Norman Press Records

Dates: 1878-1965
Size: 1.5 linear feet
Repository: Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center, Special Collections, 400 S. State Street, Chicago, IL 60605
Collection Number: SPE: NPC
Provenance: Provenance unknown.
Access: No restrictions. Researchers, please request this material 24 hours in advance of use.
Citation: When quoting material from this collection the preferred citation is: Norman Press Records, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections, Chicago Public Library

Historical Note

The Norman Press Records consist of material produced by, or in conjunction with, the Norman Press, the Black Cat Press or Norman Forgue: bookmaker, typographer and founder of the above private presses. The collection includes keepsakes, booklets, printed advertising and promotional material, greeting cards and correspondence.

The Black Cat Press was established in 1933 by Norman Forgue to create nicely designed and printed books. Mr. Forgue designed and printed many of the items in this collection himself. The quality of the typography, the selection of copywriters and illustrators, and the paper used to produce the keepsakes, advertisements and cards are representative of Mr. Forgue's philosophy of the private press and printing:

"To me the making of a book is something more than merely fine printing and faultlessly made, luxurious binding. Such are the materials of the craft. It is my belief that there is an implicit relationship between the content, typeface, illustrations and paper. And lastly, the 'robe of honor,' the binding, must 'bespeak the soul beneath."'

Related Materials

The following are additional books and information on private presses in the United States. All items are available in the Special Collections Department.

    • Haas, Irwin. Bibliography of American Presses. Chicago: The Black Cat Press, 1935
    • Northern Illinois University, DeKalb. Libraries. The Private Press in the Midwest: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin. DeKalb: Northern Illinois University, [1973].
    • Cave, Roderick. The Private Press. New York: Watson-Guptill Publishers, [1971].
    • Cave, Roderick. The Private Press. Second Edition. New York: R.R. Bowker, 1983.

Arrangement

Box 1 Keepsakes and Booklets, 1899-1943
Box 2 Keepsakes and Booklets, 1944-
Box 3 Printed Promotional Material

