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Spiral Press Collection

Identifier: CSC-0072

Scope and Contents

The Spiral Press Collection contains material printed by the Spiral Press, either as job work or fine press publications. Materials included in the collection: book jackets, brochures, business cards, certificates and forms christmas cards, corporate publications and annuals, exhibition ephemera, such as flyers and catalogs, letterheads and envelopes, limited edition books, particularily relating to Robert Frost.


  • Creation: 1928-1971


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

The Spiral Press was a fine press founded by American printer Joseph Blumenthal in 1926. In addition to printing limited edition publications for clients, the press also printed ephemera like invitations, bookplates, and stationery to supplement the fine presswork. The Spiral Press also did typographic work for larger publishers such as Random House and Henry Holt, designing jackets and book release advertisements. Blumenthal also designed a typeface, Emerson, for use at the Press. The Press served a variety of institutional clients, such as the Pierpont Morgan Library, The New School, Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Knoedler Art Galleries, American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the American Institute of Graphic Arts. The Spiral Press also published limited editions for the poet Robert Frost, and worked closely with artists such as Ben Shahn, Antonio Frasconi, and Fritz Eichenberg. Blumenthal closed the press in 1971.


7.88 Linear Feet (18 document boxes, 3 oversize boxes)




The Spiral Press Collection contains ephemera printed by the Spiral Press for various clients, both personal and corporate. Collection is organized by client, and then by genre. Objects include stationery, publications, book jackets, advertising materials, exhibition catalogs, and Christmas cards.


The collection is organized into two series: I. Printed Ephemera by Client; and II. Graphic Work by Genre. Collection is arranged alphabetically, then chronologically.


  • Blumenthal, Joseph. The Spiral Press through Four Decades, an Exhibition of Books and Ephemera. New York: Pierpont Morgan Library, 1966.
  • Blumenthal, Joseph. Typographic Years: A Printer's Journey through a Half-century, 1925-1975. New York: F.C. Beil, 1982.
  • Cronenwett, Philip N., and Jerry Kelly. The Spiral Press, 1926-1971: A Bibliographical Checklist. New York: American Printing History Association, 2002.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Lauren Alberque, October 2015.

Finding aid encoded by Lauren Alberque, October 2015.

Spiral Press Collection
In Progress
Cary Special Collections
Lauren Alberque
19 October 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Cary Graphic Arts Collection Repository

Rochester NY 14623 US
(585) 475-2408