The Walter and Martha Leuba Collection and Personal Papers
363 Hillman Library
3960 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
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The Walter and Martha Leuba Collection was originally a private library of early to mid-twentieth century fine press books, first editions of literature, autograph letters, wood block prints and wood engravings, bequeathed to the University of Pittsburgh by Martha Leuba in 1988, in accordance with the wishes of her late husband, Walter, who had died in 1985. Both of the Leubas were graduates of the University of Pittsburgh and lived in Pittsburgh all of their adult lives.
The Collection is comprised of over 400 separate original relief prints (wood cuts, wood engravings, metal cuts, and linoleum cuts) and several thousand examples of early to mid-twentieth century fine press printing volumes, predominantly from England but including also American presses of the period. The collection consists of over 11,000 volumes, which include also a number of reference works in the fields of English literature, fine press printing, and wood block artists. Over 5,000 of the books are characterized by containing relief prints and private fine press printing. The reference works typically cover the history and background of nineteenth and twentieth century printing, relief print techniques, type face designs, typography; and works on the alphabet, calligraphy, and various printing processes. Also included are journals on fine printing, book illustrations and printing ephemera covering fine presses, private presses, book designers, and illustrators. Following Walter Leuba’s interests, there are strong representative sections of works by and about George Santayana, George Saintsbury, Logan Pearsall Smith, Norman Douglas, T.S. Eliot, Louise Imogen Guiney, Witter Bynner, Haniel Long, Frederick Clapp, and others. Leuba, who published privately poetry and essays of his own, left all of his manuscripts and journals intact with the collection. His lifelong interest in J.S. Bach is represented by nearly 900 vinyl l.p. records of J. S. Bach and Bach’s sons’ music.
At the time of this bequest, the Leuba library gift was determined to be the most valuable private library collection to have been donated to the University since the Darlington Memorial Library bequests of 1918–1922. All of the books in the collection are now cataloged and in PittCat; most of the woodblock prints have been inventoried and a finding aid is available in the department. Walter Leuba’s manuscripts and correspondence files are partially organized with a preliminary finding aid in the department.