The objective of the press is to stimulate publication of fine books using contemporary printing techniques instead of the customary letterpress with its inherent limitations. Lime Rock Press books emphasize excellence of graphic design, full use of modern typographic techniques, and the combining of numerous photographs with unusual text.

    The Seymour family oversees every step of publication from original idea through shipping and billing. They prepare all mechanicals for printing, plan the book manufacturing, handle promotion, advertising and sales, and then pack and regularly deliver stacks of books to the Salisbury post office.

    At the outset, the publishing efforts by Lime Rock Press were more in line with traditional trade books: A Bicentennial photographic book, Concord Hymn, and a children's book, Sam Shue and the Seven Satchels. Confronted by the book distribution problems that discourage most new publishers, the firm learned how to develop a small, steady sale of books through direct mail and exhibits at library conventions.

    Two years ago the family decided to create an entirely new kind of publication, a large format photographic book with a limited run of only 500 copies, of which 100 would be set aside for a deluxe edition. Because of the high manufacturing costs, the book had to be priced at more than $30 per copy, which automatically ruled out most bookstore sales. The press found collectors, rare book dealers, and libraries interested in buying the book because of its own special qualities, and sales turned out to be quite brisk.

    That first book was Dylan Thomas's New York, with photographs and introductory text by Tryntje Van Ness Seymour. The book received favorable mention from both The New York Times and Los Angeles Times, as well as other reviewers. Paperback rights for a popular-priced edition were subsequently sold to Stemmer House Publishers in Maryland.

    The firm's second limited edition photographic book is Marcel Proust's Combray, with photographs and introductory essay by Gabriel North Seymour. The official publication date is Sept. 30, but prepublication orders have already kept the shipping department hopping. George D. Painter, author of the leading Proust biography, recently wrote the firm from England complimenting it on "a piece of fine book production."

    Originally operated out of a workroom and storage area in the Seymour family home, Lime Rock Press this summer expanded into a showroom at Salisbury Artisans on Washinee Street. The showroom includes a small exhibit area for display of the firm's publications and exhibition of original photographs used in producing the books.



September 6, 1979

Lime Rock Press recently resurrected the small hand press given to Mr. Seymour by his father as a Christmas present when he was ten years old. The press has been busy this summer printing pages for the firm's first miniature book, Holiday Memory, by Dylan Thomas, with pages measuring only two by two-and-a-quarter inches.

   Lime Rock Press, a family-run publishing firm in Salisbury, is attracting international attention for its limited edition books. Organized in 1975, the company is operated entirely by the W.N. Seymour Jr. family.

    Mr. Seymour, a New York City lawyer, is president, daughters Tryntje, 23, and Gabriel, 21, are vice-presidents, and Mrs. Seymour is secretary.

    The only non-family member in the business is Edmund Marquette of Lakeville, the corporation's accountant and a member of its board of directors.


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NOTE:  In 1984, Whitney North Seymour, Jr. founded The Small Press Center at the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen, 20 West 44th Street, in New York City, to encourage small press publishing.