“Victoria” is focused on the Great Exhibition for the finale this Sunday. Don’t miss it, and don’t miss our book on the photography of that event!

February 28, 2019 Leave a comment

As fans of “Victoria” on PBS Masterpiece, we were pleased to note that the season 3 finale focuses on the 1851 Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, held in the magnificent “Crystal Palace” erected in Hyde Park for that event.

See the preview HERE.

We worried that the show had skipped over the Great Exhibition when they focused on the London cholera outbreak of 1854 a few episodes back. Apparently they were just taking poetic license with the chronology in order to end with a bang on Albert’s great contribution and the historic event itself.

If you’re a fan of the show, or interested in the Victorian period, check out Anthony Hamber’s groundbreaking study of the photographic record, Photography and the 1851 Great Exhibition, published in 2018 by Oak Knoll Press and V&A Publishing.

The Great Exhibition was the genesis of the Victoria and Albert Museum. Published in part to to accompany the opening of the V&A Photography Centre, this book makes extensive use of the V&A collections and archival material related to the 1851 Great Exhibition.

“Any student of early photography — or of the international exposition housed in the famous Crystal Palace in London — will covet this magisterial work of careful scholarship and beautiful bookmaking.”

— Michael Dirda,
The Washington Post

Now at a special price through Sunday, March 10. Click HERE.

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In the NY Times, Simon Critchley explores the mysteries of Athens with Kostas Staikos as guide, (while Oak Knoll holds a Staikos sale)…

February 21, 2019 Leave a comment

Konstantinos Sp. Staikos has been an authority on the history of the library for over 30 years and has had a close relationship with Oak Knoll Press, publishing 18 titles with us since 2000. He is featured in Simon Critchley’s opinion series for the New York Times, “The Stone,” as Critchley’s expert guide in three columns headed “Athens in Pieces”: “The Art of Memory” (Jan. 30), “The Stench of the Academy” (Feb. 6), and “In Aristotle’s Garden” (Feb. 18.). (Click HERE to read the articles.)

(Coincidentally — I promise! — we are having a one-week sale of the remarkable books authored by Staikos and published with Oak Knoll, at discounts up to 50% off. Browse the sale HERE.)

Critchley’s third column ends, “I saw the ground was littered with tiny delicate snail shells, no bigger than a fingernails, scattered like empty scholars’ backpacksMy partner gave me one, and I put it in my pocket. I had it on my desk right in front of me as I was writing this. Inadvertently, I crushed it to pieces under the weight of one of Mr. Staikos’s huge tomes on the history of libraries. There’s probably a moral in this, but it escapes me.”


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A Discovery on the Josef Halfer Assembly Line

February 10, 2019 Leave a comment

As intern Erin Evans and I were tipping in swatches created by Dick Wolfe for Josef Halfer and the Revival of the Art of Marbling Paper, we came across a Chevron pattern swatch with a “recipe” on the back in Dick’s hand. We sit down once a week to complete a few dozen more copies, carefully inserting 17 unique swatches in each. We’re making good progress and will have them all done soon, keeping an eye out for any more notes as we go.

– Matthew

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The new Oak Knoll Press publishing catalogue is online!

December 6, 2018 Leave a comment

PubCat-2018-coverOur new publishing and distribution catalogue is out, with exciting new and recent titles from Oak Knoll Press and our distribution partners, including (among others) the Grolier Club, The Cotsen Children’s Library, Penn Libraries, the Center for Book Arts, the Smithsonian, and CODEX.

Featured new Oak Knoll Press titles: Photography and the 1851 Great Exhibition by Anthony Hamber (co-published with the V&A); Robert Granjon, letter-cutter by Hendrik Vervliet; Monique Lallier: A Retrospective (co-published with Guilford College Art Gallery); the Oak Knoll Fest XX Portfolio; and Richard Wolfe’s final two projects: Josef Halfer and the Revival of the Art of Marbling Paper and the new edition of Marbled Paper: Its History, Techniques and Patterns.

To browse the entire catalogue online or as a PDF, click here.


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Forthcoming from Oak Knoll Press!

September 18, 2018 Leave a comment


Available for order now, ships in October…




Photography and the 1851 Great Exhibition by Anthony Hamber, published with the Victoria & Albert Museum publishing division, is the first comprehensive study of the seminal gathering of photographs and photographic equipment that marked the global launch of the form. Click HERE for more information.









Monique Lallier: A Retrospective is the catalogue for a forthcoming exhibition at the Guilford College Art Gallery in Greensboro, NC (October 29, 2018 to January 6, 2019). “A prolific and endlessly inventive designer with flawless technical mastery…” (Theresa Hammond, Director and Curator). Click HERE for more information.

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Meet Interns Erin and Sarah!

August 3, 2018 Leave a comment


Erin Evans

I am a rising senior English major at the University of Delaware with minors in Business, Journalism, and Political Science. I have studied a variety of subjects ranging from Shakespeare and British epic poems to marketing and the design of online information. I enjoy creative writing courses on poetry and have participated as a fiction editor in the student literary magazine Caesura.

As a student considering a career in publishing, what better place to intern than one specializing in “books about books”? As a Delaware native, I have always appreciated the beauty of old New Castle, and I believe the history of the area is not only evident in Oak Knoll’s unique home, but also in the books housed within.

From the moment I walked through the door, I was in awe of the surrounding shelves of beauty and knowledge. I have gained a better understanding of the world of bookselling and publishing through my work at Oak Knoll!

Sarah Smith

I am a rising junior at the University of Delaware, majoring in English with minors in History and Linguistics. I have focused my coursework on poetry, British and American history, and English linguistics.

