RepositoryOxford Brookes University
ExtentApprox. 500 books
TitleRainbird Archive
DescriptionThe collection consists of over 500 illustrated books covering many subjects including wine, cookery, art, antiques, religion (including Bibles), history, and natural history. Rainbird sold books to 280 different publishers in 29 different countries and the collection includes these, many of them foreign language editions. Some of the Rainbird titles went on to become best sellers and involved many well-known authors, designers and editors including J. B. Priestly, A. J. P. Taylor, Jane Grigson and Geoffrey Grigson.
AccessConditionsPlease use the Library Catalogue, available at www.brookes.ac.uk/library, to search for the published items in this collection.
The collection may be viewed in the special collections reading room only.
CreatorNameGeorge Rainbird Ltd
AdminHistoryThe Rainbird archive is the imprint of the company which started out in 1951 as Rainbird, McLean Ltd and became George Rainbird Ltd in 1958. George Rainbird, together initially with Ruari McLean, designed and produced accessible illustrated books for other publishers to sell. He was the first to do this and the standards set by the 'Rainbird book' were later copied by many of his clients. The companies spanned the years 1951 to 1982, when George Rainbird retired on his 77th birthday.
CustodialHistoryThe collection was created by George Rainbird Ltd, and passed on to the publisher Paul Hamlyn. The collection came to Oxford Brookes University in 2004 through former head of Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies, Professor Paul Richardson.
ArchNoteCollection level description by Eleanor Possart, 2008.
Related MaterialThe Archive of Ruari McLean Associates, a company set up by Rainbird's business partner, is held at Reading University Library; it contains material produced at Rainbird, McLean. McLean has also written books on the subject of typography and many of these can be found in Oxford Brookes Headington Library.
See also the Artists' Books Collection and the Book Design Collection.
SubjectBook design
Book illustration
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