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.