WREDEN, William P. Collection, 1942-1990.
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Guide to the William P. Wreden Collection

Title: William P. Wreden Collection

OCLC/RLIN No. (Unique ID): 861618390

Dates: 1942-1990

Extent: 1 linear foot

Abstract: The William P. Wreden collection is a group of catalogs, keepsakes and ephemera reflecting the personal and professional rare book collection of William P. Wreden.

 Access Restrictions: Collection is open for research use. Copyright restrictions may apply; please contact repository for requests for copying and for authorization to publish, quote, or reproduce the materials.

Preferred Citation: [Description and date of item], [Box/folder number], William P. Wreden Collection, 1942-1990, The Grolier Club of New York.

About the Finding Aid: This finding aid was prepared by Alison Lotto in Microsoft Word at the Grolier Club, October 2013.

Provenance: The collection was donated to the Grolier Club by William P. Wreden’s son, William P. Wreden, Jr. in January 2011.

Access Points:


Wreden, William P.

William P. Wreden Books & Manuscripts (firm)


Booksellers and bookselling—California—20th century

Booksellers and bookselling—California—20th century—Catalogs.


Booksellers' catalogs—California—20th century

Greeting cards—20th century

Printed ephemera—20th century

Keepsakes—20th century

Biographical/Historical Note: William P. Wreden was born in 1910 in Petaluma, California.  After his graduation from Stanford, Wreden worked at the Anglo-California National Bank in San Francisco. He founded William P. Wreden Books & Manuscripts in 1937, located in Palo Alto California. As a bookseller, Wreden was best known for his work with Elizabethan Manuscripts and had an extensive personal collection alongside his inventory. William P. Wreden also owned a large ranch in California and worked at both businesses until his death in 1995.

Sources: Cal Poly Library Finding aid for the MacMillan-Wreden California Condor Collection

William P. Wreden Obituary, San Francisco Chronicle, February 9, 1995.


Scope and Content Note: The William P. Wreden collection contains Wreden’s dealer catalogs, holiday cards, keepsakes and ephemera.


Arrangement Note: The materials were rehoused, and an arrangement was created by Meghan Constantinou in 2011; the organization reflects the type of material and its size and shape.


Container List:

 I. Catalogs, 1942 - 1990s

Note: Dealer began publishing catalogs in 1939 with no. 11. No catalogs issued under nos. 13 or 36 (See introduction in Checklist)

            Checklist of Imprints, 1990  

            Nos. 11 (1938); 18 (1942)-24 (194-?), 26 (194-?)-30 (194-?), 32 (195-?)-35 [1952],             37 (1954), 39 (195-?)-80 (199-).

            Occasional List no. 2 [after 1953]

            Anniversary Catalogue of American and English First Editions, no. 14 (n.d.)

            New Series List nos. 1-3, 5, 7, 11

                        Note: nos. 1-7 with address 442 Post St. (2nd Fl.) San Francisco; dealer was at that address                 between 1964 and 1970.

II. Christmas, Holiday, and New Year Cards, 1974-2000

            15 dated cards

            11 undated cards

III. Keepsakes, 1949-2000

            Approximately 24 mixed items

IV. Ephemera, ca. 1953-ca. 1990

            Approx. 24 Professional items (book announcements, stationary, etc.), ca. 1953-ca. 1990

            4 Serials (1 journal, 3 newspapers)

            2 Broadsides (rolled)

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