Item 4 - Letter from Kenneth Sisam to Amy McKerrow

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Letter from Kenneth Sisam to Amy McKerrow


  • 12 June 1940 (Creation)

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The Clarendon Press, Oxford.—The Press would still like to publish R. B. McKerrow’s ‘Elements of Bibliography’ if the MS is in a suitable state, but could not, after the war, go on with the proposal to produce a new edition of Printers’ and Publishers’ Devices.



The Clarendon Press, Oxford
12th June, 1940.

Dear Mrs. McKerrow,

I am writing a separate letter about the short Bibliography. I find that we had the MS. for a short time, but returned it on 24th July 1939. {1}

When we last saw your husband he said it was in lecture form, and it would need a certain amount of revision to give it book form, not only in details of wording—in some points it would want rounding or pulling together. We agreed that Miss Walker should read through the MS. to see if your husband had in fact carried out this revision, and should report on it. We should like to go on with the work if it is ready for publication in book form, or can easily be made ready.

I explained that this would have to be a cheap book, to distinguish it from the larger book; and that we thought the royalty proposed would probably give a better result than a higher royalty on a dearer book.

Yours sincerely,
Kenneth Sisam

P.S. Perhaps I should add that I am sure the Delegates, after this war, could not go on with the proposal, which had never been more than tentative, to produce a new edition of Printers’ and Publishers’ Devices. Possibly Mr. Ferguson could persuade the Bibliographical Society to take it up when their commitments are clear, for they, with their body of subscribers, are in the best position to circulate it.


Mrs. A. McKerrow,
Picket Piece, Wendover, Bucks.


Typed, except signature and initials. At the head is the reference ‘4673/K.S.’, and by the postscript is ‘3985’.

{1} See Add. Ms. a. 355/6/2a–b.

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