Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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George Macy Companies, Inc.: Limited Editions Club and The Heritage Press:

A Preliminary Inventory of its Records at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: George Macy Companies, Inc.
Title: George Macy Companies, Inc.: Limited Editions Club and The Heritage Press Records
Dates: 1928-1970
Extent: 113 document boxes (47.46 linear feet)
Abstract: The bulk of Macy’s Limited Editions Club and The Heritage Press records consist of correspondence with authors, illustrators, designers, binders, and printing firms related to the numerous titles published between 1929 and 1970. Also present are a small number of original prints, drawings, and photographs.
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-1580
Language: English
Access:

Open for research




Acquisition:

Purchase, 1970

Processed by:

C. Lois Henderson, 1995

Repository:

The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center


George Macy (1900-1956) founded the Limited Editions Club in 1929 to publish fine illustrated books, mostly classics, in limited numbers for member-subscribers. Most titles were limited to 1500 copies, were designed and illustrated by leading figures in the graphic arts, and were printed on fine paper. New introductions were written for many titles. From the base established by the Limited Editions Club, Macy broadened his publishing activities with The Heritage Press, a series of unlimited, less-expensively produced reprints of titles previously issued by the Limited Editions Club. After Macy's death in 1956, his wife, Helen Macy, continued the work of the firm until 1968, when their son, Jonathan Macy, assumed leadership. In 1970, the firms were sold to the Boise-Cascade Company, and Ziff-Davis Publishing acquired the Limited Editions Club inventory. Cardavon Press later acquired both the companies and the inventory. Cardavon sold off the Heritage Press and its distributer, Heritage Club, to the Easton Press, and in 1979, sold the Limited Editions Club to Sidney Shiff. Schiff died March 18, 2010, and ownership passed to his wife, Jeanne Shiff.

The bulk of Macy’s Limited Editions Club and The Heritage Press records consist of correspondence with authors, illustrators, designers, binders, and printing firms related to the numerous titles published between 1929 and 1970, such as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Beowulf, The Canterbury Tales, Don Quixote, Frankenstein, Herodotus, Jayne Eyre, Kim, The Last of the Mohicans, Moby-Dick, Paradise Lost, numerous works by Shakespeare, War and Peace, and many more. Included among the correspondents are notable figures such as James Baldwin, Thomas Hart Benton, Karen Blixen, Jonathan Cape, Miguel Covarrubias, J. Frank Dobie, Theodore Dreiser, M. F. K. Fisher, Ford Maddox Ford, Eric Gill, John Hersey, Dard Hunter, James Joyce, Alfred A. Knopf, Sinclair Lewis, Henri Matisse, W. Somerset Maugham, V. S. Pritchett, Kenneth Rexroth, Norman Rockwell, Gilbert Seldes, George Bernard Shaw, Gilbert Stuart, Lionel Trilling, Hugh Walpole, and E. B. White. In addition to correspondence, a small number of original prints, drawings, and photographs are present and noted in the container list with an asterisk (*) and description.

The materials have been minimally processed and are still housed in their original folders. Brown folder labels indicate Limited Editions Club files; green labels are Heritage Press. Limited Editions Club and Heritage Press folders are interfiled together in a single arrangement in alphabetically ordered, predominately by title of work published, but subject headings, such as "French Romances" and "Silver Jubilee Dinner Party," are also present. Folder heading used in the container list were transcribed from the original labels.


The Center’s Art Collection holds a separate Limited Editions Club collection of portfolios of prints and one group of loose prints by various artists which were published as illustrations for books issued by the club, 1988-2001.

The Ransom Center Library contains a complete run of the Limited Editions Club and Heritage Press series.


6,731 original art works by over 100 artists, used in Limited Editions Club and Heritage Press publications, were transferred to the Ransom Center Art Collection.


Due to size, this inventory has been divided into two separate units which can be accessed by clicking on the highlighted text below:

Limited Editions Club and The Heritage Press Records--A-K [Part I]

Limited Editions Club and The Heritage Press Records--L-Z [Part II] [This Page]