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Vine Press Archive

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.9861

Scope and Contents

The Vine Press was the private press of John Peters (1917-1989) and Peter Foster (1919-2010) in the village of Hemingford Grey near Cambridge. From 1957 to 1963 the Press produced six books and a few ephemera. The business was run by Peters, and the archive consists mostly of his files. These cover all the books and prospectuses, and most of the ephemera, with trial settings, layouts, proofs, and much correspondence with authors and suppliers; as well as almost all the wood-engraved blocks, photo-mechanical transfers ('process blocks'), and etched plates used for their illustrations. There is also correspondence concerning book projects that were abandoned. Other papers include general correspondence and business papers.


  • Creation: 1956-1971


Conditions Governing Access

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (


1 collection (7 boxes, 1 oversize)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Provenance: Sothebys sale 7 Oct. 1968 (lots 262-271) to Rota - the School of Librarianship at Loughborough Technical College - Bloomsbury Book Auctions sale 6 Oct. 1988 to Check Books - Trevor Weston. (See The Private Library 6:2 (2003), 69-71.) A few papers were added when the archive was at Loughborough: see items A8/8, B2/4, B4/3-5.

Related Materials

A few materials from the Vine Press that had never belonged to the archive were given by Peter Foster to John Dreyfus in 1993. These are now in the John Dreyfus papers (MS Add. 9815, series B).


James Moran, 'The Vine Press', in Book Design and Production 3: 3 (1960), 50-54 John Dreyfus, 'The Vine Press' including 'Notes on the production of Vine Press books' by John Peters, in The Private Library 7: 2 (Summer 1966), 40-44 John Dreyfus, 'A memoir of John Peters (1917-1989)', in Fine Print 16: 1 (1990), 25-29 John Dreyfus, 'The Vine Press, 1957-1963', in Matrix 13 (1993), 18-33 David Butcher, 'A bibliography of the Vine Press', in the same issue of Matrix, pp. 228-234.
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom