The Letter of Columbus on his Discovery of the New World


This book showcases a facsimile of the famous Stephen Plannck 1493 Latin edition of the Columbus Letter (De Insulis inuentis. Epistola Cristoferi Colom.) and includes an introduction describing the voyage and the events surrounding it, an English translation by Columbus historian Samuel Eliot Morison, and a bibliographic afterword providing information on the near 500 year publishing history of the Letter. Five woodcuts from the Basel Latin edition of 1493 illustrate the text. Also included is a title-page illustration of a sketch-map (attributed to Columbus) of the West Indies, considered the first cartographic view of the New World.

The Letter of Columbus has all the characteristics of a mature and talented craftsman who knows what he is about. . . clean, handsome, straightforward, and unpretentious, an appropriate vehicle for prose uncluttered with hyperbolic purple.—Fine Print


Recipient of the first annual Carl Hertzog Award for Excellence in Book Design.

Documentation detailing the production of this book appeared in the Italian journal Columbus 92 in 1990.

The Letter of Columbus was designed by Gerald Lange and letterpress printed by Robin Price. It was handset in Monotype Poliphilus and Forum Titling (display) and printed in two colors on Frankfurt Cream mouldmade paper. The book measures 6-1/2 by 9-3/4 inches. 51 pages.

The edition consists of 300 numbered copies bound in Zanders’ Elephant Hide paper (with Nigerian goatskin spines). This was the first book publication of the USC Fine Arts Press, 1989. Available direct from The Bieler Press. $475.