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Stuart Teacher collection of significant items in the history of Running Press


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

In 1972, brothers Stuart "Buz" Teacher (1947-) and Lawrence "Larry" Teacher (1941-2014) founded Running Press, a Philadelphia based publishing company. Running Press began by releasing books in the public domain, particularly those which appealed to interests in environmentalism and craftsmanship characteristic of the early 1970s. The company strategically focused on maintaining a strong backlist (books that can be expected to sell year-round) especially by publishing within book series, and grew to be one of the most successful independent publishers in the nation by the mid-1980s. A crucial component of Running Press' business model and professional culture was weekly "New Titles" meetings, in which employees brainstormed, presented, and refined their ideas for original book projects.

In 1994, Larry retired from Running Press and sold his shares of the company to his brother. In 2002, Stuart Teacher (by then the sole CEO of Running Press) entered negotiations with the Perseus Book Group, a New York City based company, to sell Running Press. Running Press became one of the eight imprints owned by Perseus Books, and continues to operate in Philadelphia. Teacher maintained a management position at Running Press and served on Perseus Books' board of directors for one year before resigning from both positions in 2003, though he maintained some subsequent involvement with the company.

This 46-item collection (1972-2017, undated) consists of documents and artifacts identified by Stuart Teacher as significant to the history of Running Press. Many of the non-print objects in this collection (such as items 1-10) represent the circumstances surrounding the establishment of Running Press as well as the professional environment of the company. A number of the collection's paper documents relate more to the creative process through which Running Press developed ideas for new titles to publish (items 23-37, for example). The collection also contains a few in-depth surveys of the company from a business or financial standpoint, like items 19 and 39, which pertain to the sale of Running Press to Perseus Books or item 20, which concerns Stuart Teacher's purchase of his brother's Running Press stock.

Short essays written by Stuart Teacher, which articulate the context and significance of each item in this collection are available here, and comprise a critical asset for researchers interested in this collection and Running Press, more generally.

Gift of Stuart Teacher, 2017.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Rive Cadwallader
Finding Aid Date
2017 November 6
Access Restrictions

The bulk of this collection is open for research use, however, Item 31: Documents relating to Nancy Steele's termination of employment at Running Press (box 3, folder 1) is restricted from use until 2028.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Collection Inventory

