Meet our Fall Intern: Dan Dicriscia

September 26, 2017 Leave a comment

dan about me imgHello faithful Oak Knoll blog readers! My name is Dan and I will be your beloved intern this fall. I am a current senior at the University of Delaware and I major in (you guessed it) English, my concentration in professional writing. In my time as an undergrad I’ve studied all kinds of writing, from professional, to creative, to writing lines of HTML code, and through all of the coursework I’ve done I’ve learned, if it is not a number, I can handle it fairly well. Oak Knoll was an unknown place to me until a professor of mine pointed me in the direction of the quaint bookstore in old New Castle. I walked into the shop not long after, and I was sold before I even sat down for the interview. I’ve read my fair share of non-fiction; however, books about books never appealed to me until I saw the shelves and boxes full of titles that piqued my interest the same way a new song from my favorite artist does when it comes on the radio. During my time as an intern, I also hope to learn as much as I can about the publishing portion of Oak Knoll being that it is nothing short of an enigma to me. One day, as I continue to tone my writing muscles, I hope to publish my own work, so I will be basking in this experience and soaking in as much knowledge as I can.

I fill almost all of the short amount of time I have away from school and work with music. After graduation, I plan on finding a career that combines my writing skills with my unwavering adoration of music. I’ve been a guitarist for close to 13 years, and dived headfirst into the musical world since the beginning, trying my hand at anything from drums to piano. You can also find me, on any given day, rooting for whatever Philadelphia sports team is in season, playing Super Smash Bros, or hiking a trail with some pretty views.

I am nothing short of eager to begin the adventure I’ll be setting out on at Oak Knoll. It has been just one day and I already feel a great sense of camaraderie among the staff here, and I look forward to writing, proofreading, photo-taking, and of course getting coffee for my new co-workers during my time here.

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The TLS Reviews “A Publishing History of a Prohibited Best-Seller”

July 22, 2017 Leave a comment

We could hardly have hoped for a more positive review! (See our listing HERE.)

“Collectors, booksellers, cultural historians and librarians are the target audience of Robert Thake’s scrupulous, meticulous, sumptuously produced and painstakingly researched biography of a book: the abbé de Vertot’s history of the Knights Hos­pitallers of St John of Jerusalem. . . . Thake is omniscient and his lusciously illustrated book a model of scholarship.”  — David Coward

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Our 2017 Publishing and Distribution Catalogue is now available!

July 11, 2017 Leave a comment


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Authors and other friends at the New York Antiquarian Book Fair

March 12, 2017 Leave a comment

Robert Thake (A Publishing History of a Prohibited Bestseller), Michael Broomfield (bibliographies of Robinson Jeffers and John Updike), Jamie Kamph (Tricks of the Trade), Jenny Hille (Endbands from East to West), and Rob Fleck with Gaylord Schanilec, fine press printer and engraver.

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Oak Knoll at CODEX and the California Antiquarian Book Fair

February 17, 2017 Leave a comment

Rob and Matthew exhibited at the 6th biennial CODEX Book Fair (see slide show on the CODEX website) and attended the celebratory dinner at the Berkeley City Club. Two days later they exhibited at the 45th California International Antiquarian Book Fair (see video: Eric Idle of Monty Python fame was there!). They returned exhilarated and exhausted… and perhaps not firing on all cylinders the first days back. The New York Antiquarian Book Fair is next!

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The Culture of Printing, Design, and Bookselling in Havana

January 25, 2017 Leave a comment

Guest post by David Sellers of Pied Oxen Printers

While visiting Cuba in December I came across several places in Havana’s Old Town (Habana Vieja) related to printing, graphic design and book-dealing. Taller Experimental de Grafica de la Habana (Callejon del Chorio) has a nice collection of old etching and lithographic presses and, most interesting, a c.1830s French iron hand-press.  A 10-15 minute walk away is a restaurant named La Imprenta (Calle Mercaderes, 208), located in the former premises of a printing shop, with printing presses and bookbinding equipment in situ. Some of the restaurant’s chair backs are stenciled with information about typefaces, and stools are in the shape of letters. Another 5-10 minute walk leads to the palm tree lined Plaza de Armas, with its statue of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, an early fighter for Cuban independence. The plaza also serves as Havana’s second-hand book market, with stalls cheek by jowl on all four sides of the square. Another 10-15 minute walk in the direction of central Havana is a bookstore named Librería Fayad Jamís (Obispo 261), whose window had a very eclectic list of authors stenciled on its glass, including Hemingway, Cicero, Mayakovsky, Byron and Trotsky, among others. Note: While it’s easier to travel to Cuba at the moment, U. S. citizens must qualify for a general license (requiring only self-certification) or obtain a special license (a more time-consuming application process). Tourism is still not allowed.

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‘Prohibited Best-Seller’ arrives in Malta… and New Castle!

December 16, 2016 Leave a comment

Author Robert Thake celebrated the publication of our latest book, A Publishing History of a Prohibited Best-Seller with local distributor Oliver Gatt of BDL Books in San Gwann, Malta yesterday. We’re also celebrating in New Castle, Delaware, USA… congratulations, Robert!

This fascinating book concerns the Abbé de Vertot’s Histoire de Malte, first published in four quarto volumes in 1726, the most notorious example of a book whose enormous popular success was due almost entirely to its being banned by the Vatican. Robert has identified  more than 120 editions, most from the 18th century, from bibliographic research conducted in archives and libraries in Malta, France, Italy, Holland, Switzerland, and England.


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