The New Arcadians - Introduction

Two issues of the New Arcadian Journal
Two issues of the New Arcadian Journal

The term 'New Arcadians' was coined to title the small press publishing venture launched in 1981 by Patrick Eyres, Ian Gardner and Grahame Jones. By 1987 the New Arcadian venture had become the New Arcadian Press. However the term 'New Arcadians' was borrowed by the British Library to describe the contemporary section of its exhibition, The Writer and the Garden (London 2004–2005), which embraced such luminaries as Ian Hamilton Finlay, Derek Jarman and Sir Roy Strong as well as the New Arcadian Press. Within the contemporary landscape design holdings of the library at Dumbarton Oaks, the term 'New Arcadians' is similarly used to encompass the collection of publications from three innovative and contemporary British small presses: Tarasque, Coracle and the New Arcadian Press. The logic of this conjunction lies in the interconnections between Stuart Mills, Simon Cutts, Ian Gardner and Patrick Eyres, and also in the relationship each one has enjoyed with Ian Hamilton Finlay (1925–2006). Nonetheless it is important to appreciate that Tarasque, Coracle and the New Arcadian Press are distinctive endeavours that are renowned for unique identities and achievements. Common ground lies in their innovatory use of publishing as a primary means of working and their ability to sustain production on minimal budgets. Moreover each enterprise was generated by the meeting of individuals who shared common interests and who sought to make these tangible in print.

In relation to the library's holdings, this introduction will comprise four sections:

Tarasque Press, Coracle Press, Ian Gardner: The Allotment File and Tour Books, The New Arcadian Press.

All introductory texts by Patrick Eyres, Editor/Publisher, New Arcadian Press

Materials featured in the collection

All materials are housed in the Rare Book Room, please check the library catalogue for details.

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