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The Ur-text Musæum

Peter Koch, et al..
Berkeley: Editions Koch & Stanford University Libraries, 2016

Volume 1
Peter Koch Printer: Embodied Language and the Form of the Book, A Descriptive Bibliography [1975–2016]


A Printer’s Geography: Peter Rutledge Koch, Printer & Typographer by Mark Dimunation, Chief of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress

Embodied Language and the Form of the Book: An interview with Peter Rutledge Koch by Roberto G. Trujillo, Assistant University Librarian and Director of Special Collections, Stanford University

Maverick Poets and Cowboy Surrealists by Timothy D. Murray, Head, Special Collections, University of Delaware Library

Peter Rutledge Koch | A Descriptive Bibliography of his Works 1975–2016 by Nina M. Schneider, Rare Books Librarian, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library

Volume 2
Hard Words: Memory and Death in the Wild West


The Minotaur and the River, by Aaron Parrett

Hard Words by Peter Rutledge Koch, Rick Newby, and Griff Williams

Nature Morte by Peter Rutledge Koch, Rick Newby, and Griff Williams

The Lost Journals of Sacajewea by Debra Magpie Earling & Peter Koch

Liber Ignis by Peter Rutledge Koch and Adam Cornford

Hard Words: Memory and Death in the Wild West documents Koch’s “Western Suite” consisting of three portfolio editions, two books, and two installation/exhibitions dedicated to themes of exploration and the subsequent destruction of the American West. The two volumes, Liber Ignis and The Lost Journals of Sacajewea, are fully illustrated in facsimile. Two exhibition/portfolios, Hard Words and Nature Morte, are presented in their entirety. The editions and commentaries by are accompanied by a lengthy critical essay by novelist and scholar Aaron Parrett.

Volume 3
Against Design: an Interview with Peter Rutledge Koch by Monique Comacchio and Camden Richards


Introduction by Russell Maret

Against Design: an interview by Monique Comacchio and Camden Richards

Against Design is an interview conducted by professional graphic designers and educators Monique Comacchio and Camden Richards questioning Koch about his printing practice and thoughts on typography and design. The result is an exploration of ideas related to material literacy and the art of printing as a philosophical practice. This volume focuses on the typographic design and letterpress printing that issued from the Koch studios over a forty-two year span. Generously illustrated with numerous examples of Koch’s bibliophilic, typographic, and cowboy surrealist ephemera.

Volume 4: [edition of 15 copies]
The Musæum Kochianum

The Ur-text Musæum, a suite of studies for a work-in-progress, consists of ten bifolia printed on vintage Fabriano Umbria handmade paper at Peter Koch Printers and Magnolia Editions. The Musaeum, composed of appropriated texts and images, is altered, annotated, and supplemented by Koch’s visual and verbal imagination— a surreal Liber Chronicarum for the 21st Century.

The origin of The Ur-text Musæum is Ur-text Volume 2, begun in 1994 and abandoned in favor of this treatment in 2017. The conceptual forerunners are Koch’s Ur-Text Volume 1, Christopher Plantin’s polyglot Biblia Regia, and Anton Koberger’s Liber Chronicarum. Texts include selections from the Book of Genesis (Jerome translation; also appearing in Hebrew and Greek); The Revelation of St. John from The New English Bible; the Inferno by Dante Alighieri; I Modi by Pietro Aretino; The Effects of Nuclear Weapons by The United States Department of Defense, with additional marginalia, commentary, and Koch’s long poem “Magnus Annus” first published in The Aldebaran Review, Berkeley, 1968.

Images are collected from a number of sources including: Liber Chronicarum by Hartmann Schedel, Nuremburg 1493, I Modi by Pietro Aretino, Venice 1550; Heinrich Khunrath’s Amphitheatrum Sapientiae Aeternae, Solius, Verae, Christiano- Kabalisticum, Divino-Magicum, Physico-Chymicum, Tertriunum-Catholicon. Hamburg 1595; The Robert Fludd’s Utriusque Cosmi ... metaphysica, physica atque technica Historia, &c., Oppenheim and Frankfort, 1617–24; The Effects of Nuclear Weapons United States Department of Defense and the Energy Research and Development Administration Washington D.C. 1977; with additional images from US Department of Defense; the Library Of Congress; the Montana Historical Society Photographic Archives; random internet captures; etc.

Volume 5: [edition of 15 copies]
Koch Ephemera [selected 1974-2016]

The Koch Ephemera — an assembling of ephemera, original prints, exhibition and lecture announcements, posters, type specimens, etc. — also includes four exhibition catalogues: Peter Koch Printer | Cowboy Surrealists, Maverick Poets & Pre-Socratic Philosophers published jointly by the New York Public and the San Francisco Public Libraries in 1995; Peter Koch Printer | Recent Work published by the Department of Printing and Graphic Arts, The Houghton Library, Harvard University [1995]; Hard Words published by Gallery 16 and the University of Montana Art Galeries [2000]; Nature Morte published by the Holter Museum of Art [2004].

Additionally the collection includes original prospectuses for sixteen publications designed and printed by Koch

The Musæum Kochianum
A boxed edition of fifteen copies of the three-volume catalogue accompanied by a fourth volume entitled The Ur-text Musæum and a boxed selection of four exhibition catalogues, printed ephemera, announcements, and a variety of prospectuses issued from the press over the past forty years. $3,500

Book;    9 x 12 inches    15 copies.       $3500.00