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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Carroll Coleman Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1927-1992
Creator: Coleman, Carroll (1904-1989)
Extent: 4.50 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0477
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Proprietor of the Prairie Press and printer. Correspondence, preliminary drafts, galleys and mock-ups for books printed by the Prairie Press, and related business records, advertising, etc.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs in Box 7; Audio reel-to-reel Box 6

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials.

Acquisition: These papers were donated to the University of Iowa Libraries by Coleman's widow, Genevieve Coleman.

Preferred Citation: Carroll Coleman Papers, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman
Email: lib-spec@uiowa.edu
Website: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/sc

Carroll Coleman (1904-1989) was born in Appanoose County, Iowa, and graduated from Muscatine High School in 1923. He was still in high school when he acquired his first small press and began printing. After graduation he took several jobs in commercial printing and worked for the Muscatine Journal, the local newspaper, for seven years. Bad health forced him to quit his job with the paper. He then moved to Chicago where he studied with the noted designer, William Kitterage. Returning to Muscatine, Coleman started his own press. In 1935, his Prairie Press published four books and the following year one of his books (What Laughing God? by Whitelaw Saunders) was named among the Fifty Best Books of the Year by the American Institute of Graphic Arts. This would be the first of thirteen such honors. In 1945 he moved his press to Iowa City and joined the faculty of the University of Iowa where he taught typography for the new Typographic Laboratory. In 1956 he added the position of University Editor, Director of Publications and Manager of Printing Services to his professional duties. It became increasingly difficult to balance his responsibilities to the University and run his press. In 1961 he returned full time to the Prairie Press, where he continued publishing the works of living writers.

The Carroll Coleman Papers are a reflection of his career and of his Prairie Press. Its 4.5 linear feet of material is organized chronologically within an alphabetical sequence dating from the late 1920s through the 1960s. There are four boxes of correspondence which include letters from: Walter Blumenthal, Myron Broomwell, Hayden Carruth, August Derleth, James Hearst, Frank Luther Mott, Alan Swallow, and others. Many of his books are represented in formative stages with galley proofs, page proofs, and mock-ups. The Prairie Press is well documented, not only with individual works but also with advertising and business records. Other files include such things as the Christmas cards that Coleman printed each year, speeches, and typefaces.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: BOOKS AND PAMPHLETS
Series 2: BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS
Series 3: ACCOUNTS
Series 4: BOOK CATALOGS
Series 5: BOOKPLATES
Series 6: CLIPPINGS
Series 7: CORRESPONDENCE, INCLUDING CHRISTMAS CARDS
Series 8: EXHIBITS
Series 9: ITEMS FROM OTHER PRESSES
Series 10: MISCELLANEOUS
Series 11: PERIODICALS
Series 12: PHOTOGRAPHS
Series 13: THE PRAIRIE PRESS
Series 14: PRESENTATIONS BY COLEMAN
Series 15: PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
Series 16: REALIA
Series 17: SUPPLIERS
Series 18: MRS. CARROLL COLEMAN (GENEVIEVE)
Series 19: COLEMAN AND THE PRAIRIE PRESS
Series 20: CASSETTES
Series 21: SUPPLY CATALOGS
Series 22: OVERSIZED MATERIALS
Series 23: INDEX TO COLEMAN CORRESPONDENCE

  • Series 1: BOOKS AND PAMPHLETS
  • Box 1:
  • Phillips 66 Map of the World
  • The Bloomingdale Papers by Hayden Carruth
  • Jermone Hill: Painter, Film Maker, Collector - 1965
    Exhibition catalog assembled by the St. Paul Art Center
  • House Magazine: Copy, Wirting and Preperation for the Printer by K.C. Pratt - 1946
  • Contemporary American Painting, Published by the Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. - 1946
  • Sonderabdruck Aus Dem Gutenberg-Jahrbuch - 1953
  • General Printing by Glen U. Cleeton and Charlres W. Pitkin - 1941
  • The Art of the Letter Published by the National Gallery of Modern Art - 1970
  • Customers by John Maxton
    Small pamphlet
  • What to See and Do Published by the Denver Convention and Visitors Bureau
    Small pamphlet
  • Dictionary of Geography by W.G. Moore - 1949
  • Advice on How to Sharpen Wood-Working Tools Published by the Carborundum Company
  • Publisher to Author Published by the University of California Press - 1953
  • Gregg Shorthand: Manual for the Functional Method Vols. 1 and 2, by Louis A. Leslie - 1936
  • Donohue's Handy American Dictionary - n.d.