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Item 1: Address book belonging to Stuart Teacher, circa 1970.
Box 1 Folder 1
Item 2: Business card for Sky Forest Enterprises, circa 1970.
Box 1 Folder 1
Item 4: Wind King lighter, circa 1970.
Box 6 Folder 1
Item 5: Paper seal embosser, circa 1970.
Box 6 Folder 2
Item 6: Bookmark from Leary's Book Store, circa 1970.
Box 1 Folder 1
Item 7: Family photograph and issue of Publishers Weekly with feature article on Running Press, circa 1953, 1991 November 22.
Box 1 Folder 2
Item 8: Tote bag, baseball cap, pullover and 9 t-shirts printed for Running Press staff, 1982-1995, undated.
Box 8-9 Folder unknown container
Item 9: Silver and gold pins commemorating (respectively) the five and ten year anniversaries of Running Press, circa 1977 and 1982.
Box 6 Folder 3
Item 10: Varsity-style jacket embroidered with "Running Press" and produced for staff, undated.
Box 8 Folder unknown container
Item 11: Acrylic block with images of Running Press catalog covers, and crystal paperweight, commemmorating Stuart Teacher's purchase of Lawrence Teacher's company stock, 1994.
Box 7 Folder unknown container
Item 12: Counterfeit copy of Running Press Miniature Edition on palm reading, circa 1996.
Box 6 Folder 4
Item 13: Small souvenir photo of Stuart and Lawrence Teacher with a copy of The Complete Encyclopedia Of Needlework in a plastic frame, 1972 October.
Box 6 Folder 5
Item 14: 5 small souvenirs for brands with which Running Press pursued licenses, 1987-1995, undated.
Box 6 Folder 6
Item 15: Gold medal granted to Running Press by the Art Directors Club of Philadelphia, undated.
Box 6 Folder 7
Item 16: Bronze letters ("RUNNING PRESS BOOK PUBLISHERS") mounted in a shallow box, undated.
Box 10 Folder unknown container
Item 18: Photographs of Running Press staff, business trips, and headquarters, circa 1978-1993.
Box 1 Folder 3
Item 19: "Confidential Memorandum" relating to the sale of Running Press to Perseus Books Group, 2001.
Box 1 Folder 4
Item 20: Documentation of the sale of Lawrence Teacher's Running Press stock to Stuart Teacher, 1993-1994.
Box 1 Folder 5
Item 21: Issue of Publishers Weekly featuring announcements by Running Press, 1983 August.
Box 1 Folder 6
Item 21: Issues of Publishers Weekly featuring announcements by Running Press, 1984 February, 1986 August.
Box 2 Folder 1-2
Item 22: Booklet on printing in Hong Kong; and itinerary, receipts and notes from a business trip to China, 2009.
Box 2 Folder 3
Item 23: Documentation of Running Press collaboration with M. Shanken Communications to publish Wine Spectator and Cigar Aficionado books, 1997-2001, undated.
Box 2 Folder 4
Item 24: Papers relating to the Treasure Chest book series, and editorial proposal for the Leonardo Treasure Chest, 1994-2000, undated.
Box 2 Folder 5
Item 25: Agendas, correspondence and notes relating to New Titles meetings, and collaborations with Quarto, Chrysalis Books and Colour Library, 1996-2001, undated.
Box 2 Folder 6
Item 26: Documentation of book proposals submitted by Lawrence Teacher, 1994 April 21-1996 January 10.
Box 2 Folder 7
Item 27: "Indefinites" list of book ideas from New Titles meetings , 1990-1996, undated.
Box 2 Folder 8
Item 28: Author contract signed by Matthew Teacher for Songwriter's Notebook, 2002 March 6.
Box 2 Folder 9
Item 29: Documents relating to Stuart Teacher's termination of employment at Running Press, 2003 December - 2004 January, undated.
Box 2 Folder 9
Item 30: Printing quotes for Jonathan Ervin's Leather Notebook and the Malibu Tiles Coloring Book, 1973-1980.
Box 2 Folder 10
Item 31: Documents relating to Nancy Steele's termination of employment at Running Press [RESTRICTED], 1998-1999.
Box 3 Folder 1
Item 32: Stock certificate for Library Publications, Inc., undated.
Box 3 Folder 2
Item 33: Issue of Publishers Weekly with mention of the sale of Burgess Lea Press to Quarto, 2017 January 2.
Box 3 Folder 2
Item 34: Longines watch gifted to Stuart Teacher by Robert Morley, circa 1992.
Box 6 Folder 8
Item 35: Limited edition shark skin Filofax organizer with silver Tiffany pen , circa 2000-2004.
Box 3 Folder 3
Item 36: The Key to the Kingdom, set of transformation playing cards illustrated by Tony Meeuwissen with companion volume, published by Running Press, 1992.
Box 3 Folder 4
Item 37: Private ledger belonging to Stuart Teacher, 1985-1986.
Box 3 Folder 5
Item 38: Two leather saddlebags made by Jonathan Ervin for Stuart Teacher, circa 1970.
Box 9 Folder unknown container
Item 39: Bound documents and legal agreements (2 volumes) concerning the sale of Running Press to Perseus Capital, 2002.
Box 4 Folder 1
Item 39: Bound documents and legal agreements (2 volumes) concerning the sale of Running Press to Perseus Capital, 2002.
Box 5 Folder 1
Item 40: "Running Press is off and running," advertisement placed in Publishers Weekly, circa 1972.
Box 4 Folder 2
Item 41: Book ideas submitted to Running Press by Lawrence Teacher, 1994-1996, undated.
Box 4 Folder 2
Item 42: Meeting schedules for the London Book Fair, 2002-2007, undated.
Box 4 Folder 3
Item 43: Documents relating to "Special Favors" business venture, 2000-2001.
Box 4 Folder 3
Item 44: Documents pertaining to sales director John Whalen, 2004, undated.
Box 4 Folder 4
Item 45: Ideas for book additions to 11 existing series, 1986-2001, undated, bulk 1994-1996.
Box 5 Folder 2-3
Item 46: "Brothers began publishing house, then 'Sisters' came along," article by Peter Binzen in The Philadelphia Inquirer, 1996 December 30.
Drawer 108 Folder unknown container

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