I began playing the violin as a child, and early on I realized that my heart belonged in two worlds: literature and music. When my family visited historical sites along the East Coast, I gravitated towards antique books. I began my own small collection of poetry, which now includes Tennyson’s works published in 1878 and an edition of Cyrano de Bergerac in French.

I arrived at Old New Castle and recalled being here as a child. Upon entering Oak Knoll for the first time, I was greeted by many books and a friendly pup. I knew then that I was in the right place. I met a remarkable family here, their chemistry creating a comfortable atmosphere for a newcomer eager to learn about the bookseller and publishing business.


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Marbled Paper by Richard J. Wolfe is back in print!

July 8, 2018 Leave a comment


When first published in 1990 by the University of Pennsylvania in connection with the A. S. W. Rosenbach Fellowship in Bibliography, Marbled Paper was immediately recognized as the most comprehensive study of the art marbling to that point, and its status has not diminished over the years. For that reason, and with the goal of making it available again to scholars, students, and practitioners of marbling, Oak Knoll Press is pleased to be able to present the second edition with corrections.

Available this month: https://www.oakknoll.com/pages/books/128896/richard-j-wolfe/marbled-paper-its-history-techniques-and-patterns


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At the Typographics Book Fair, NYC…

June 17, 2018 Leave a comment

A young girl (11 or 12), enthralled by the calligraphy and drawings of Francesco Alunno, says, “There’s no J.” We look online and find that the letter J was introduced in 1524, and that Alunno lived from 1485 to 1556. We both learn something.


For more beautiful images, see our listing for The Glory of the Art of Writing by Nicolas Barker.

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Meet One of Our Spring Interns: Rahsel

March 1, 2018 Leave a comment

DSC_0106Hello, hello, my name is Rahsel. I am a Delaware native from the Rehoboth Beach area, but going to school in the northern part of the state and interning in New Castle with Oak Knoll has given me a greater sense of what it is to be a Delawarean.  I am an English and public policy major at the University of Delaware and this spring marks the end of my junior year. I am more of an English major because I have a deep love for writing and I aspire to work in editing and publishing, but I also have a passion for community development; therefore working for the state of Delaware to research information for policies would also be a great option. I definitely hope to publish a few books somewhere along the way of my journey to success.


Oak Knoll is very cool in that they publish books about books because the history of the book is so rich. I took a class that tried to explain some parts, and there are so many elements from the making of the paper to the choosing of fonts to the printing process. It’s all very interesting. I also like working with digital design. Another class that I took called document design explained the conventions of different documents. Of course with digital design the visual layout is important, but every piece of writing has a particular layout that it follows to keep viewers interested. Here at Oak Knoll, I am lucky to have the opportunity to work with graphic design and to admire the unique qualities of different texts.

When I am not writing or admiring the history of the book, I am binge watching movies from other eras, or watching series on Netflix. I think my time at Oak Knoll will be very valuable, and I hope to learn more about the duties of a publishing firm.

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Meet One of Our Spring Interns: Kayla

February 23, 2018 Leave a comment

28458731_1353486548090443_638794354_nHello fellow Oak Knollers! My name is Kayla Harris. This is my third year at the University of Delaware as I work towards a double major in English and Spanish with a minor in Environmental Humanities. I am a writer, avid traveler, along with having a love for the environment. One day my word will be spread throughout the world, so keep an eye out! In my free time, I enjoy running and playing soccer with my younger sister. Recently, I have been lucky enough to join the Oak Knoll team.

First time approaching the historic town of New Castle, I was intrigued in what this book publisher could introduce. The building stood with 200 years worth of character and had seen more days than I had. I was ready to learn what was inside. Upon arrival, I was greeted by a book pup eager to welcome new comers and new books. Beyond the wagging tail, I saw shelves and shelves of pages. I knew I was in the right place.

My first couple days had brought me up to the ceiling in book spines and getting my hands on so many interesting titles. I was going through antique leather covers to organize plate page designs decorated in unique artwork. I was putting books on the shelves that had titles claiming “The Best Book in The World.” Of course, I had to look inside to see for myself. Each corner brings me something new to read and understand.  The book variety in this building is so wide and diverse, that I can only imagine the types of books beyond the Oak Knoll walls.

I had never heard the phrase “books about books” and wasn’t quite sure what the antiquarian market entailed. My love for the written word touched on all subjects, but how exactly did an industry target books about other books? Since 1978, Oak Knoll Press has been an international involvement in bookselling. With around 28,000 titles on inventory, don’t worry I’ve been counting, they hold a firm specialty in their field. The titles include topics about bookbinding, calligraphy, book collecting, book selling, bibliography, book design, papermaking, and many more.

With a passion to have my own thoughts behind a cover, what better way to gain experience next to explanations on how books are actually compiled. Among their own section of oversized books, I hold pages as big as my arms and wonder at the detail and design that keeps me starring. The reading wasn’t the only reason I stuck around!

The staff wanted to give as much understanding as I wanted to take. Everyone on board was here to help the Oak Knoll Press spread their insight on what they knew best. Preparing for book fairs, managing the store, online advertising, proof reading manuscripts and documenting everything books, was on everyday’s agenda. I have grown to become a working business member of this team. There are so many roles to fulfill in order to continue publishing with important institutions such as The British Library and The Library of Congress. The constant enthusiasm and passion for what we do keeps the best quality books and knowledge leaving these doors as another great Oak Knoll Press issue.

I am honored to have found myself under a timely and special roof. My knowledge for books is only growing and Oak Knoll has opened new perceptions on where my love for writing could take me. It makes all the difference being in a community that strives for purpose and learning.


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