Trovillion Private Press records, 1908-1938
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Brief Description:

The bulk of the Trovillion Private Press Collection located in Herrin, Illinois consists of the correspondence of owner Hal Trovillion and the manuscripts, galley proofs, and unbound signatures of many titles that he published jointly with his wife Violet. There is a relatively complete collection of ephemera issued by the press including Christmas cards, announcements, and booklists. The collection also contains printed material Trovillion collected from other private presses (some of which remains unsorted) and several boxes of type, paper samples, cloth samples, and typeface and binding literature. The extensive correspondence in the collection contains many letters to and from artists and illustrators. Notable among them are Dan Byrne Jones, Roscoe Misselhorn, Mathias Noheimer, Margaret Ely Webb, and the well-known type designer Frederick Goudy.  Also found with the Press material are miscellaneous travel notes, a variety of political items, scrapbooks, and assorted memorabilia. Among these is a folder of material relating to violence and corruption in Herrin, a box of material related to the Herrin State Savings Bank, and one of Trovillion's business records.

In addition, the collection includes one box of correspondence, manuscripts, and memorabilia of Hal Trovillion's sister, Mae Trovillion Smith (1890-1957). Mae Smith was a member of the English faculty at Southern Illinois University from 1919 to 1931 and from 1941 to 1957. She was the author of several books about pets. The correspondence preserved here is chiefly from fellow animal lovers and her literary acquaintances, including New Yorker writer Robert Lewis Taylor and Helen Van Loon, wife of popular historian and journalist Hendrik Van Loon.

Held at:
Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center
605 Agriculture Dr.
MC 6632
Carbondale, IL 62901
Phone: 618-453-2516
Fax: 618-453-3451
Email: speccoll [at]
Record Series Number: 1/6/MSS 136
Created by: Trovillion Private Press
Volume: 59.0 Boxes
Acquired: 00/00/1966.
Arrangement: Arranged in thirteen series: (1) Correspondence, (2) Mae Trovillion Smith Correspondence and Memorabilia, (3) Manuscripts of Trovillion Private Press Books, (4) Unbound Signatures, (5) Pamphlets and Variant Cases, (6) Trovillion Private Press Printed Ephemera, (7) Christmas Cards and Bookplates, (8) Other Manuscript Material, (9) Miscellaneous, (10) Ephemera of Other Private Presses, (11) Paper and Cloth Samples, (12) Home Movies, (13) Oversize Material
Biographical Note for Trovillion Private Press : In the summer of 1904, Hal W. Trovillion, visited Herrin, Illinois and left the city with an option to buy the Herrin News. It was not long after establishing himself as editor of the News that he began his private press. The first publication of what was to become the Trovillion Private Press was R.L. Stevenson: Words of Hope from a Hopeful Man, published in 1908 and limited to 104 copies. In 1935, the name Trovillion Private Press was established with the publication of The Sundial in Our Garden. Hal Trovillion retired from the newspaper business in 1941. He and his wife, Violet then turned their full energies to book publishing and the Trovillion Private Press became a semi-commercial venture. This same year, they began publishing At the Sign of the Silver Horse, a newsletter devoted to the subject of printing. The Trovillions were active in Republican Party politics. They published a political monthly, the Egyptian Republican, from 1927 to 1940. Mr. Trovillion also served on the Illinois Commerce Commission and the Illinois Public Employees Pension Laws Commission, and was a candidate for Secretary of State in the Republican primary election of 1928. The last two books issued by Trovillion Private Press were the companion volumes Faces and Places Remembered (1956) and Sharing My Notebook (1960). Both were written by Hal Trovillion and are comprised of brief autobiographical sketches of his travels, gardening interests, and publishing adventures. The last copy of At the Sign of the Silver Horse appeared in 1962. Hal Trovillion died in September 1966 after an extended illness. Violet Trovillion subsequently retired to Cape Coral, Florida, where she died June 30, 1979.
Access Restrictions: Unrestricted access.
Subject Index
Herrin (Ill.)
Jones, Dan Byrne
Jones, Dan Byrne - Correspondence
Misselhorn, Roscoe
Noheimer, Mathias.
Private presses - United States - History - 20th century
Smith, Mae Trovillion
Taylor, Robert Lewis, 1912-1998.
Trovillion, Hal W., 1879-1967.
Trovillion, Violet, b. 1890.
Trovillion Private Press
Van Loon, Helen
Webb, Margaret Ely
Genres/Forms of Material
Goudy, Frederic W., 1865-1947 - Correspondence
Manuscripts for publication.
Misselhorn, Roscoe - Correspondence
Noheimer, Mathias. - Correspondence
Smith, Mae Trovillion - Correspondence
Taylor, Robert Lewis, 1912-1998. - Correspondence
Trovillion, Hal W., 1879-1967. - Correspondence
Van Loon, Helen - Correspondence
Webb, Margaret Ely - Correspondence
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Rights/Use Restrictions: To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the World Wide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult Special Collections Research Center to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original.
Related Materials: Trovillion Private Press book collection in Rare Books.
PreferredCitation: [Item], Trovillion Private Press, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.