  • 19th Annual Printing Trades Blue Book - 1938
  • Clegg's International Directory of the World's Book Trade Booksellers, Publishers, Book Collectors, Etc. Vol 1 - 1936-1937
  • Selective Check Lists of Press Books by Will Ransom - 1945-1050
    Parts 1-12
  • Rules and Their Possibilities by Douglas C. McMurtrie - 1932
  • I.T.U. Lessons in Printings - 1935
  • A Newspaper's Story
    A day with the Muscatine Journal...
  • Cycles and Turning Points: The Significance of Initiation in Human Culture by Everett C.Hughes
  • Electrolytic Matrices by Phil T. Nuernberger - 1966
  • Elementary Alphabets and Their Construction by Ross F. George - 1940
    6th Edition
  • Copy Fitting Published by Linotype
    Two copies
  • A Visit to Donnelley's by Cloyd Head - 1948
  • Scandinavian Bookmaking in the Twentieth Century by Erik Dal - 1968
  • Two handwritten notebooks
  • Series 2: BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS
  • Box 1:
  • A Tribute to Carroll Coleman
  • Interview by Frank Paluka
  • Interview by Mike Peich, January 13th - 1982
    Audio cassettes, moved to Box 18
  • The Prairie Press: The First Decade
  • Quotes Coleman liked
  • Coleman's Sunday school diploma
    Moved to Box 18
  • Union and membership cards
  • Series 3: ACCOUNTS
  • Box 1:
  • Bank statements - 1983-1987
  • Bindery receipts
  • Financial papers
  • Finances - 1936
  • Finances - 1937
    Moved to Box 18
  • Finances - 1941-1945
    Moved to Box 18
  • Income taxes - 1941-1945
  • Insurance policies - 1941-1945
  • Retail sales tax returns, June 1939 - June 1945
  • Sales records
  • Various account and ledger books
  • Series 4: BOOK CATALOGS
  • Box 2:
  • A-B
  • C-D
  • G-Pe
  • Philip Duschnes 1
  • Philip Duschnes 2
  • Q-Z
  • Series 5: BOOKPLATES
  • Box 2:
  • Various bookplates
  • Series 6: CLIPPINGS
  • Box 2:
  • Various clippings, more in Box 18
  • Series 7: CORRESPONDENCE, INCLUDING CHRISTMAS CARDS
  • Box 2:
  • 1910, 1927
  • 1936-1944
    Including letters from: E.M. Catich, August Derleth, Virgil M. Hancher, Alan Swallow, May Swenson, and Goudy Dinner.
  • Box 3:
  • 1945-1963
    Including letters from: August Derleth, Alan Swallow, John Holmes, Frank Luther Mott, Alfred Kreymborg, Virgil M. Hancher, James Hearst, Louis P. Penningroth, Myron H. Broomell, E.M. Catich, Ethel Blythe Penningworth, John T. Frederick and Florence Roe Wiggins.
  • Box 4:
  • 1964-1989
    Including letters from: Walter Hart Blumenthal, Myron H. Broomell, Hayden Carruth, James Hearst, E.M. Catich, and John T. Frederick.