Container List

Keepsakes and Booklets, 1899-1943

Box 1 Folder 1 Chicago: The Norman Press, undated. Christmas, taken from the sketchbook by Washington Irving.
Box 1 Folder 2 Chicago: The Norman Press, undated. Christmas Day, taken from the sketchbook by Washington Irving.
Box 1 Folder 3 Chicago: The Norman Press, undated. The Christmas Tree.
Box 1 Folder 4 Chicago: The Norman Press, undated. O. Henry. Gift of the Magi.
Box 1 Folder 5 Chicago: The Norman Press, undated. Herzog, William. Democracy and Interpretation.
Box 1 Folder 6 East Aurora, NY: The Roycrofters, 1899. Hubbard, Elbert. A Message to Garcia.
Box 1 Folder 7 Boston: The Carl H. Heintzemann Press, 1900, Kipling, Rudyard. The Absent Minded Beggar.
Box 1 Folder 8 East Aurora, NY: The Roycrofters, 1916. Hubbard, Elbert. A Message to Garcia.
Box 1 Folder 9 East Aurora, NY: The Roycrofters, 1917. Hubbard, Elbert. A Message to Garcia.
Box 1 Folder 10 Cedar Rapids, IA: The Torch Press, 1922. Hunt, Leigh. Ballads of Robin Hood.
Box 1 Folder 11 Plaistow, England: Faber & Gwyer, The Curwen Press, [1927]. De la Mare, Walter. "Alone"; The Ariel Poems, #4.
Box 1 Folder 12 Plaistow, England: Faber & Gwyer, The Curwen Press, [1927]. Gibson, Alfred. "The Early Whistler"; The Ariel Poems, #6.
Box 1 Folder 13 Plaistow, England: Faber & Gwyer, The Curwen Press, [1927]. Chesterton, G.K. "Gloria in Profundis"; The Ariel Poems, #5.
Box 1 Folder 14 Plaistow, England: Faber & Gwyer, The Curwen Press, [1927]. Woolf, Henry. "The Linnet's Nest"; The Ariel Poems, #2.
Box 1 Folder 15 Plaistow, England: Faber & Gwyer, The Curwen Press, [1927]. Sassoon, Siegfried. "Nativity''; The Ariel Poems, #7.
Box 1 Folder 16 Plaistow, England: Faber & Gwyer, The Curwen Press, [1927]. Binyon, Laurence. "The Wonder Night"; The Ariel Poems, #3.
Box 1 Folder 17 Chicago: The Black Cat Press, 1937. Forgue, Madeline. Beaten to a Pulp.
Box 1 Folder 18 Chicago: The Black Cat Press, 1937. Who are the Twelve Greatest Women?
Box 1 Folder 19 Chicago: The Black Cat Press, 1940. Bullen, Henry Louis. Civilization Rests on Printing.
Box 1 Folder 20 Chicago: R.R. Donnelley & Sons [prepared for the Society of Typographic Arts], 1938. Mangan, James T. Design.
Box 1 Folder 21 Chicago: The Black Cat Press, 1938. On the Return of a Book Lent to a Friend.
Box 1 Folder 22 Chicago: The Black Cat Press [for the Society of Typographic Arts], 1938. "A Toast to Women" by Rembrandt Van Rijn.
Box 1 Folder 23 Illinois Typesetters, 1939. O'Brien, Howard Vincent. Art & Trade. [Design and typography by Norman Forgue.]
Box 1 Folder 24 Chicago: The House of Ryder, 1939. Lutner, Louis. The Greater Love.
Box 1 Folder 25 Chicago: The Black Cat Press, 1939. He's Nothing but a Little Boy.
Box 1 Folder 26 Chicago: The Black Cat Press, 1939. Klinefelter, Walter. Illustrations in Miniature.
Box 1 Folder 27 Chicago: Chicago Club of Printing House Craftsmen, 1939. McMurtrie, Douglas C. Some Facts Concerning the Invention of Printing.
Box 1 Folder 28 Illinois Typesetters, 1939. Hearn, Lafcadio. When I Was a Flower.
Box 1 Folder 29 Chicago: Privately printed [The Norman Press], 1940. [Forgue] Stephany, Before I Forget.
Box 1 Folder 30 Chicago: The Norman Press, 1941. Fullerton, David. Who's Gonna Read It?
Box 1 Folder 31 Chicago: The Norman Press, 1941, Nusbaum, Carla. Why Do I Call You Friend.
Box 1 Folder 32 Chicago: The Norman Press, [1942]. What's a Flag?; from a New York Times editorial, June 14, 1940.
Box 1 Folder 33 Cincinnati, OH: Smith Book Company, 1943. Pipp, Washington J.V. The Atrocities of Book Collecting and Kindred Afflictions.
Box 1 Folder 34 Chicago: The Norman Press, 1943. Thoreau, Henry David, Excerpts from "Writings on Liberty."

