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The Stanbrook Abbey Press Collection consists of approximately 300 items, including books, booklets, and ephemera printed at the Press. The collection also includes original drawings, manuscript leaves, and individual specimen sheets of printing, most of which are either mounted, in paper folders, or framed. Many of the items are religious texts, and are in English or Latin. Additionally, many materials are hand illuminated. While the Stanbrook Abbey Press still exists, the collection contains works covering the period from its first printed work in 1876 up to 1978.
This collection is open for research.
Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.
The Stanbrook Abbey is a cloistered order of Benedictine nuns located in Callow End, near Worcester, England. It was founded in the early 17th century in Cambrais, France, by a group of Englishwomen. During the French Revolution, their property was seized by Revolutionary Forces. In 1795, the nuns returned to England, and in 1838 they purchased Stanbrook Hall, which became the community's permanent home.
The Abbey started its printing operation in 1876 with the help of Father Laurence Shepherd, who wanted to integrate the intellectual and artistic lives of the nuns with their spiritual calling. He not only wanted to restock the Abbey's library which had been destroyed in France, but he also wanted to supply the needs of the English Benedictine Congregation as well. Dame Agnes St. Leger Clarke was the Abbey's first printer and presided over the Press from 1876 to 1892.
Many celebrated printers, bookbinders, and artists have been associated with the Press over the years, including Sydney Cockerell, Jan van Krimpen, John Dreyfus, George Percival, Madelyn Walker and Margaret Adams. Dame Hildelith Cumming, printer for the Abbey from 1956 to 1991, is considered responsible for earning the Stanbrook Abbey Press a reputation as a great private press.
Organized as one series:
The collection was acquired by the University of Maryland at College Park over a period of several years, beginning in 1973.
Part of the Special Collections and University Archives