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Penmaen/Busyhaus Collection

Identifier: 2000-0126

Scope and Content

This collection contains correspondence and artifacts relating to the friendship and professional collaboration between Michael McCurdy and Robert Hauser, and is arranged into three series: Correspondence, Face to Face Artifacts, and Photographs.


  • Creation: 1967-2005


The collection is open and available for research.

Restrictions on Use

Permission to publish from these Papers must be obtained in writing from both the University of Connecticut Libraries and the owner(s) of the copyright.


Robert Hauser, founder of Busyhaus Associates (1974) and Busyhaus Publications(1984) was born 14 August 1942 in Wareham, MA, and grew up in Falmouth, MA. Hauser studied Graphic Arts at the School of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts from 1963 to 1967. He continued his studies at Tufts University, where he earned his Bachelor of Science and Education in 1970 and a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1973. He served as the Museum Conservator at the Museum of American Textile History in North Andover, Massachusetts, from 1968 until 1982, at which time he accepted the Museum Conservator position at Old Dartmouth Historical Society Whaling Museum in New Bedford, Massachusetts. He co-founded the New England Conservation Association in 1978. In 1974, Hauser established Busyhaus Associates, offering professional graphic and exhibit design, preservation services, technical and historical research in the book arts, and educational programs. He has published over a dozen scholarly articles on topics such as decorative papers, paper preservation, paper duplication, and bookbinding, including American Decorative Papermakers, published from his own press in 1984.

The name "Busyhaus" was derived from Hauser once saying that "this house is too busy" and his design interest in the Bauhaus he combined the German for house into "Busyhaus." Hauser is a Fellow of the American Institute for Conservation and a member of the Boston Society of Printers. Between 1974 and 1998 Busyhaus conducted over one hundred book art and hand papermaking workshops at universities and art museums.

Michael McCurdy, who owned and operated Penmaen Press from 1967 to 1985, was born 17 February 1942 in New York City and grew up in New Rochelle, NY, and Marblehead, Massachusetts. From 1960 to 1966, he attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, where he completed his first wood engraving (1963) and met his longtime friend and collaborator Robert Hauser. At Tufts University, he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts (1964) and a Master of Fine Arts (1971). He served as an Instructor at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts from 1966-1967, at Concord Academy from 1972-1975, and at Wellesley College Library Rare Book Print Lab from 1975-1976. McCurdy founded Penmaen Press in 1968, from which he published many high quality literary works, including first-edition poetry, fiction, and translation, until he discontinued the Press in 1985. As of 2004, his artwork had been included in 194 books and had been commissioned by dozens of corporations and institutions for use as company logos or to illustrate literature.

Hauser and McCurdy first met in March 1966, when McCurdy commissioned Hauser to design posters for an exhibit at Tufts University. They soon collaborated on other projects, as McCurdy did engravings for several of Hauser's works, while Hauser designed artistic bindings for some of McCurdy's Penmaen Press books. In August 1983, Hauser proposed the idea that would become Face to Face, and the project would keep them working together closely for years to come. Face to Face: Twelve Contemporary American Artists Interpret Themselves in a Limited Edition of Original Wood Engravings was published in 1985 in an edition of 250 boxed sets, each of which contained twelve original 6 x 8-inch signed wood engravings by Fred Becker, Jack Coughlin, John DePol, Fritz Eichenberg, Raymond Gloeckler, James Grashow, Judith Jaidinger, Stefan Martin, Michael McCurdy, Barry Moser, Gillian Tyler, Herbert Waters, and an unsigned engraving by Lynd Ward, to whom the collection was dedicated. The introduction was written by Leonard Baskin. McCurdy's work in Face to Face was engraved in 1983 and the remainder in 1984.


5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The collection consists primarily of the correspondence of Robert Hauser and Michael McCurdy, friends and business associates from 1967 to 2003, as well as detailed documentation of the their collaboration in the creation of Face to Face. In addition, the collection contains prospectus mailers, signed prints, original wood block engravings, and photographs ranging from 1967 to 2000, which document both the friendship and professional collaboration of the two men.


Series I: Correspondence (1967-2003) contains letters, cards, keepsakes, drawings, newsclippings, and business records, with a large percentage of the material being from the mid-1980s. Most of these materials were sent by Michael McCurdy to Robert Hauser, though a few copies of Hauser's notes to McCurdy as well as some correspondence from others is also included. The correspondence between McCurdy and Hauser not only documents their friendship over many years, but also effectively documents the creation and subsequent marketing of Face to Face, as well as the professional projects of Michael McCurdy over several decades. The correspondence primarily documents the emergence of a fine letterpress printing press in New England (i.e. Penmaen Press).

Series II: Face to Face Artifacts (1984-1985) includes artifacts remaining from the production of the book, Face to Face. Included are copies of the prospectus that was mailed to prospective buyers, title page proofs, signed prints, and eleven of the original wood block engravings used for the book's production. An actual copy of Face to Face has been separated from the collection and cataloged.

Series III: Photographs (1967-2000) includes several pictures, prints, and slides that were removed from the correspondence between Hauser and McCurdy. Many of these photographs portray Hauser and McCurdy together at various social functions and during visits. A second subseries contains photographs removed from Face to Face records and include photos documenting the production process of the book, including photographs of its contributors and of the craftsmen who helped construct the book. Several of these photographs appear predate Face to Face and may document the earlier friendship between Hauser, McCurdy, and others.

Acquisition Information

The collection has been donated by Mr. Robert Hauser in several installments.

Related Material

Archives & Special Collections has a substantial collection of materials pertaining to literary and small press materials. See especially, Penmaen Press Records. For detailed information on these collections please contact the curator or ask at the Reading Room desk.

