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Lauren Geringer Papers

Identifier: MsC0847

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Scope and Contents

The bulk of this collection is comprised of monthly bundles from 1990 and 1991 from the National Amateur Press Association, The Amalgamated Printers' Association, and Peat's Press. For each month, some of the presses have been named, but in the interest of brevity, not all of them have been named and individuals who submitted work for the bundles have not been named. Included in the collection are items from Geringer's Press, the Pine Street Press, clippings about Geringer, a miscellaneous collection of samples of printing, and several editions of his small journal, People Watcher.


  • Creation: 1919-1992


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Biographical / Historical

Lauren Geringer was born in Mount Ayr, Iowa in 1908. When he was two years old, his parents moved to Montana to homestead. Lauren grew up there and wanted to become a cowboy, but was bitten by the writing bug. At the age of sixteen, he was writing for a farm magazine, the Dakota Farmer. He continued to write his column, but when attempts to syndicate it failed, he stopped writing it. He wrote for weeklies and Sunday School papers. He wrote westerns and romances for the pulps under the name of Lars Raymer, but this did not support him. In 1932, his father bought him a hand press from an itinerant evangelist and he began learning the printing trade. He returned to Iowa and stayed with relatives while working various jobs. In 1943, he got a job as printer at the Iowa City Press Citizen, where he worked for the next thirty years, before retiring as compositor in 1972.

Geringer has written and self-published several books, among them Shortcut Shorthand in 1980 and Cowboy in the Wheat, his memoir of growing up in Montana, in 1985. He continued to write and try to publish romance novels and westerns until he died but he was unsuccessful in this.

After his retirement he became very active in amateur printing and press work. He belonged to several organizations, and was president of the American Amateur Press Association in 1978 and of the National Amateur Press Association in 1988. From 1973 to 1987 he won an award nearly every year from the American Amateur Press Association, most usually the Journal of Overall Excellence for his small People Watcher amateur journal, which he handset and printed one page at a time in his basement. He won the Russell L. Paxton Award in Amateur Journalism from the Historians of Amateur Journalism in 1988. He printed books written by other people, such as Have Hearts Been Broken? by Jim Elshoff and How to Write and Publish a Book, which he co-wrote with Lenore Harris Hughes in 1977.

Lauren Geringer died in January 1992.


1.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



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.

Method of Acquisition

These papers were given to the University of Iowa Libraries by Lauren Geringer in the early 1990s.

Jacque Roethler, November 2006
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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)