About the Petrarch Press

Why We Do It

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

Peter Bishop’s Petrarch Press (1985-1996)

The 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

Press Facade

Revival of the Petrarch Press (2002-Present)

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.

Book Arts Community

The Petrarch Press is a member of:

  • The Fine Press Book Association
  • The Guild of Bookworkers
  • The American Printing History Association
Commission Sheets

Commissioning a Fine Press Edition

While we certainly appreciate our supporters’ donations, we also enjoy the opportunity to use our skills and talents to produce finely crafted books. If you are a publisher, artist, designer, or letterpress enthusiast with a book that deserves our special fine-press treatment, please consider using the Petrarch Press.

Donating to the Press

The Petrarch Press is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization so your donation is tax deductible. We are dedicated to promoting the tradition of fine press printing. If you share our passion and would like to help us by sending a donation we will be very happy to receive it.