Fonds RBSC-ARC-1681 - Heavenly Monkey Fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Heavenly Monkey Fonds

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the provenance and contents of the fonds.

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Physical description area

Physical description

2.94 m of textual materials and other records.

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Administrative history

Heavenly Monkey is the imprint of publisher Rollin Milroy and is dedicated to creating books for people interested in contemporary applications of traditional book crafts.
Milroy studied journalism at Concordia University, during which time he wrote about popular music for a number of publications. After graduation he worked for 15 years in Canada, the United States and several South American Countries. Milroy was introduced to letterpress printing in 1997. In 1998 he undertook an apprenticeship with the proprietors of Barbarian Press Jan & Crispin Elsten. He also studied binding with the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild.
Milroy established Heavenly Monkey in 2000, which officially replaced A Lone Press, the first publication endeavour of Milroy’s which published books between 1998 and 1999. With only a few exceptions, all Heavenly Monkey books are printed from hand-set type on dampened handmade paper using a Washington handpress. Milroy plays a central role in the creative and production of all publications issued by Heavenly Monkey.
In 2005 Heavenly Monkey’s activities expanded to include publishing books created by others, under the imprint Heavenly Monkey Editions. Milroy's role in the production of these projects varies, from being involved with the conception, design and production (i.e. letterpress and binding), to simply fulfilling the role of publisher (i.e. promotion and distribution). Editions are typically of 50 copies or fewer.
Heavenly Monkey and Heavenly Monkey Editions are considered parallel, but separate, imprints. Some titles, such as The Shadow over Innsmouth (2005) have been published by both Heavenly Monkey and Heavenly Monkey Editions. As of 2010 Heavenly Monkey and Heavenly Monkey Editions have published over two dozen titles.
Heavenly Monkey. “Heavenly Monkey: letterpress & binding studio limited edition books.” (accessed November 1, 2010).

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of records which document books and ephemera published by Rollin Milroy’s three printing presses: A Lone Press, Heavenly Monkey, and Heavenly Monkey Editions, as well as other independent and collaborative projects published by other printing presses. The records include setting copies, detailed layout schematics, dummies of final books, printing schedule sequences, proof impressions, make-ready copies, and various impression proof and waste/reject sheets, as well as printing blocks and printing plates, photographs, negatives and other documents related to the printing and publication process. The fonds also includes correspondence related to the production and publication of books, ephemera, newspaper articles and lecture notes written by Milroy on various subjects related to letterpress printing.

The fonds is arranged into the following five series: Heavenly Monkey publishing records, (1997-2010), Heavenly Monkey Editions publishing records (2002 – 2010), Other printing press publishing records (1996-2008), Correspondence (2002-2010), and Professional activity records (ca. 1980-2004).

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The fonds was acquired by RBSC from Rollin Milroy.


The fonds was transferred to RBSC along with an itemized list by Milroy. The itemized list is available for researchers to consult in Box 1. The records are physically arranged according to the itemized list; however an intellectual arrangement organizing records according to the printing press which produced the records (Heavenly Monkey, Heavenly Monkey editions, and other printing presses) was imposed to create as much access to the records as possible.

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Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Copyright and intellectual property are retained by Rollin Milroy and/or the authors, illustrators and/or collaborators as applicable. Requests for reproduction for commercial purposes must be accompanied by written permission from Rollin Milroy.

Finding aids

Generated finding aid

Associated materials

A copy of “Four Seasons,” a set of four books published by the Papermaker’s Press which are now catalogued in the UBC catalogue and stored at Rare Books and Special Collections. They are available for researchers to consult.

Related materials


Further accruals expected.

General note

Photograph identifier: BC-2137/1-80.

Physical description

The fonds includes 2.94 m. of textual records, 189 polymer plates, 69 photographs; 64 col.; 5 b&w, 22 lino blocks, 15 metal plates on wood blocks, 11 negative strips, 6 mock ups, 6 dummies and trial structures, and 1 wood block.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

The finding aid was updated by Catherine Hall following the 2020 accrual.

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