The Major Works of the Oriole Press

This page contains most of the major works published by Ishill.

Included are:

Ishill's Variorum, A Compendium of Thoughts & Reflections Culled From Goudy's Ars Typographica and other literary sources, by Joseph Ishill. Berkeley Heights, N.J.: Oriole Press, 1963. Copy no. 45.

Arranged in multiple styles of types and initials; printed in black and various colors; 100 copies printed on Warren Olde Style paper; boards with printed labels; 5.5 x 8.25 inches; 202 p.

The lineplate of Goudy shown here is from an etching by Alexander Stern. This volume includes many woodcuts, drawings and ornaments by various artists.

A Prospectus. Free Vistas: An Annual of Life and Letters. Published and edited by Joseph Ishill. Berkeley Heights, N.J.: Oriole Press, 1932.

Garamond type; and a drawing by Maurice Duvalet; printed in two colors; on Zerkall mould-made paper; 7 x 9.5 inches; 4 p.

Free Vistas: (Vol. I) An Anthology of Life & Letters, edited by Joseph Ishill. Berkeley Heights, N.J.: Oriole Press, 1933. Copy no. 177.

Among the contributors are: Rabindranath Tagore, Holbrook Jackson, Witter Bynner, Elie Reclus, Jacques Mesnil, Emma Goldman, Octave Mirbeau, Havelock Ellis, Romain Rolland, R. Austin Freeman, Stefan Zweig, and a number of other important writers. Reproductions of prints, drawings, wood-engravings by John Buckland Wright, Maurice Duvalet, Bernard Sleigh, Albert Daenes, Frans Masereel, Albert Sterner, Walter Tittle, and others. Various types and colors; printed on miscellaneous papers; some of the illustrations tipped-in; 290 copies in Fabrikoid boards with buckram spine; 6.5 x 8.75 inches; 376 p.

This was the first of what Ishill had hoped would be an annual volume. The contents, according to Ishill, give a clear idea of how he interpreted "anarchism and its esthetic value so neglected even by the most sincere precursors of this ideal."

Free Vistas: (Vol. II) A Libertarian Outlook on Life and Letters, edited by Joseph Ishill. Berkeley Heights, N.J.: Oriole Press, 1937. Unnumbered copy.

Among the contributors new to Vol. II are: R. B. Cunninghame Graham, Laurence Housman, Benjamin R. Tucker, Charles Erskine, Scott Wood, G. Bernard Shaw, H. L. Mencken and Richard Le Gallienne. The artists represented include: Raoul Dufy, Louis Moreau, Ivan Opffer and others.

Garamond and Hadriano types; printed in several colors; 205 copies on ash white Arak; boards with buckram; 6.5 x 9 inches; 399 p.

Inscription: "for - Agnes Inglis, with the best sentiments of Joseph Ishill - May 1937"

The second volume of Free Vistas is much like the first, including a wide variety of essays, excerpts and illustrations. Ishill was determined to bring forth this volume, in spite of the economic hardships he faced during the Depression. The book is open to a self-portrait of the artist Louis Moreau, who furnished so many of the woodcuts for Ishill's press.

Peter Kropotkin: the Rebel, Thinker and Humanitarian, compiled and edited by Joseph Ishill. Berkeley Heights, N.J.: Free Spirit Press, 1924. Copy no. 67.

Cromwell type; frontispiece portrait from an original photograph; woodcuts, reproduction of prints and drawings by Duvalet, Luce, Delannoy, Kopka, and others; printed in black, red and blue on Strathmore Alexandra Japan and woodcut paper; limited to 75 copies; boards with vellum spine; 6.25 x 8.25 inches; v. 192 p.

Inscription: "To my friend and comrade, Max Metzkow. I inscribe with love this book which is the sole creation of a proletarian. Joseph Ishill. March 1928."

This is the first major publication which Ishill produced. He was rightfully proud of this magnificent work: "it is the exclusive expression of a proletarian; neither group nor individual has financed this work. It was accomplished solely through the effort and will of the writer." In the course of printing it, his original hand-press, a Pilot, broke, "utterly unable to cope with the overload placed upon it."

The Oriole Press: a Bibliography, Compiled and Printed by Joseph Ishill. Berkeley Heights, N.J.: Oriole Press, 1953. Copy no. 41.

Frontispiece portrait from an original crayon drawing by O.H. Meier; Garamond, Kennerley, Cloister Oldstyle & Eve types; printed in black and numerous colors; 50 copies on various U.S. made papers; olive green boards with linen spine and printed label; 5.5 x 8 inches; xxvi, 478 p.

This is Ishill's largest work, encompassing more than 500 pages, and including more than two dozen illustrations. To call this simply a bibliography does not begin to describe the depth and breadth of work included in this volume. The complete listing of books comprises a mere 37 pages. The rest of the book, as the title page suggests, is filled with book reviews and essays, unpublished letters, and biographical data for the contributors.

Elisée and Elie Reclus: In Memoriam, compiled and edited by Joseph Ishill. Berkeley Heights, N.J.: Oriole Press, 1927. Copy no. 178.

Garamond type; with over sixty woodcuts by Louis Moreau and other illustrations; printed in black, red and blue; 250 copies on book paper and 40 on Alexandra Japan vellum; boards with buckram spine; 6 x 8.5 inches; xvi, 359 p.

In his introduction to this volume, Ishill says, "Elisée and Elie Reclus have felt it their sacred duty to dedicate their entire life and the brilliance of their intellect towards the same great cause (libertarianism) to which their spiritual ancestors have consecrated themselves." And, indeed, Ishill himself dedicated a great deal of his time and effort to this magnificent volume. This first offering from the Oriole Press is probably the first work Ishill published on a newly acquired "Favorite" press. A charming story has it that Ishill discovered the press abandoned in a field by his house in New Jersey, but at the time of discovery it was occupied by a female oriole and her freshly laid eggs. Instead of disturbing the bird, Ishill waited until the eggs had hatched and the birds had abandoned their nest before he took possession of the press. It is from this bird that the press takes its name.

Note by Agnes Inglis, curator of the Labadie Collection, University of Michigan. June 12, 1945.

Thomas A. La Porte, Exhibit Curator
Special Collections Library
Hatcher Graduate Library
University of Michigan