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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 II: Financial Materials
Box 1
Folder 1: Invoices, purchase orders, receipts, and checks, Jan-June (no year given)
Folder 2: Invoices, purchase orders, receipts, and checks, 1963-9/9/1965
Folder 3: Invoices, purchase orders, receipts, and checks, Mar 3, 1966-Nov 31, 1966
Folder 4: Invoices, purchase orders, receipts, and checks, Jan 5, 1967-Dec 27, 1967
Folder 5: Invoices, purchase orders, receipts, and checks, Jan 2, 1968-May 31, 1968
Folder 6: Invoices, purchase orders, receipts, and checks, June 3, 1968-Dec 27, 1968
Folder 7: Invoices, purchase orders, receipts, and checks, Jan 6, 1969-Apr 21, 1969
Folder 8: Invoices, purchase orders, receipts, and checks, Apr 25, 1969-Dec 18, 1969
Folder 9: Invoices, purchase orders, receipts, and checks, Jan 4, 1970-Dec 17, 1970
Folder 10: Invoices, purchase orders, receipts, and checks, Jan 6, 1971-Dec 16, 1971
Folder 11: Invoices, purchase orders, receipts, and checks, Jan 4, 1972-Feb 28, 1972
Folder 12: Invoices, purchase orders, receipts, and checks, Mar 1, 1972-Nov 15, 1972
Folder 13: Invoices, purchase orders, receipts, and checks, Jan 8, 1973-Jul 19, 1973
Folder 14: Invoices, purchase orders, receipts, and checks, Jul 24, 1973-Dec 10, 1973
Folder 15: Invoices, purchase orders, receipts, and checks, Jan 10, 1974-Dec 27, 1974
Folder 16: Invoices, purchase orders, receipts, and checks, Jan 11, 1975-Dec 18, 1975
Folder 17: Invoices, purchase orders, receipts, and checks, Jan 12, 1976-Dec 29, 1976
Folder 18: Invoices, purchase orders, receipts, and checks, Jan 4, 1977-Dec 8, 1977
Folder 19: Invoices, purchase orders, receipts, and checks, Jan 17, 1978-Apr 7, 1978
Folder 20: Invoices, purchase orders, receipts, and checks, Apr 13, 1978-Dec 29, 1978
Folder 21: Invoices, purchase orders, receipts, and checks, Jan 4, 1979-Dec 26, 1979
Folder 22: The First Protestant Mission in the Grand Traverse Region [advance purchase orders], 1980
Folder 23: The Lynching at Corunna [advance purchase orders], 1980
Folder 24: Invoices, purchase orders, receipts, and checks, Jan 4, 1980-Nov 25, 1981
Folder 25: Invoices, purchase orders, receipts, and checks, Feb 15, 1982-Dec 27, 1984
Folder 26: Invoices, purchase orders, receipts, and checks, Jan 15, 1985-Mar 25, 1988
Folder 27: Invoices, purchase orders, receipts, and checks, Jan 29, 1986-Jul 8, 1988
Folder 28: Invoices, purchase orders, and receipts, Feb 9, 1990-Apr 14, 1999
Folder 29: Invoices and purchase orders between John Cumming and Glen Adams of Ye Galleon Press, June 22, 1990-Aug 25, 1998
Folder 30: Invoices, purchase orders, receipts, and checks, 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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