The edition of the Vale Press publications varied between 150 and 320 copies. So at most 150 complete collections may exist, but many public collections contain only a few volumes, although some are more complete or even exhaustive.
Where did copies of an arbitrary Vale Press book end up, for example, Poems of Alfred Lord Tennyson - alternative title on the spine and in the colophon: Lyric Poems. The book was published in 1900. This is certainly not one of the most desirable volumes of Ricketts's publications - the volume is not illustrated with wood-engravings and - even in 1900 - there were so many other editions of Tennyson's work for sale. The same goes for its companion volume In Memoriam.
|Poems of Alfred Lord Tennyson, decoration by Charles Ricketts
(Vale Press, 1900)
Distribution of the edition has been largely limited to the English-speaking world. Many copies of Poems of Alfred Lord Tennyson remained in the country of production, which is little wonder: there are thirteen copies on paper and (at least) one on vellum in British libraries and museums.
However, most copies of this edition are in the United States where, based on online catalogues, as many as twenty-five copies can be counted. In addition, three copies are in Australian libraries and only one copy is kept in Irish libraries, which is also true of Canadian libraries.
Perhaps there are also copies in Asian, African or South American libraries, but I have not been able to ascertain that. Nor does the European continent abound in Vale Press editions. I have only found two copies of this edition in Dutch institutional collections, where there is a copy on paper (Leiden University Library) and a copy on vellum (National Library The Hague).
|Prospectus for the Vale Press Tennyson edition (1900)
In all, only 46 copies of the edition of 320 copies have now been located.
There are Vale Press books in German, Belgian and French libraries (not this edition), but I have not yet discovered them in northern European libraries (Scandinavia) or southern European countries (Italy, Spain).
Apparently, they were collected only in countries where the Private Press movement exerted some influence around 1900.
|Poems of Alfred Lord Tennyson, initial by Charles Ricketts
(Vale Press, 1900)
It is impossible to get a complete picture of the copies on private bookshelves. However, we can see where copies are for sale.
Four copies are currently offered online by antiquarian bookshops in Seattle (USA), Adelaide (Australia), Zurich (Switzerland) and Glasgow (Great Britain).