The Petrarch Press

The history of the original and the revived Petrarch Press.

Why We Do It

Volunteers Printing.HAVE YOU EVER marveled at the beauty of an Austin Healey, or appreciated the craftsmanship of an antique roll top desk and thought, “They just don’t make things like that any more”? Have you ever found a beautiful old book in your grandfather’s study, or discovered a gem in the rare book collection at your library and wondered why books today don’t give you the same thrill to hold and enjoy?   More…


Peter Bishop’s Petrarch Press (1985-1996)

Peter BishopThe Petrarch Press was founded in California’s Sierra foothills in 1985 by Peter Bishop with the aim to publish important world literature in fine, hand-printed editions. Starting out “with Lewis Allen’s Printing with the Handpress in one hand and a composing stick in the other”, and inspired by the work of Joseph Blumenthal and Giovanni Mardersteig, Peter taught himself to print, in the tradition of earlier fine-press printers, on his 1865 cast-iron Albion Super Royal handpress.   More…


Revival of the Petrarch Press (2002-Present)

Front Entrance.THE PETRARCH PRESS in Oregon House, California is a revival and expansion of the late Peter Bishop’s own Petrarch Press, which produced a series of special, hand-printed, limited editions both in Northern California and in New York City from 1985 through 1996. The Petrarch Press now builds on the rich history of 110 years of fine-press printing, using our passion and standards of refinement to create lasting fine editions of great world literature with a focus on typography.

The new Petrarch Press is formed as a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, and is supported by donations from its supporters and by the sale of its books. With the help of a small group of dedicated volunteers, the Press aims to continue the tradition of creating hand-printed books in a world that increasingly values ephemeral information over timeless values.