A. Editioned Books
This section describes the editioned fine press and artists’ books made in collaboration by Peter and Donna Thomas from 1978-2017. Typically Peter made the paper, set the type, and printed the text, while Donna created the illustrations and bound the books. There are only a few books printed on commercial paper, and only a few editions bound solely by Peter, primarily the books made for Donna’s birthdays.
All text in quotations, unless otherwise stated, was provided by Peter Thomas.
“We first used ‘The Good Book Press’ as our press name and imprint. At the time we were making hundreds of blank books a month to sell at the California Renaissance Pleasure Faire, and, influenced by a college lecture on archetypes, we chose this name thinking of the ‘good book press’ as a mythic equivalent of the ‘good sword’: always ready to provide aid in time of need.
In 1987, during a phone conversation with a librarian we did not know, we learned that because they did not collect religious work they had always tossed out our prospectuses without looking at them. We had not thought of our press name that way and wondered how many other librarians did the same. We needed a new name, but deciding on one was harder than imagined. In 1988 we made 30 copies of The Papermaking Rhyme [A46] trying out the imprint Thomas Press. That name did not stick, but led us to realize we were not a 'press' (like Random House, trying to build up equity in a name so we could later sell it). We were artists making books. With that clear, we decided it made the most sense to use our own names as our imprint. We started doing this in 1989, usually as 'Peter and Donna Thomas, Santa Cruz,' but sometimes in the smallest of miniature books we would abbreviate it down to 'P&D Thomas.'”