In 2009, through the generosity of Stuart (Buz) Teacher, CGS’70 and his wife Janet Bukovinsky, Penn Libraries acquired the archive of the Running Press Book Publishing Company. The archive includes the complete catalog of Running Press Imprints from 1972, when it began, to the present. Along with correspondence, contracts, business records, and other materials, such as advertising and promotional brochures, this gift documents the history of an independent publishing company based in Philadelphia. In 2012, Buz and Janet augmented the archive by adding a collection of original artwork that had illustrated the covers of Running Press publications. They also established an endowed fund to support the care, conservation, and accessibility of the collection.
A 1970 graduate of Penn, Buz was a doctorate student at the Center for Criminology and Criminal Law at the University of Pennsylvania in 1972, when he and his brother Lawrence Teacher established Running Press Book Publishers at 38 South 19th Street in Philadelphia. The Teacher brothers were the first in their family to delve into the world of trade publishing, building many of their industry insights upon their family’s history as booksellers. After three successful decades of operation, Running Press was acquired by New York-based independent publishing company The Perseus Book Group in 2002. Buz, still Running Press’ president and publisher, joined Perseus’ Executive Committee and Board of Directors, taking a significant ownership stake while simultaneously maintaining Running Press’ editorial and marketing autonomy at the imprint level. For a more complete history of the Running Press Book Publishers see the “Biography/History” section of the Running Press Business Archive.
The Running Press archives will allow scholars at Penn to study commercial American publishing at a crucial time in its history. “Running Press rode the crest of the publishing industry wave of the late 20th century,” notes Dr. Daniel Traister, curator in Penn’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library. “Its records document a unique era of bookselling history and of Philadelphia history. This generous donation is a very welcome addition to Penn’s Special Collections.”
In addition to his support of Penn Libraries, Buz also serves on the Board of Directors for Penn Press, the imprint of the University of Pennsylvania.