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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California Book Fairs

February 20, 2018 Leave a comment

Ahh, sunny California! From the moment I walked off the five hour flight into San Francisco International to when I left LAX this past Sunday, it was nothing but fair weather, but enough about that…

This year, the California International Antiquarian Bookfair, hosted by the Antiquarian Bookseller’s Association of America (ABAA), was held in Pasadena, California. This year marks the sixth year at the new venue, the Pasadena Convention Center. However my trip started the week before. After a small stint in Napa, the San Francisco Antiquarian Book, Print & Paper Fair was held the weekend before the large fair. What is often considered the ‘shadow show’, this fair is usually a time for ABAA and non-affiliated members to get together, be among friends, and ease their way into the bookselling mindset.

After the show in South San Francisco, I made my way down to Pasadena on Super Bowl Sunday (E.A.G.L.E.S. EAGLES!) to the Westin Pasadena hotel. The International League of Antiquarian Booksellers was hosting the bi-annual Congress in Pasadena this year, which was a nice way to lead up to the large ABAA show the following weekend. Having partake in the Congress, we got to visit notable places such as the Huntington Library, two notable private collectors of antiquarian books relating to science discoveries, UCLA’s Clark Library, the Gamble House, the Motion Picture Academy, and the Peterson Automotive Museum.

When the ILAB Congress and Pasadena show concluded (we even ran into one our authors, Margit Smith, of The Medieval Girdle Book), I hung up the bookseller’s hat and made my way back to the East Coast to start thinking about the New York book fair.


[Photo: Margit J. Smith & Rob Fleck]




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Diary of a Bibliomaniac

January 14, 2018 Leave a comment

Below, an old Facebook post by our distinguished author Robert Thake, written at the time he was researching and writing  A Publishing History of a Prohibited Bestseller (Oak Knoll Press 2016). We noticed it when he “shared a memory” and think many of our friends and customers can relate. He gave us permission to post it on our blog, saying it’s “as authentic as can be.” Enjoy!

Diary of a bibliomaniac: 1) Find out that rare book is for sale 2) React in a manner which worries your family and friends 3) Type out an e-mail to seller by frantically beating on keyboard with head and fists 4) Go to important meeting with clients 5) Take call from bookshop halfway through important meeting 6) Promise to collect the book in Paris the next day not knowing whether there are any flights/seats 7) React in a manner which single-handedly destroys your carefully nurtured social veneer 8 ) Book last available seat on plane leaving a few hours later 9) Get to Paris after a sleepless night with slightly mad look on your face 10) Start waiting outside shop an hour early in case some deluded &#@$%! thinks he’s going to beat me to it and keep all his teeth 11) Get a glimpse of the book and feel as though you’re seeing your first-born for the first time 12) Throw money at shop owner in a fit of joy 13) Walk back to hotel with contorted, unnerving look on your face which prevents even gypsies from approaching you 14) Get to hotel and take first selfie ever:

Image may contain: one or more people, eyeglasses and indoor

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Signed Book Bindings From Oak Knoll

December 22, 2017 Leave a comment

Something that we take pride in here at Oak Knoll is not only selling and publishing fine books, but treasuring the story behind a book, whether it be the provenance, printing method, or author. Perhaps the most important trait of a book is the binding: is it calf, vellum, or marbled paper covered boards? Books that have impressive bindings tend to stand out more on a bookshelf and can brighten up a library. What makes the story of the book even better is if it is a signed binding! We came across a very nice acquisition of signed bindings from a private collector recently and I thought that we should show it off for the holiday season.


Here is our entire collection of signed book bindings:


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Extra! Extra! Two Oak Knoll Titles among Michael Dirda’s Holiday Book Recommendations in the Washington Post!

December 14, 2017 Leave a comment

The reviews are in just in time for 2017 to come to a close, and we couldn’t be more proud of ourselves and our authors for turning out such wonderful books. Below is a great listing recommendation for the end-of-year from the Washington Post, which includes a couple of our books, The History of the Limited Editions Club (Carroll Grossman) and The Privately Printed Bible (Ron Patkus). Both were designed by our BFF from New York, the very talented Jerry Kelly.

25395397_1292962187476213_217902487_nMichael Dirda has written an excellent article for the Washington Post about his book recommendations for the holiday season, which included two titles that are published by Oak Knoll Press. The two titles mentioned are The Privately Printed Bible and The History of the Limited Editions Club. Both titles are designed by award-winning designer Jerry Kelly and would make wonderful holiday gifts.

Link to the Washington Post article:


The Privately Printed Bible


The Privately Printed Bible is the first book to offer a broad survey of the history of private and fine press printings of biblical texts. Author Ronald Patkus focuses on English-language examples from the United Kingdom, Ireland, and North America, and includes more than 500 works in his study. He begins with the late nineteenth century revival of printing which took place in England under the influence of William Morris, and continues on through the twentieth century. Along the way he describes key texts, such as the Doves Bible, the Oxford Lectern Bible, the Golden Cockerel Four Gospels, the Spiral Press Ecclesiastes, the Pennyroyal Caxton Bible, and the Arion Press Bible. He also discusses lesser-known works that are part of the story.


The History of the Limited Editions Club


Author Carol Grossman began collecting the LEC in the 1960s and has been conducting research with this book in mind for many years. In addition to presenting the rich history of the enterprise and the people involved in great detail, she examines the legacy and reputation of the books left to bibliophiles, scholars, booksellers, and collectors.


Oak Knoll Gift Certificate:

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