  • Undated
  • Hayden Carruth
  • August Derleth
  • Paul Engle
  • Don Farran
  • James Norman Hall
  • James Hearst
  • Paul Hogrefe
  • James Laughlin
  • Ken Macrorie
  • Jessica North MacDonald
  • Frank Utpatel
  • Mark van Doren
  • Emerson Wulling
  • Envelopes
  • Christmas Cards - 1936-1941
  • Box 5:
  • Christmas Cards - 1942-1984
  • Undated Christmas Cards
  • Box 6:
  • Chrismas Cards from the Prairie Press - 1935-1985
  • Series 8: EXHIBITS
  • Box 6:
  • Carroll Coleman Books and Pamphlets
  • Chicago Book Clinic
  • General
  • Grolier Club
  • Materials for the 1992 Main Library exhibit
  • Midwestern Books Competition - 1948-1963
  • Series 9: ITEMS FROM OTHER PRESSES
    See also Oversized Box 2
  • Box 6:
  • Prosectuses
  • A
  • B
  • C-F
  • G-H
  • Haldeman-Julius Company
  • L
  • M-P
  • People Watcher
  • R-S
  • Box 7:
  • T-Z and Unidentified
  • Series 10: MISCELLANEOUS
  • Box 7:
  • Announcement of the acquisition of the Prairie Press by C.H. Wendel
  • Keepsake from Goudy dinner
  • Parts of letter forms
  • Weddings, Anniversaries, funerals, etc.
  • General Miscellaneous
    Four folders
  • Series 11: PERIODICALS
  • Box 7:
  • A-O
  • Box 8:
  • P-Z
  • Series 12: PHOTOGRAPHS
  • Box 9:
  • Landscapes
  • Landscapes, large format
  • Miscellaneous
  • Boats, bridges, houses, and the circus
  • Machinery, trains
  • Large format and formal portraits
  • Carroll Coleman
  • Men
  • Men in uniform
  • Prairie Press
  • Wife and mother?
  • Women and children, groups
  • Series 13: THE PRAIRIE PRESS
  • Sub-Series: Printing Materials
  • Box 9:
  • Wood blocks
    See also Oversized Box 2
  • Artwork
    See also Oversized Box 2
  • Sub-Series: Miscellaneous Job Work
  • Box 9:
  • Job Work A-L
    See also Box 18
  • Box 10:
  • Job Work N-Z
  • Sub-Series: Job Work done for the University of Illinois Press
    See also Box 18
  • Box 10:
  • Allen, Herman
  • Book Jackets
  • Campbell, Christiana McFadyen
  • Diploma
  • Jackson, Donald
  • Johannsen, Robert
  • Menger, Carl
  • Nevins, Allan - Origins
  • Nevins, Allan - State Universities
  • Sub-Series: Books printed for the Prairie Press in chronological order by publication date
  • Box 10:
  • Contemporary Iowa Poets edited by Carroll Coleman - 1935
  • Elephants at War by Thomas Duncan - 1935
  • The Ballad of the Silver Ring by Don Farran - 1935
  • The Least of These by Jay Sigmund - 1935
  • What Laughing God by Whitelaw Saunders - 1936
  • A Cherokee Daughter of Mount Holyoke by Althea Bass - 1937
  • A Book Collector? How Come? by L.O. Cheever - 1937
  • Country Men by James Hearst - 1937
  • Lost Parade by Herbert Bruncken - 1938
  • Three Frontiers by Robert Pitzer - 1938
  • Atmosphere of Houses by August Derleth - 1939
  • The Friends by James Norman Hall - 1939
  • Oh, Millersville! by Fern Gravel (James Norman Hall) - 1940
  • Pages from Oh, Millersville! - 1940
  • Manuscript for Oh, Millersville! - 1940
  • Wrapper for Oh, Millersville! - 1940
  • Fern Gravel notices for Oh, Millersville! - 1940
  • Hall's confession for Oh, Millersville! - 1940
  • Renewal by Peal Hogrege - 1940
  • Hue and Cry by Herbert Bruncken - 1941
  • One Hundred Years of the Episcopal Church in Iowa City - 1941
