Douglas Crawford McMurtrie was a printer, typographer, and bibliographer who wrote or contributed to at least 779 separate works on all aspects of printing and bibliography in the first half of the twentieth century.
McMurtrie began experimenting with typography in high school and continued his interest as editor of the Yearbook at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After graduating he was employed by the Pittsburgh Typhoid Fever Commission where he became responsible for the printing of their publications.
McMurtrie's first efforts in bibliography grew from his involvement with the Society for Crippled Children-- he compiled a list of all materials on the subject of handicapped children. He later served as director of several publishing firms,including the Columbia University printing office, the Arbor Press , and his own Douglas McMurtrie, Inc. When financial difficulties set in, he sold the press to Condé Nast publications but remained as general manager of Condé Nast press. In 1927 he moved to the Ludlow Typography Company in Chicago where he remained until his death in 1944.
The bulk of the collection is comprised of published pamphlets written by Douglas McMurtrie between 1925-1944. The rest of the materials are primarily books and loose articles.
The papers include a wide variety of themes including the history of printing, the origins of printing, bibliographies, pioneer printing, and topical issues. Each publication is geographically specific and includes regions within the United States as well as man European and South American countries.