Announcing the New Triple Crown and Eric Gill Finding Aid

New Triple Crown and Eric Gill Finding Aid Now Publicly Available

A page from the Canterbury Tales, Illustrated by Eric Gill.

We are excited to announce that the finding aids for the Triple Crown and Eric Gill rare book collections are now available! These collections were painstakingly compiled by Charles P. Gould, a book collector from Pasadena, California, and purchased by Washington University in 2000 and 2005. Both collections are representative of the English Arts and Crafts movement at the turn of the century, a high point in fine printing and bookmaking. The engraved woodblocks, original drawings, proof pages, and of course beautifully illustrated and bound finished volumes in these collections are an excellent resource for anyone interested in book arts or the history of printing.



An illustration of Kelmscott Press’s 1896 edition of The Well at the World’s End by William Morris

Triple Crown

The “triple” in Triple Crown refers to three unique private presses that were active during the height of the English Arts and Crafts movement: Kelmscott, Doves, and Ashendene. The goal of these three presses was to resist the dehumanization and mass production of the Industrial Revolution through reviving the high art of book making. All of their books show a magnificent unity of style and many are heavily illustrated, some by hand. The Washington University collection includes the entire published output of these three presses and supplementary documents related to their production, totaling over 1000 items.



A woodblock of Gill’s “Utopia” typeface that he created for Ashendene Press

Eric Gill

Eric Gill was an English artist, printer, and typeface designer who is also associated with the Arts and Crafts movement. In addition to creating beautiful engravings and illustrations for various presses, including those in the Triple Crown, he also developed a number of typefaces, such as Utopia (pictured on left) and the famous Gill Sans. Washington University’s collection includes over 400 items of Gill’s books, printings, drawings, correspondence, and engraved woodblocks.

Come See the Collections for Yourself

Select pieces from these two collections, most notably the famous Kelmscott Press’s Works of Geoffrey Chaucer (1896) and the Golden Cockerel Press’s Canterbury Tales illustrated by Eric Gill (1929-1931), are currently being displayed as a part of an exhibit put together by practicum student Natalie Whitaker in Special Collections at Olin Library. Please see Natalie’s blog post for more details about the exhibit.

About the author

Rose is a PhD candidate in English and American Literature at Washington University in St. Louis. When she is not working on her dissertation on post-1945 asylum novels or blogging about the amazing materials in Special Collections, she fills much of her time reading, writing, gardening, and wrestling.