  • Paradox in the Circle by Theodore Spencer - 1941
  • Four Poems for the New Year - 1942
  • Conference Poetry 1943 - 1943
  • XI Poems by Allan Swallow - 1943
  • A Businessman Looks at Books and Literature by Thomas Henry Foster - 1945
  • A Winter's Journey by Richard Hart - 1945
  • Some Natural Things by James Laughlin - 1945
  • The Unbought Grace of Life by Thomas Henry Foster - 1946
  • To a Faulty Lover by Carol Ealy Harper - 1946
  • Poems From Several Wildernesses by Meade Harwell - 1946
  • For the Unlost Josephine Jacobsen - 1946
  • Box 11:
  • Speaking for Scotland by Hugh McDairmid - 1946
  • XII Poems by Francis Coleman Rosenberger - 1946
  • The Time By Dialing by Myron Broomell - 1947
  • The Judge is Fury by J.V. Cunningham - 1947
  • Ego and the Centaur by Jean Garrigue - 1947
  • A Biographical Note of Senator Harley M. Kilgore by Francis Coleman Rosenberger - 1947
  • The Garden of the Brahman by Lawrence Ware - 1947
  • Wheel of Paper by Mary Owings Miller - 1948
  • The Lost Train by Wilbur Schramm - 1948
  • Galland's Iowa Immigrant - 1949
  • Ecclesiastes - 1951
  • Poems from the Iowa Poetry Workshop - 1951
  • In That Far Land by Mark Van Doren - 1951
  • Vignette in Prose by Emily Greene Balch - 1952
  • Brief Inheritance by Daniel Smythe - 1952
  • House of Moonlight by August Derleth - 1953
  • Mortal Summer by Mark van Doren - 1953
  • Arden America by Paul Engle - 1955
  • For the Iowa Dead by Paul Engle - 1956
  • The Coronary Club by Herbert Faulkner West - 1956
  • For a Hudson Biographer by Herbert Faulkner West - 1958
  • Francis Coleman Rosenberger: A List of Published Writingsm 1938-1958
    In Box 18
  • This Wound by August Derleth - 1962
  • Limited View by James Hearst - 1962
  • A Small Display of Old Maps and Plans by Walter Klinefelter - 1962
  • Five Stories by Frank Luther Mott - 1962
  • The Coronary Club by Herbert Faulkner West - 1962
  • Gauchos of the Pampas and Their Horses - 1963
  • Footsteps of Departure by Leslie Nelson Jennings - 1963
  • In the Iron Temple by Myron Broomell - 1964
  • North Winter by Hayden Carruth - 1964
  • Baxter's Procrustes by Charles Chesnutt - 1966
  • By Owl Light by August Derleth - 1967
  • A Single Focus by Hearst James - 1967
  • Poets Remembered by Ralph Hodgson - 1967
  • Walden Pond by August Derleth - 1968
  • Findings by Wendell Berry - 1969
  • Caitlin by August Derleth - 1969
  • The Clay Hill Anthology by Hayden Carruth - 1970
  • Sub-Series: Prairie Press General Materials
  • Box 11:
  • Unidentified proofs
  • Revised page proofs and galleys
  • Unidentified fragments
  • Illustrations for an unknown work
  • Title page for Prairie Press books
  • Manuscripts apparently not published by the Prairie Press
    Four folders
  • Box 12:
  • Manuscripts apparently not published by the Prairie Press continued
    Three folders
  • Dingbats in Coleman's collection
  • Prairie Press ephemera
  • The Golden Quill
  • The Pied Typer and The Spaulding Daily Poem
  • Prospectuses
    See also Box 18
  • Prairie Press miscellaneous
  • Sub-Series: Stationery and Press Forms
  • Box 12:
  • Envelopes
  • Memo forms
  • Press business forms
  • Stationery
  • Publicity for the Prairie Press
  • [Inventory of books on hand?]