Keepsakes and Booklets, 1944-

Box 2 Folder 1 Chicago: The Norman Press, 1945. [Otis Arthur Frederic, Jr.], Forever Nineteen.
Box 2 Folder 2 Beauvoir County, MS: The Book Farm, 1945. George D. Smith, Gentleman Bookseller, 1870-1920.
Box 2 Folder 3 Chicago: The Norman Press, 1946. Benjamin Franklin: 1706-1790, prepared by the Graphic Arts Group of the Kiwanis Club of Chicago.
Box 2 Folder 4 Chicago: Privately printed [The Norman Press], 1946. Bligh, Buddy. In a Low Voice.
Box 2 Folder 5 The Norman Press, 1948. Forgue, Norman, R. Hunter Middleton, Myron Monson, Jr., and Will Ransom. Tributes: FWG [Frederick W. Goudy].
Box 2 Folder 6 Chicago: The Norman Press, 1949. Zara Louis. Our Lady of Mercy.
Box 2 Folder 7 California: Wayside Press Printing, 1950. Picture of a Period, or Memories of the Gay Nineties..., told by Will Bradley.
Box 2 Folder 8 Chicago: The Norman Press, 1951. Zara, Louis. The Santa Who Was Late.
Box 2 Folder 9 Los Angeles: William M. Cheney, 1953. Zeitlin, Jake. This I Believe.
Box 2 Folder 10 Chicago: At the Sign of the Gargoyle, 1954. Three Hundred & Sixty-Five Days.
Box 2 Folder 11 East Aurora, NY: The House of Hubbard, 1955. Hubbard, Elbert. A Message to Garcia; Memorial Edition.
Box 2 Folder 12 Chicago: At the Sign of the Gargoyle, 1956. Harris, Carla. The Man in the Smock.
Box 2 Folder 13 Hervin, IL: Trovillion Press, 1956. Trovillion, Hal. Two from the Book.
Box 2 Folder 14 Philadelphia, PA: Curtis Publishing Company, 1965. The Immortal Words of Winston Churchill.
Box 2 Folder 15 West Branch, IA: The Toothpaste Press, 1976. Kornblum, Cinda. Bandwagon.