Separated Material

The following materials have been separated from the collection and cataloged:

Allen, Everett S.This Quiet Pace: A Cape Cod Chronicle. Dodd Call No. C6366

Amman, Jost. The Book of Trades. Dodd Call No. A 5109

Bartón, Paulé. The Woe Shirt. (2 copies) Dodd Call No. C 6418

Chamberlain, Walter. The Thames and Hudson Manual of Wood Engraving. Dodd Call No. C 6365

Chatto, William Andrew. A Treatise on Wood Engraving. Dodd Call No.

Childs, Christopher, comp. Clear Sky, Pure Light. Dodd Call No. C 6420

Connellan, Leo. Crossing America. (4 copies) Dodd Call No. WPS 3637

Coover, Robert. Charlie in the House of Rue. (2 copies) Dodd Call No.

Csoóri, Sándor. Memory of Snow. Dodd Call No.

Dacey, Philip. Gerard Manly Hopkins meets Walt Whitman in Heaven and Other Poems. Dodd Call No. C 6422

Dickens, Charles. A Christmas Carol. Dodd Call No. WPR 737

Domjan, Joseph. Peacock Festival. Dodd Call No. WNE 20

Douglass, Frederick. Escape from Slavery. Dodd Call No. CLC C35682

Eberhart, Richard. Poems to Poets. (2 copies) Dodd Call No.

Eichenberg, Fritz. Six Decades of Prints. Dodd Call No. XA I.10 no. 47

Emerson, Ralph Waldo. Nature and Other Writings. Dodd Call No. A 5112

Farmer, Jane M., organizer. American Prints from Wood. Dodd Call No.

Ferguson, William. Light of Paradise. (2 copies) Dodd Call No.

Gilgun, John. Everything that has been shall be again. the reincarnation fables of John Gilgun. Dodd Call No.A 5164

Ginsberg, Allen. To Eberhart from Ginsberg: a letter about Howl, 1956: an explanation by Allen Ginsberg of his publication Howl and Richard Eberhart's New York times article "West coast rhythms," together with comments by both poets and relief etchings by Jerome Kaplan. (2 copies) Dodd Call No.

Hassall, Joan. The wood engravings of Joan Hassall. Dodd Call No.

Hutton, Warwick. Making woodcuts. Dodd Call No. B 6632

Kennedy, X.J.. Celebrations after the death of John Brennan. (4 copies) Dodd Call No. C 6424/6425

Kennedy, X.J., coll. and ed. Tygers of Wrath. Dodd Call No. C 6372

King, B.A.. The very best Christmas tree. Dodd Call No. WPZ 348

Knight, Sarah Kemble. The Journal of Madam Knight. Dodd Call No. C 6369

Leighton, Clare. Whre land meets sea: The enduring Cape Cod. Dodd Call No. B6634

Lindley, Kenneth. The Woodblock Engravers. Dodd Call No. B 6633

Lowe, Pardee, Jr., trans. King Harald and the Icelanders. (3 copies) Dodd Call No.

Malanga, Gerard. Rosebud. (2 copies) Dodd Call No.

Mamet, David. Passover. (2 copies) Dodd Call No. A 5163/B 6649

Matson, Tim. Round-trip to Deadsville. Dodd Call No. C 6367

McCurdy, Michael. Face to Face. Dodd Call No.

McCurdy, Michael. Toward the Light. (2 copies) Dodd Call No. CLC D986/A 5116

McCurdy, Michael. Trapped by the Ice!. Dodd Call No.

Muir, John. The Cruise of the Corwin. Dodd Call No. A 5110

Murdoch, Iris. Something Special. Dodd Call No. A 5111

Norris, Joan, ed. Banquet. Dodd Call No.

Peich, Michael, comp. and ed. The First Ten: A Penmaen Bibliography. (2 copies) Dodd Call No. C6848

Perrin, Noel. Last Person Rural. Dodd Call No. C 6370

Petersen, David, ed. The Poetry of Edward Abbey. Dodd Call No. A5107

Philip, Neil, comp. American Fairy Tales. Dodd Call No.

Poe, Edgar Allan. Eleonora. (2 copies) Dodd Call No. A 5114

Raymo, Chet. The Soul of the Night. Dodd Call No. C 6371

Rumpel, Heinrich. Wood Engraving. Dodd Call No. A 5108

Sander, David M.. Wood Engraving: An Adventure in Printmaking. Dodd Call No. C 6373

Saroyan, William. An Act of Two of Foolish Kindness. Dodd Call No. C 6421

Schwartz, Lynne Sharon. The Accounting. Dodd Call No.

Society of Wood Engravers, comp. Engravers: a handbook for the nineties. Dodd Call No. C 6368

Thoreau, Henry David. Backwoods & along the Seashore. Dodd Call No. A 5113

Unwin, Nora S.. 25 Wood engravings. Dodd Call No. D 1692

Victoria and Albert Museum. Reynolds Stone, 1909-1979. Dodd Call No. A 5115

Voltaire, Francois Marie Arout de. Poem Upon the Lisbon Disaster. (3 copies) Dodd Call No.

Wallace, Dillon. The Lure of the Labrador Wild. Dodd Call No. B 6631

Dove at the Windows. (3 copies) Dodd Call No. D 1700

The Malahat Review. No. 63 Dodd Call No. B 6635

General note

Collaborated Works:

Missing Title

  1. Face to Face: Twelve Contemporary American Artists Interpret Themselves in a Limited Edition of Original Wood Engravings, Great Barrington, MA: Penmaen/Busyhaus Publications, 1985.
Penmaen/Busyhaus Collection, The Correspondence of Michael McCurdy and Robert Hauser
Archives & Special Collections staff
2004 October
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, University of Connecticut Library Repository

University of Connecticut Library
405 Babbidge Road Unit 1205
Storrs Connecticut 06269-1205 USA US