The William Morris Society in the United States is organizing an international celebration to commemorate the founding of the Kelmscott Press in 1891. We hope that many will join us in this unique collaborative opportunity to promote the life and work of William Morris, the beauty of books, and the history of printing.

Title page from The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, the Kelmscott Press, 1896. Rare Book Collection, Buffalo and Erie County Public Library.

International Kelmscott Press Day is scheduled for 26 June 2021, the 125th anniversary of the publication of the Kelmscott edition of The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer. Four years in the making, with illustrations by the Pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones, and designed by Morris in every detail, the Kelmscott Chaucer, as it is commonly known, is universally considered one of the most beautiful books ever printed. Our focus, however, will extend beyond it to encompass the whole of William Morris’s “typographical adventure,” which exerted great influence on the private press movement and the modern book.

Libraries, museums, and other institutions that own the Kelmscott Chaucer or other Kelmscott titles and related materials are encouraged to create special displays (online and in-person) and host activities such as talks and printing demonstrations and to commission and show work by contemporary book artists and printers — whatever they think appropriate for the occasion.