About Me

John David Chambers's Biography (Books)

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David John Chambers (born 1930) is an English bibliographer, printing historian, printer and book-collector. Throughout a career in insurance, latterly as a non-marine underwriter for AS Harrison Syndicate 56 at Lloyd's of London, and more recently in retirement, Chambers has studied books and ephemera relating to printing, typography, book-illustration, private presses, the book-arts, English art and literature, and has published books and articles on a wide range of related subjects. Since 1979 he has edited, or co-edited, The Private Library, the quarterly journal of the Private Libraries Association, a bibliophile society of which he has been Chairman since the 1970s, and a Council member from the late 1950s.

Chambers has also compiled volumes of the Association's annual bibliography of Private press books, and has designed some of the publications of the Private Libraries Association and of the Bibliographical Society of London. His major work of recent years is a history and bibliography of British private presses before Kelmscott, being chiefly the privately-run and amateur printing offices of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This work is currently in progress.

As a printer, Chambers has operated the Cuckoo Hill Press since the late 1950s, having made his first press himself. He printed a number of significant illustrated books in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, but since that period has mostly confined his printing to ephemera and Christmas greetings. He has collected printing equipment and archives since the 1950s, with a special interest in wood-engraved blocks.

Select bibliography

o Chambers, David (editor). Charles Holtzapfel's Printing apparatus for the use of amateurs. Edited with James Mosley. Pinner: Private Libraries Association, 1971.
o Chambers, David (editor). Caracteres de l'imprimerie, nouvellement graves par S. P. Fournier le jeune. London: Printing Historical Society, 1975.
o Chambers, David. Cock-a-hoop: a sequel to Chanticleer, Pertelote and Cockalorum, being a bibliography of the Golden Cockerel Press, September 1949-December 1961. Written with Christopher Sandford. Pinner: Private Libraries Association, 1976.
o Chambers, David. Lucien Pissarro: notes on a selection of wood-blocks held at the Ashmolean Museum. Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 1980.
o Chambers, David. "The Boar's Head and Golden Hours Presses" in The Private Library. Third series, 8:1, Spring 1985, pp. 2-34.
o Chambers, David. Joan Hassall: engravings and drawings. Pinner: Private Libraries Association, 1985.
o Chambers, David. Gogmagog: Morris Cox & the Gogmagog Press. Written with Colin Franklin and Alan Tucker. Pinner: Private Libraries Association, 1991.
o Chambers, David (editor). A modest collection: Private Libraries Association 1956-2006. Pinner: Private Libraries Association, 2006.
o Chambers, David. English country book shops. Pinner: Private Libraries Association, 2009.

Select Cuckoo Hill Press bibliography

o Chambers, David. The office press. 1961.
o Chambers, David. Elizabeth II numismata. 1964.
o Bewick, Thomas. Engravings on wood by Thomas Bewick and his pupils. 1971.
o Potocki de Montalk, Count Geoffrey. Meillerie. 1972.
o Chambers, David. On printing by hand. 1977.
o Shirley Smith, Richard. Wood engravings: a selection, 1960 to 1977... with a foreword by Laurence Whistler. 1983.
o Kalashnikov, Anatoli. Anglo-Russian relations: an essay in wood-engraving... with a commentary by W. E. Butler. 1983.

1. ^ "David Chambers: early private printing" in A modest collection: Private Libraries Association 1956-2006 (Pinner: Private Libraries Association, 2007, pp. [144]-146).

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