Printed Promotional Material

Box 3 Folder 1 Advertisement, undated. [Chicago: The Norman Press]. Arabesque Permanent Wave. Albert's Beauty Salon.
Box 3 Folder 2 Advertisement, undated. East Aurora, NY: The House of Hubbard. Envelope Stuffers.
Box 3 Folder 3 Announcement, undated. [Chicago: American Academy of Art], Course in Advertising Typography at the American Academy of Art, by Norman Forgue.
Box 3 Folder 4 Announcement, undated. [Chicago: The Norman Press]. Photography Exhibit: Nowell Ward The Georgian Bookshop, June 15 -July 15, [no year]
Box 3 Folder 5 Handbill, undated. [Chicago: The Norman Press]. Are you Prepared for Christmas?
Box 3 Folder 6 Prospectus, undated. Chicago: The Norman Press. Highlights in American History # 1: Christopher Columbus.
Box 3 Folder 7 Prospectus, undated. Chicago: The Norman Press, Highlights in American History #2: John Cabot.
Box 3 Folder 8 Prospectus, undated. [Chicago: Stephany Records]. Stephany Records.
Box 3 Folder 9 Report, 1878. Chicago: Beach, Barnard & Company. Report of the Permanent Committee appointed by the Mayor's Convention..., 1878.
Box 3 Folder 10 Statement of facts, 1884. New York: Judson Printing Company. National Republican Convention. Statement of Facts in support of George B. Deane and Frederick S. Gibbs. June 3. 1884.
Box 3 Folder 11 Advertisement, [1933]. Chicago: The Black Cat Press. Purity Flour: Letter from Jennie C. Bishop, June 22, [1933].
Box 3 Folder 12 Catalog, 1934. Chicago: The Black Cat Press. Purrings.
Box 3 Folder 13 Catalog, 1936. Chicago: The Black Cat Press. Purrings.
Box 3 Folder 14 Off-print, 1936. [New York: Columbia University Press]. Rare Books in the University by Helmut Lehmann-Haupt; reprinted from the Columbia University Quarterly, September 1936.
Box 3 Folder 15 Catalog, 1937. Chicago: The Black Cat Press. The Black Cat Press Publishers Catalog, March 1937.
Box 3 Folder 16 Catalog, 1937. Chicago: The Black Cat Press. Purrings.
Box 3 Folder 17 Prospectus, 1937. Chicago: The Black Cat Press. A Philosophy of Ethics by Dale Nichols.
Box 3 Folder 18 Prospectus, [1937]. Chicago: The Black Cat Press. The Princess on the Pea, The Golden Fleece and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.
Box 3 Folder 19 Catalog, [1938]. Chicago: The Black Cat Press. Purrings.
Box 3 Folder 20 Catalog, [1938]. Chicago: The Black Cat Press. Purrings, [Fall, 1938].
Box 3 Folder 21 Announcement, 1939. Chicago: The Norman Press. Announcing formation of The Norman Press.
Box 3 Folder 22 Greeting card, 1939. Chicago: The Norman Press. A Greeting to Frederick W. Goudy on his Birthday from The Immortals.
Box 3 Folder 23 Greeting card, 1939. [Chicago: The Norman Press]. Keeping Christmas.
Box 3 Folder 24 Catalog, 1940. s.n. The Georgian Bookshop
Box 3 Folder 25 Catalog, [1941]. Chicago: The Black Cat Press. Purrings.
Box 3 Folder 26 Prospectus, [1941]. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. A History of Stone & Kimball and Herbert S. Stone & Company by Sidney Kramer.
Box 3 Folder 27 Advertisement, [1942]. Chicago: The Norman Press. Dear Diary, November 2-November 21, [1942].
Box 3 Folder 28 Advertisement, [1943]. Chicago: The Norman Press. Dear Diary, January 20-February 27, [1943].
Box 3 Folder 29 Advertisement, [1943]. Chicago: The Norman Press, Dear Diary, March 3-April4, [1943].
Box 3 Folder 30 Advertisement, [1943]. Chicago: The Norman Press. Dear Diary, April 9-May 6, [1943].
Box 3 Folder 31 Advertisement, [1943]. Chicago: The Norman Press. Dear Diary, May 11-July 3, [1943].
Box 3 Folder 32 Advertisement, [1943]. Chicago: The Norman Press. Dear Diary, [November, 1943].
Box 3 Folder 33 Advertisement, [1943]. Chicago: The Norman Press. Dear Diary, December 7, [1943]-January 14, [1944].
Box 3 Folder 34 Greeting card, 1943, Chicago: The Norman Press. Norman Press Christmas greeting card.
Box 3 Folder 35 Prospectus, 1943. Chicago: At the Sign of the Gargoyle. Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.
Box 3 Folder 36 Advertisement, [1944]. Chicago: The Norman Press. The Norman Press.
Box 3 Folder 37 Announcement, 1944. [Chicago: The Society of Typographic Arts]. The Society of Typographic Arts Presents Norman Forgue: The Private Press.
Box 3 Folder 38 Announcement, [1944]. Chicago: The Norman Press. Norman Press vacation announcement.
Box 3 Folder 39 Greeting card, 1944. Chicago: The Norman Press. Christmas greeting card.
Box 3 Folder 40 Announcement, [1945]. Chicago: The Norman Press. Norman Press vacation announcement.
Box 3 Folder 41 Greeting card, 1945. Chicago: The Norman Press. Christmas greeting card.
Box 3 Folder 42 Announcement, [1946]. Chicago: The Norman Press. Doug Rader joins The Norman Press.
Box 3 Folder 43 Announcement, [1946]. Chicago: The Norman Press. Norman Press vacation announcement.
Box 3 Folder 44 Announcement, [1947]. Chicago: The Norman Press. Norman Press vacation announcement.
Box 3 Folder 45 Greeting card, [1949]. Chicago: The Norman Press. Christmas greeting card.
Box 3 Folder 46 Invitation, [1949]. [Chicago: The Norman Press]. Albert's Beauty Salon.
Box 3 Folder 47 Greeting card, [1952]. Chicago: The Norman Press. Christmas greeting card.
Box 3 Folder 48 Handbill, [1952]. [Chicago: The Norman Press]. Allen's: Apparel for the Smart Woman.
Box 3 Folder 49 Greeting card, [1954]. [Chicago: The Norman Press]. Christmas greeting card.
Box 3 Folder 50 Greeting card, [1955]. [Chicago: The Norman Press]. Christmas greeting card.
Box 3 Folder 51 Greeting card, [1956]. [Chicago: The Norman Press]. Christmas greeting card.
Box 3 Folder 52 LP [Record], [1957]. Chicago: Stephany Records. "'Warm Red Wine"/"Easy Come Kisses" by Sonny Jason.
Box 3 Folder 53 Typed letter [carbon], 1 p.; [1957]. Lloyd E. Siberell to Norman Forgue.
Box 3 Folder 54 Typed letter [carbon], 1 p.; August 23, 1957. [Lloyd E. Siberell] to Norman Forgue.
Box 3 Folder 55 Typed letter [carbon], 1 p.; November 7, 1957. Lloyd E. Siberell to Norman Forgue.
Box 3 Folder 56 Typed letter signed, 1 p.; November 27, 1957. Norman Forgue to Lloyd E. Siberell.
Box 3 Folder 57 Newsletter, 1958. Chicago: Stephany Records. Stephany Records Newsletter, February 1958.
Box 3 Folder 58 Typed letter [carbon], 1 p.; February 11, 1958. [Lloyd E. Siberell] to Norman Forgue.
Box 3 Folder 59 Typed letter [carbon], 1 p.; June 23, 1960. Lloyd E. Siberell to Norman Forgue.
Box 3 Folder 60 Greeting card, [1963], [Chicago: The Norman Press] Christmas greeting card.

The Special Collections Department holds the following items published by The Black Cat Press, The Norman Press or their subsidiaries.

  • . . .America [From Of Time and the River]. Chicago: The Norman Press, 1942.
  • Arabian Nights. Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. Chicago: At the Sign of the Gargoyle, 1943
  • Concidine, J. Francis. I am the American Negro. Chicago: The Black Cat Press, 1937.
  • Concidine, J. Francis. Singing Rails. Chicago: The Black Cat Press, 1934.
  • Dickens, Charles. A Christmas Carol in Prose. Chicago: Privately printed by the Norman Press, undated
  • FWG. An Appreciation. . . July 23, 1938. Chicago: The Black Cat Press, 1938.
  • Fisher, A. Hugh. Jemshid in Exile and Other Poems. Chicago: The Black Cat Press, 1937.
  • Foreman, Grant. The Adventures of James Collier: First Collector of the Port of San Francisco. Chicago: The Black Cat Press, 1937.
  • Forgue, Norman. Poorer Richard: An Almanac Long After Franklin. Chicago: Privately printed for the Black Cat Press, 1954,
  • Gallienne, Wilfred Hanford. Let Shakespeare Speak. The Norman Press, undated
  • Gemon, Blaine Brooks. Lincoln in the Political Circus. The Black Cat Press, 1936.
  • Gems of Thought, Wisdom & Inspiration, compiled by Walter Norman May. Chicago: The Norman Press, 1965.
  • Hartman, Frank E. The Sonnets of Frank E. Hartman. Chicago: The Black Cat Press, 1934.
  • A History of Stone & Kimball and Herbert S. Stone & Company. Chicago: The Norman Press, 1940.
  • Ingersoll, Chester. Overland to California in 1847. Chicago: The Black Cat Press, 1937.
  • Klinefelter, Walter. Books About Poictesme. Chicago: The Black Cat Press, 1937.
  • Klinefelter, Walter. Ex libris Conan Doyle. Chicago: The Black Cat Press, 1938.
  • Lincoln Group Papers, edited for the Literary Group by Douglas C. McMurtrie. 2 v. Chicago: The Black Cat Press, 1936-1945.
  • Mangan, James T. Learn to Write. Chicago: The Black Cat Press, [1937].
  • Nichols, Dale. A Philosophy of Esthetics. Chicago: The Black Cat Press, 1938.
  • Paul, Louis. The Man Who Left Home. Chicago: The Black Cat Press, 1938.
  • The Quick Brown Fox: A Chap Book. Chicago: At the Sign of the Gargoyle, 1945.
  • Starrett, Vincent. Essay on Limited Editions. Chicago: The Black Cat Press, 1939.
  • Todrin, Boris. The Room by the River. Chicago: The Black Cat Press, 1936.
Print