no date
Folder 6: The Diary of a Ninety-Eighter [hard cover], no date
Folder 7: The Diary of a Ninety-Eighter [publication draft in black and white of cover], no date
Folder 8: The Diary of a Ninety-Eighter [publication draft in color of cover], no date
Folder 9: The Diary of a Ninety-Eighter [publication drafts in color of cover|2 copies], no date
Folder 10: The Diary of a Ninety-Eighter [publication draft in black and white of cover], no date
Folder 11: The First Protestant Mission In the Grand Traverse Region [publication draft of cover and pages 1-2], 1979
Folder 12: For Observation [publication draft of poem by Edgar A. Guest|10 copies], no date
Folder 13: The Gold Rush: Letters of David Wooster from California to the Adrian, Michigan, Expositor 1850-1855 [publication draft in color of cover], 1972
Folder 14: The Gold Rush: Letters of David Wooster from California to the Adrian, Michigan, Expositor 1850-1855 [publication draft in color of cover and back page], 1972
Folder 15: The Gold Rush: Letters of David Wooster from California to the Adrian, Michigan, Expositor 1850-1855 [advertisement for John Cumming's book|3 copies], no date
Folder 16: The Gold Rush: Letters of Dr. James Delavan from California to the Adrian, Michigan, Expositor 1850-1856 [publication drafts in color of cover and back page|6 copies], 1976
Folder 17: The Gold Rush: Letters of Dr. James Delavan from California to the Adrian, Michigan, Expositor 1850-1856 [hard cover, metal printing plates, and prints from metal plates], no date
Envelope 1: The Gold Rush: Letters of Dr. James Delavan from California to the Adrian, Michigan, Expositor 1850-1856 [metal printing plates], no date
Envelope 2: The Gold Rush: Letters of Dr. James Delavan from California to the Adrian, Michigan, Expositor 1850-1856 [prints from metal plates] 4 prints, no date
Folder 18: The Gold Rush: Letters of Dr. James Delavan from California to the Adrian, Michigan, Expositor 1850-1856 [advertisement for John Cumming's book], no date
Folder 19: The Gold Rush: Letters of Thomas S. Myrick from California to the Jackson, Michigan, American Citizen 1849-1852 [hard cover and metal printing plates], no date
Envelope 3: The Gold Rush: Letters of Thomas S. Myrick from California to the Jackson, Michigan, American Citizen 1849-1852 [metal printing plates], no date
Folder 20: The Gold Rush: Letters of Thomas S. Myrick from California to the Jackson, Michigan, American Citizen 1849-1852 [advertisement for John Cumming's book|4 copies], no date
Folder 21: The Gold Rush: Letters from the Wolverine Rangers to the Marshall, Michigan Statesman 1849-1851 [publication draft in black and whit of cover and page v-vi], 1972
Folder 22: The Gold Rush: Letters from the Wolverine Rangers to the Marshall, Michigan Statesman 1849-1851 [publication drafts in black and white of cover and page v-vi|5 copies], 1976
Folder 23: The Gold Rush: Letters from the Wolverine Rangers to the Marshall, Michigan Statesman 1849-1851 [publication draft in color], no date
Folder 24: The Gold Rush: Letters from the Wolverine Rangers to the Marshall, Michigan Statesman 1849-1851 [hard cover, metal printing plates, and prints from metal plates], no date
Envelope 4: The Gold Rush: Letters from the Wolverine Rangers to the Marshall, Michigan Statesman 1849-1851 [metal printing plates], no date
Envelope 5: The Gold Rush: Letters from the Wolverine Rangers to the Marshall, Michigan Statesman 1849-1851 [prints from printing plates] 6 prints, no date
Folder 25: The Gold Rush: Voyage of the Ship Loo Choo Around the Horn in 1849 [publication draft in black and white of cover], no date
Folder 26: The History of the John Jacov Astor [publication draft of cover], no date
Folder 27: In Touch: A Collection of Poems by Faamate Sae [publication draft of cover, forward, and insert], 1979
Folder 28: A Journal of a Surveying Trip into Western Pennsylvania [advertisement for John Cumming's book], no date
Folder 29: A Journal of a Trip to Illinois in 1836 [publication draft of cover and page i-ii], 1971
Folder 30: A Journal of a Trip to Illinois in 1836 [advertisement for John Cumming's book|2 copies], no date
