Skip to main content

Elliott M. Ruben Amateur Press Association Collection

Identifier: MsC0336

  • Staff Only
  • Please navigate to collection organization to place requests.

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of a number of different materials relating to Elliott Ruben's interests in amateur journalism ("ajay") and his membership in a number of amateur press associations ("apas"). The materials in Series I consist of 'bundles' of publications sent to apa members at regular intervals. In most apas, members submit copies of their publications to an Official Mailer (or Editor, who then collates the materials into 'bundles' and sends them to the membership so that each member has a copy of whatever publication the other members choose to print and distribute. The Ruben Collection organizes its bundles alphabetically by the name of the apa, and thereunder chronologically by the date sent. Oversize materials from each bundle have been unfolded and placed behind the smaller materials in the bundle - in folders that have bundles with oversize materials, these large and unfolded materials serve as the boundary between individual bundles. The Ruben Collection contains bundles for several apas - the Amalgamated Printers Association (APA), the American Amateur Press Association (AAPA), the National Amateur Press Association (NAPA), and the United Amateur Press Association of America (UAPA)- that cover the decades from the 1930s through the early 2000s. Series II consists almost entirely of the official organizational publications issued by the apas listed above. Series III contains various ajay publications (zines, flyers, advertisements, handbills, and other examples of amateur printing) that arrived at the University of Iowa unattached to any particular bundle. Many of these items probably come from members of the UAPA, for which the original envelopes long since disintegrated. These items are arranged alphabetically by the title of the publication. Also contained in this series are several cooperative publications (annual anthologies of ajay items) produced by various apas. Series IV consists of correspondence sent to Ruben from many of his friends in the ajay world, as well as official materials produced by the apas of which he was a member Series V contains Ruben's childhood publications, created by Ruben from the ages of 10-16.


  • Creation: 1926-2009


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research. This collection is stored at an offsite location. When requesting materials, please allow two business days for items to arrive at the Special Collections reading room.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.


30.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Amateur journalist and member of a number of amateur press associations. Bundles of apa publications, apa official journals, correspondence, official apa documents, and Ruben's childhood efforts at printing.

Method of Acquisition

The Ruben Collection was received in October 2009 from Elliott Ruben's widow Loretta Ruben of Rockville Centre, New York. The transfer was faciliated by Heath Row, now of Los Angeles, CA.

Related Materials

GERINGER, LAUREN, 1908-1992. Lauren Geringer Papers, 1919-1992. 1.75 ft. Iowa City printer and author. The bulk of the collection is comprised of monthly bundles from amateur press associations during 1990 and 1991, including the Amalgamated Printers Association, the National Amateur Press Association, and Peat's press. Items from Geringer's Press, clippings about Geringer, a miscellaneous collection of samples of printing, and several editions of his small journal, People Watcher make up the remainderof the collection. MsC 847. HORVAT, M. The M. Horvat Collection of Genre Apazines, 1943, 1945, 1958-2002. A collection of science fiction, fantasy, mystery and other genre "apazines" (informal publications similar to newsletters or fanzines, and published by fan groups called Amateur Press Associations, or "apas"). MsC825. MILLER, GUY. Guy Miller Amateur Printing Collection, 1934 - 1989. 0.8 ft. Collection of amateur print publications, most dating from the early and mid 20th century. MsC 881. ROW, HEATH. Heath Row Amateur Press Association Collection, 1934-2010. 2.0 ft. Zine writer and editor, and member of multiple amateur press associations. Includes apa publications, apa official organs, and assorted loose ajay publications. MsC 364. TURNEPSEED, WILLAMETTA, 1909-1989. Papers of Burton Jay Smith and Willametta Turnepseed, 1941-1944. 0.8 ft. Correspondence, chiefly love letters, between amateur printers Smith and Turnepseed, together with a few additional materials, including copies of their co-edited Literary Newsette. Many of Smith's letters document his activities training as a navigator in the United States Army Air Force, 1943-1944. MsC868.

Jeremy Brett, November 2009
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)