Founders, sources, acknowledgements

The International Register of Private Press Names was established in 1960 by J. Ben and Elizabeth Lieberman, proprietors of The Herity Press.

  • Educator, author, amateur printer, and proponent of the private press, Jay Benjamin Lieberman (1914-1984) is widely regarded as the father of the twentieth-century chappel movement in the United States. Borrowing the term from early English usage, Lieberman defined a chappel as simply “a club, society or informal group of personal printers (and almost always their spouses) who live close enough to be able to attend meetings in each other’s homes in turn.”

    In 1973, he founded and was the first president of the American Printing History Association. He was also the founder and first chair of the Goudy Society, a board member of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, and an active member of the Typophiles, the Amalgamated Printers Association, the Graphic Arts Education Association, and the Type Directors Club.

  • Elizabeth Koller Lieberman (1914-2001) was Ben’s lifelong partner in private press publishing and in the promotion of printing. She was co-proprietor of the Herity Press and maintained with Ben the International Register of Private Press Names. She also prepared the index for the 1994 Oak Knoll reprint of Maurice Annenberg’s Type Foundries of America and Their Catalogs.

(Biographical information courtesy the University of Delaware Library Special Collections Department.)


The source of most names in the current (online) edition of the International Register is the ninth and final edition of The Check-Log of Private Press Names, Elizabeth Koller Lieberman, Editor. Briar Press began accepting new names submitted by private press props on their own behalf in 2007.

In the interest of making the information about press names as comprehensive as possible, the International Register sought and was given full assistance by the following individuals; their help is hereby gratefully acknowledged:

Amalgamated Printers Association (Gary Hantke)
American Institute of Graphic Arts (Jack Rau)
Book Club of California (Elizabeth Downs and Robert Bell)
Moxon Chappel
National Amateur Press Association
New York Chappel
The Private Libraries Association
Publishers’ Weekly (Chandler Grannis, Associate Editor)
The Typophiles (Paul A. Bennett)
Westchester Chappel
Leonard F. Bahr, Editor, Printing in Privacy
Charles Broad, Typfounders, Inc.
Roderick Cave, Co-Editor, Private Press Books
David Chambers, Co-Editor, Private Press Books
William F. Haywood, Publisher, Small World
Harold Parlmer Piser, Bibliographer
Thomas Rae, Co-Editor, Private Press Books
John Ryder, author, Printing for Pleasure
Steve L. Watts, Curiosa Typographica
James Lamar Weygand, author, A Collection of Pressmarks


The New York Public Library, Rare Books Division: Lewis M. Stark, Chief, and his successors, Mrs. Maud D. Cole, Lawrence Murphy, and (following a structural change into the Rare Books and Manuscripts Division) William L. Joyce, Assistant Directory for Rare Books and Manuscripts, and Francis O. Mattson, Curator of Rare Books.

Using also all available printed sources, the Register relied heavily on what have become the standard books of record in the private press field: Cave, Rae and Chambers, Private Press Books; The Private Libraries Association’s Private Press Books; Rae & Handley-Taylor, The Book of the Private Press; Will Ransom’s Private Presses and Their Books (and the Selective Check Lists); Sir Geoffrey Tomkinson’s Selective Bibliography of the Principal Modern Presses; and James Lamar Weygand’s books of press marks.