Folder 31: Little Jake of Saginaw [publication draft of cover and page 1], no date
Folder 32: The Long Road to California [certificate of copyright registration], 2-1-1985
Folder 33: The Long Road to California [advertisement for John Cumming's book|9 copies], no date
Folder 34: The Lynching at Corunna [publication draft of cover and insert], 1980
Folder 35: The Lynching at Corunna [hard cover, metal printing plates, and prints from metal plates], no date
Envelope 6: The Lynching at Corunna [prints from metal plates] 5 prints, no date
Envelope 7: The Lynching at Corunna [metal printing plates], no date
Folder 36: [The Lynching at Corunna] [print of noose from metal plate for publication], no date
Folder 37: The Masked Canary [advertisement of a play at the Birdcage Theatre|2 copies], no date
Folder 38: Overland '49 [advertisement for the printing of John Cumming's miniature book], no date
Folder 39: The Overland Limited [publication draft of partial draft] page 95 to page 110 [pages missing], no date
Folder 40: The Pilgrimage of Temperance Mack [advertisement of John Cumming's book], no date
Folder 41: The Pilgrimage of Temperance Mack [publication draft of cover|3 copies], no date
Folder 42: A Preliminary Checklist of 19th Century Lithographs of Michigan Cities and Towns [publication draft] page i to page 24, 1969
Folder 43: A Preliminary Checklist of 19th Century Lithographs of Michigan Cities and Towns [publication draft of cover], 1969
Folder 44: A Private Collector and the Building of the Research Library [announcement for an honorary dinner for Norman E. Clarke|4 copies], April 7, 1967
Folder 45: The Prophetic Controversy [hard cover, metal printing plates, and prints from metal plates], no date
Envelope 8: The Prophetic Controversy [metal printing plates], no date
Envelope 9: The Prophetic Controversy [prints from metal plates] 4 prints, no date
Folder 46: Sawdust Days: When the Tawas Area Was Young [publication draft of cover and 1st two pages], 1973
Folder 47: Tale of the Foolish Mouse [publication draft of poem by Stanley L. Johnson|7 copies], no date
Folder 48: Trouble in Tahiti [program for an evening of Chamber Opera at Central Michigan University|6 copies], Nov 17-20
Box 2
Folder 1: Invitation to the retirement reception of Alexander Vittands [2 copies], May 10
Folder 2: Flyer for the 8th annual friends of the library book sale [2 copies], Sep 23-25
Folder 3: Invitation to the exorcism of Marilyn Munsell, Sep 31
Folder 4: Advertisement for Lichtenfeldt's Aphrodite Special, The Wine of Venus at the Sleepy Hollow Vineyard, 1939
Folder 5: Invitation to the Commencement of Eastern Summer High School's Class of '55 [3 copies], 1955
Folder 6: Brochure for the Academic Homecoming of Central Michigan University, 1967
Folder 7: Program to a Faculty-Alumni Luncheon honoring Miss Jane McNamara, May 16, 1970
Folder 8: Flyers for the 4th & 6th First Nighter's Annual Spring Banquet [13 copies], Apr 22, 1976 & Apr 12, 1978
Folder 9: Flyers for the 4th & 5th First Nighter's Annual Meetings [5 copies], Apr 22, 1976 & Apr 20, 1977
Folder 10: Flyer for the University's Theatre Season [11 copies], 1977-1978
Folder 11: Flyers for the 5th & 6th First Nighter's Annual Banquet [4 copies], Apr 20, 1977 & Apr 12, 1978
Folder 12: Program for the Madrigal Dinner Concert of Central Michigan University [3 copies], Dec 9, 1977
Folder 13: Invitation to the presentation of the Earl & Florence De La Vergne Collection to the University of Michigan, Sep 28, 1986
Folder 14: Print for the 3rd Annual APHA Conference, no date
Folder 15: Template for the Michigan State Organiztion of Questers Award Certificate for their 25th Anniversary [4 copies], no date
Folder 16: John Cumming letterheads, no date
Folder 17: Advertisements for John Cummings books, no date
Envelope 1: Negative of a print from a metal print [title unknown], no date

Browse by Series:

[Series I: Publication Materials],
[Series II: Financial Materials],
[Series III: Correspondence],
[Series IV: Oversized],
[Series V: Miscellaneous],
[All]


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