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Sitka: A Short History (1936)

Written by Jack Calvin;
Illustrations by Dale DeArmond
Published by Old Harbor Press (2nd edition, 1983)
40 pages

Artist's Edition: 94 (numbered, signed)
Edition of 3500 (unnumbered)

AKA: Sitka: A Short Historical Account

Editor's note: this book was originally published in 1936; it is the second edition version, newly updated and released in 1983, that features several wood engraving illustrations by DeArmond. It was the first book published by Old Harbor Press, first established in 1976 and located within Old Harbor Books in Sitka, Alaska.

In addition to an unnumbered softcover, another version was issued in an individually numbered, limited edition, all signed by DeArmond. This hardcover was entirely handmade, so subtle differences from one another will be present in each copy. Declining health prevented its author, Jack Calvin, from signing the final product; he passed away in 1985. Many of the included engraving illustrations are assumed to have been editioned, but information for most is currently limited.

From the colophon:
This book was hand set in 12-point Bembo type, printed on an Original Heidelberg platen press. Three thousand five hundred copies are paper bound. A special hard cover edition, signed by the artist, is printed on Rives Heavy Weight paper. It has Canson end sheets, and is quarter bound by Margaret Calvin in Kennett book cloth and Ingres Antique paper.

From the preface (written by the author):
The first edition of this abbreviated history appeared in 1936. It was hand set and printed, one or two pages at a time, on an ancient foot-powered Chandler & Price press acquired from the Orthodox church. The book sold (I hate to tell you this) for 35 cents. And it sold out. A reprint indicated, but not practical, as hand set type is distributed back into the cases after each page is run. Reluctantly, then, I resorted to photo-offset and over the years kept the book "in print." But now the turning world has made this second edition possible, printed by the time-honored method of pressing metal type on paper, hence letterpress.

The making of this book has been a sentimental experience for the writer-printer, richly satisfying, because, first, I have had the splendid help in the entire job of Margaret, the wife of my later years; second, because the wood engravings are the work of Dale DeArmond, a long time dear friend; and last, because it puts me to work again, after an absence of more than fifteen years, in the related fields that I have liked the most, writing and printing. To all my other friends who have given so freely of their time, skills and encouragement, (with special mention to Natasha and Bob Ellis, my proof readers and critics), I am very grateful.

Original price:
$10.00 (softcover version; 2nd ed., 1983)
$100.00 (hardcover version; 2nd ed., 1983)
ISBN: 9780961552909

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