  • Logos
  • Mailing Lists
  • Series 14: PRESENTATIONS BY COLEMAN
  • Box 12:
  • General
  • Two book reviews
  • Series 15: PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
  • Box 12:
  • Amateur Press Association (APA)
  • American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA)
    Three folders
  • Caxton Club
  • International Typographers Union
  • National Amateur Press Association (including bundles)
  • Society of Typographic Arts
  • State Historical Society of Iowa
  • Typophiles
  • Utah Amateur Press Club
  • Series 16: REALIA
  • Box 12:
  • Also see Box 18
  • Series 17: SUPPLIERS
  • Box 12:
  • Ink
  • Papers
  • Type
  • Series 18: MRS. CARROLL COLEMAN (GENEVIEVE)
  • Box 13:
  • Miscellaneous
  • Music Teaching Supplies
  • Recital Program
  • Three General Scrapbooks
  • Wedding Scrapbook
  • Social Obligations
  • Stationary
  • Series 19: COLEMAN AND THE PRAIRIE PRESS
  • Box 14:
  • Biographical Materials, Sunday School Diploma
  • Accounts and Finances - 1937
  • Accounts and Finances - 1941-1945
  • Clippings
  • Christmas card containing "The Birth of Jesus Christ According to the Gospel of Saint Luke: Chapter Two"
  • Midwestern Books Competition - 1958-1963
  • Fairbanks Home for Funerals Materials
  • The Lee Papers Frontis Materials
  • Programme for Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony - 1970
    Including frontis material and page proofs
  • Resolution for J.W. Mock
  • State University of Iowa Centennial Frontis Material - 1947
  • University of Illinois Brochures
  • Jay Sigmund Materials - 1935
  • Francis Coleman Rosenberger: A List of Published Writings - 1938-1958
    Including galley proofs and page proofs.
  • Other materials pertaining to the Press - Prairie Press Prospectuses
  • Prairie Press Broadsides
  • Dingbats in Coleman's collection?
  • Jackson, Donald. Johann Amberbach. Iowa City, IA: The Prairie Press - 1956
  • Portfolio: The Annual of the Graphic Arts
  • The Printing Art Quarterly (Autumn) - 1935
  • The Printing Art Quarterly (Second Quarter) - 1946
  • The Printing Art Quarterly (Volume 66, Number 4)
  • The Kluge Automatic Job Press Feeder Parts Catalog
  • Small metal implement
  • Rulers
  • Type blocks and other printing materials
    Two small boxes inside Box 14
  • Series 20: CASSETTES
  • Box 14:
  • Carroll Coleman interview at Coleman's house in Iowa City (Michael Peich), January 5th - 1983
  • Carroll Coleman interview, January 15th - 1984
    Two cassettes
  • Carroll Coleman interview with Michael Peich, January 7th - 1983
  • Carroll Coleman interview with Michael Peich, January 13th - 1982
  • Carroll Coleman interview with Michael Peich, January 6th and 7th - 1983
  • Carroll Coleman interview with Michael Peich at Carroll Coleman's house in Iowa City, January 6th - 1983
  • Series 21: SUPPLY CATALOGS
  • Box 15:
  • Miscellaneous Supply Catalogs
  • Box 16:
  • Miscellaneous Supply Catalogs
  • Box 17:
  • Miscellaneous Supply Catalogs
  • Box 18:
  • Miscellaneous Supply Catalogs
  • Series 22: OVERSIZED MATERIALS
  • Box 1:
  • Woodblocks
  • Artwork
  • Broadsides
  • Biographical Materials, Paul F. Cranefield
  • BSAC Gazette - 1904
  • Bulaways Observer - 1904
  • PRO Materials
  • Edmond's Report - 1924
  • Fox Report - 1903
  • Box 2:
  • Prairie Press Production Files, Scratchboard Image
  • Metal Printing Blocks
  • Scrapbooks
  • Broadsides
  • Series 23: INDEX TO COLEMAN CORRESPONDENCE
  • Sub-Series: Letters Recieved by Coleman
  • Box 1:
  • Abbe, George: 5-17-62.
