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Anthoensen Press records

Identifier: M197

  • Staff Only
  • Please use the Collection Organization section below to place requests.

Scope and Contents

The Anthoensen Press records contains correspondence, vendor and client files, printing specimens, vignette and design-cut samples, and publications of the press. The records are made up of three series: Printed Ephemera, Business Records, and Work Orders. The majority of the ephemera dates from the midcentury prior to the closure of the press. Most work orders are for books, stationery, advertising brochures, pamphlets, business cards, catalogues, journals, greeting cards and other works produced by the Press.


  • Creation: 1915 - 1993


Conditions Governing Access

No restrictions.

Biographical/Historical Note

The Anthoensen Press was founded in 1875 as the Southworth Press by the Rev. Francis Southworth. Fred Anthoensen, hired in 1901 as compositor, was, by 1917,the Press's managing director. In 1934, the firm became the Southworth-Anthoensen Press, and in 1944, the Anthoensen Press. After Anthoensen's death in 1969, the Press continued under different managers, including Harry Milliken and Henry C. Thomas who owned the Press until its closure in 1987.

Although the Press printed stationery, catalogs, brochures and other small-format material, it specialized in books and pamphlets for private customers including Bowdoin and other colleges, the Limited Editions Club, Massachusetts Historical Society and other state and local historical organizations, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and other museums, and several small or specialty publishers. It printed maritime histories, genealogies, fine press productions and journals like the New England Quarterly. Major works - some by prominent book designers such as W.A. Dwiggins, Bruce Rogers, George Macy and Fred Anthoensen himself - included A.S. Rosenbach's Early American Childrens' Books, the Isaac W. Dyer's Bibliography of Thomas Carlyle's Writings ... and first editions of works by Marianne Moore and Stephen Vincent Benet. See also the papers of Fred Anthoensen.


15 Linear Feet (24 boxes; 1 oversized folder)

Language of Materials



The records of the Anthoensen Press, including printed ephemera by the press, business records, and work orders.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Parts of the collection was first donated by Fred Anthoensen's family and business partners in 1969 after his passing but have since been added to by Henry Thomas in 2007 and Bruce Kennett. The additional gift of the Anthoensen Collection of books was gifted to the library by Fred Anthoensen himself starting in 1946 and contains almost every book his press ever printed. For more information, refer to the Collection Control File.

Related Materials

Fred Anthoensen papers, M004 (1 box). Most of which is Bowdoin College client correspondence.

Separated Materials

The Work Orders have been sampled by previous processors using a mathematical approach, removing and discarding a specific percentage of each order range in a specific time period. During further processing, the decision was made to further weed the work orders and keep a selection of the sample, focusing on material that has more context and includes related printed work from the job order.

Processing Information

This collection was originally accessioned as two separate records, M197 and M220. In processing the collections, the decision was made to merge the two into one Press records. Additional material is also contained in the Fred Anthoensen papers [M004] but those remain their own collection.


Guide to the Anthoensen Press Work Orders
Emma Barton-Norris
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011 Repository

3000 College Station
Brunswick Maine 04011 USA
(207) 725-3288