Robert Gibbings (1889-1958) was a wood-engraver, artist and author. He founded the Society of Wood Engravers in 1919 and took over the Golden Cockerel Press at Waltham St. Lawrence, Berkshire from 1924 to 1933. In 1936 he became Senior Lecturer in Typography at the University of Reading.
The collection comprises around 300 books, written and/or illustrated by, or about, Robert Gibbings. There are also books printed under his supervision at the Golden Cockerel Press, and at the University of Reading, School of Art, 1936-1941; plus manuscripts, letters, photographs, wood-engravings and blocks, and paintings.
Much of the material was presented by Patience Empson or was included in the Agnes Mary Kirkus bequest. In 1993 further books, prints and miscellaneous materials were received from Mrs Dorothy Cooper, widow of Albert C. Cooper, pressman at the Golden Cockerel Press from 1922 to 1933.