  • Blumenthal, Walter Hart: 2-15-64, 2-24-64, 2-25-64, 2-27-64, 3-12-64, 3-14-64, 3-19-64, 4-4-64, 4-7-64, 4-17-64, 5-11-64, 5-18-64, 5-27-64, 8-18-64, 8-19-64, 10-12-64, 12-14-64, 3-12-65
  • Broomell, Myron H.: 11-22-61, 11-30-61, 12-22-61, 1-7-62, 3-14-62, 4-15-62, 6-24-62, 8-6-62, 10-1-62, 7-3-63, 5-22-64, 6-3-64, 8-14-64, 10-15-64, 10-17-64, 10-24-64, 10-29-64, 11-64, 12-15-64, 12-27-64, 1-13-65, 5-9-65
  • Carruth, Hayden: 10-14-61, 10-22-61, 11-28-61, 12-23-61, 12-29-61, 1-5-62, 1-13-62, 1-20-62, 4-18-62, 7-9-62, 7-12-62, 7-18-62, 9-12-62, 9-24-62, 10-24-62, 12-1-62, 12-10-62, 12-20-62, 12-27-62, 1-2-63, 1-9-63, 1-18-63, 1-28-63, 4-12-63, 4-23-63, 5-18-63, 5-23-63, 6-10-63, 7-2-63, 7-20-63, 8-19-63, 12-22-63, 1-3-64, 1-22-64, 3-5-64, 3-6-64, 3-23-64, 3-25-64, 4-9-64, 4-17-64, 5-25-64, 6-12-64, 7-2-64, 7-7-64, 7-21-64, 7-22-64, 7-31-64, 8-7-64, 8-13-64, 8-22-64, 9-9-64, 9-10-64, 9-17-64, 9-24-64, 9-26-64, 10-6-64, 10-12-64, 10-28-64, 11-2-64, 11-22-64, 11-23-64, 11-29-64, 12-4-64, 12-10-64, 1-2-65, 1-7-65, 1-19-65, 2-6-65, 2-7-65, 2-11-65, 3-13-65, 5-10-65, 10-17-76
  • Catich, E.M.: 11-10-53, 11-11-61, 12-61 (2), 1-62, 2-7-62, 2-9-62, 8-19-64, 2-23-65, 2-27-65, 3-31-65
  • Derleth, August: 3-23-53, 9-23-53, 6-8-55, 10-28-55, 12-5-55, 1-16-56, 11-30-56, 12-15-56, 12-21-56, 12-27-56, 1-2-57, 1-14-57, 1-26-57, 3-7-57, 9-16-57, 10-17-57
  • Frederick, John T.: 12-1-62, 4-4-63, 4-4-65
  • Hancher, Virgil M.: 12-2-55, 6-27-61, 6-30-61, 2-5-63, 2-14-63, 6-25-63
  • Hearst, James: 7-6-61, 9-17-61, 9-25-61, 11-5-61, 12-23-61, 12-28-61, 3-19-62, 3-29-62, 5-18-62, 5-23-62, 7-29-62, 9-7-62, 9-11-62, 9-30-62, 10-24-62, 11-13-62, 12-9-62, 3-7-63, 4-16-63, 4-25-63, 5-10-63, 7-15-63, 7-19-63, 7-26-63, 10-2-63, 10-11-63, 2-21-64, 6-15-64, 8-17-64, 1-29-65
  • Holmes, John: 11-17-57
  • Kreymborg, Alfred: 5-15-57
  • Levertov, Denise: 7-15-64
  • Mott, Frank Luther: 1-3-57, 5-11-61, 2-8-62, 3-30-62, 5-26-62, 10-7-62, 10-19-62, 10-30-62, 1962, 4-22-63, 5-7-63, 1963, and 3 undated
  • Penningroth, Louis P.: 6-30-61
  • Penningworth, Ethel Blythe: 10-62
  • Roseliep, Raymond: 7-9-64
  • Spingarn, Lawrence P.: 2-23-64
  • Swallow, Alan: 10-19-50 (2), 10-29-50, 4-19-54, 9-27-56, 12-3-56, 12-12-56 (2), 3-19-57, 9-29-61, 5-25-63, 10-31-63, and four undated
  • Swenson, May: 4-30-53
  • Whicher, George Meason: undated
  • Wiggins, Florence Roe: 1-10-63, 1-26-63, 2-18-63, 2-22-64, 3-24-64
  • Sub-Series: Letters Sent by Coleman
  • Box 1:
  • Brilliant,Alan: 3-28-69.
  • Thompson, Robert: 2-26-64, 6-64, four items with no dates.
  • Wulling, Emerson: 9-24-64, 11-19-64, 1-11-65, 6-19-75, 7-6-75, 8-6-75, 4-1-81, 3-23-82, 7-112-85, 1-15-88.