Skip to main content

Newark Publishing Co. records

Identifier: MSS 0879

Scope and Contents

Newark Publishing Co. records comprises over 3000 job printing files created by the press for largely Newark, Delaware-based businesses between 1963 and 1981. The collection also includes administrative and financial records of the company and its precursor, the Newark Post weekly newspaper, from 1936-1981. In addition to reflecting the graphic design of the period, the records are a source of Newark history as well as printing, business, and economic history in the mid-20th century.

Series I. contains Newark Post and Newark Publishing Co. administrative and financial records that include Newark Post payroll time books as well as Newark Publishing Co. general ledgers, receipts, invoices, purchase orders, and other financial records. Materials are arranged chronologically except where otherwise noted.

Series I.A. comprises nine Newark Post time books containing employee payroll records from 1937-1965. Each double page covered an employee’s complete record for one year and listed an individual’s payments and deductions. The time books include records for Post editor-in-chief Richard T. Ware as well as “pressman” William H. Durham. Other positions, such as hand compositor and linotype operator are reflected in the time books, adding to an understanding of how The Post (and later Newark Publishing Co.) operated. These records begin approximately two years after the Post moved from its original location on South College Avenue to its secondary location at 14-16 Thompson Lane. The time books were manufactured by Eureka Blank Book Company in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

Series I.B. comprises two general ledgers tracking Newark Publishing Co. clients and payments. The ledgers are the earliest records of the company in the collection.

The first ledger, dating from 1947-1974, is organized alphabetically by client. Entries track individual client purchases, often over the course of many years, and include payment information and a brief description of the printed output for each job.

The second ledger is organized chronologically and lists clients/jobs from 1968-1981. Job numbers found in this ledger match those of Series II., Newark Publishing Co., job files, and contain the same sequences and gaps created by Durham. The ledger offers a snapshot view of the printing company’s entire sales history in the years after its disunion with The Newark Post.

Series I.C. contains general administrative and financial records relating to the Post and Newark Publishing Co., including listings of payments due, bank statements, and postal service notices. The series also contains one newspaper clipping depicting The Newark Post’s building at 14-16 Thompson Lane.

Series I.D. comprises receipts, invoices, and purchase orders sent between Newark Publishing Co., The Newark Post, and their business suppliers between 1941 and 1979. The materials reflect the business operations of both the printing company and newspaper and reveal the wide array of goods and services needed for printing and production. The series preserves William H. Durham’s original order and is arranged alphabetically by client/supplier.

Series II., Newark Publishing Co. job files, comprises over 3000 job printing files created by the organization for largely Newark, Delaware-based businesses between 1963 and 1981. Arranged chronologically, the job printing filessamples are housed in their original envelopes, which indicate job number, client and date information, pricing, and Bill Durham’s informal notes. Files in this series retain Durham's original numbering, and gaps are present throughout. Though files between 1963 and 1971 are sporadic and contain only a few representative job files per year, there is a near-complete run of files from 1971-1981. A general ledger from 1968-1981 found in Series I.B., additionally provides an abbreviated list detailing nearly all the job files found within Series II.

Samples within the collection contain aspects of each print job from start to finish, including customer order and print runs, mock-ups, bluelines, proofed copy, and final specimens. The print jobs largely consist of letterhead and stationery, menus, order forms and order-pads, blank receipt and invoice forms, posters, church bulletins, newsletters, business cards, ballots, tickets, and programs, and illustrate a wide-range of transactions in the community. Nearly all the materials are printed in black-and-white on stock of varying color, heaviness, and quality. Printing jobs were produced for individuals, small businesses, larger corporations, clubs, churches, doctors’ offices, school districts, and Newark City government.


  • Creation: 1936-1981
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1971-1981


Language of Materials

Materials primarily in English, with some content in Greek.

Access Information

The collection is open for research. Boxes 2-34 are held offsite and must be requested in advance.

Conditions Governing Use

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library,

William H. Durham and Newark Publishing Co.

Newark Publishing Co. was a Newark, Delaware, printing business established in the mid-20th century and was owned and operated by William H. Durham from circa 1967 to 1981. The company’s records comprise a substantial archive of printed ephemera: flyers, bulletins, posters, stationery, tickets, blank forms, and other items reflecting the city’s social, business, economic, political, and religious communities.

From at least the 1940s, Newark Publishing Co. operated in tandem with The Newark Post, and shared the weekly newspaper’s building and printing presses. The earliest record of the printing company is a general ledger listing that details a 1947 stationery print-job for a local lumberyard. William H. “Bill” Durham (1905-1981), who began work as a printing press operator for the Post in 1941, led Newark Publishing Co. in the mid-1960s and began producing sequential records of printing sales in late 1967.

In 1969, after a long period of financial difficulty and with editor Richard T. Ware’s health in decline, The Newark Post merged with another local paper, Newark Weekly, to become The Weekly Post. Around this time, Bill Durham purchased The Newark Post’s equipment and building at 14-16 Thompson Lane and established Newark Publishing Co. as an individual entity.

Durham’s purchase included six printing presses and a linotype machine with twenty-seven magazines of varied type. The printer continued the practice he established during his Post years of making plates from cheap metal, which he melted, routed, and trimmed to a precise size for printing. The daily print work of Durham and his small staff included hand-composition, hand-lockup, hand-alterations, machine-composition, and machine-alterations. Printing and finishing were completed on the “job press,” Miehle press, cylinder press, cutting machine, and folding machines.

Frequent clients of Newark Publishing Co. included Curtis Paper Company, General Foods Corporation, Harlan C. Williams Realtors, Newark Country Club, Newark United Methodist Church, National Vulcanized Fibre (NVF) Company, Porter Motor Company, Post House Restaurant, University of Delaware, W. L. Gore and Associates, and White Clay Creek Kiwanis Club.

Newark Publishing Co. continued its operations until 1981 when Bill Durham was killed in a traffic accident. The printer was remembered by the community for his philanthropic work donating bicycles to children as “Newark’s Perennial Santa Claus,” for which he was honored as Newark’s Citizen of the Year in 1958 and 1973.

"Brief History of the Newark Post." Newark Post. December 06, 2011. Accessed January 08, 2019., Janine, and Larry Hanna. "Newark's 'Santa Claus' Killed." The News Journal, November 23, 1981.Other historical information derived from collection.


33 linear foot (41 boxes)

8 oversize box


Newark Publishing Co. was a Newark, Delaware, printing business established in the mid-20th century and was owned and operated by William H. Durham from circa 1967 to 1981. Newark Publishing Co. records comprises over 3000 job printing files created by the press for largely Newark, Delaware-based businesses between 1963 and 1981. The collection also includes administrative and financial records of the company and its precursor, the Newark Post weekly newspaper, from 1936-1981.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Martha Carothers, June 2018

Related Materials in this Repository

Digital copies of the Newark Post from 1910-1969 are available in the University of Delaware Library's Digital Collections.

Shelving Summary

Box 1: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize boxes (18 inches)

Boxes 2-34: Shelved in ANNEX MSS record center cartons

Box 35-36: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize boxes (17 inches)

Box 37: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize boxes (18 inches)

Box 38: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize boxes (20 inches)

Box 39: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize boxes (24 inches)

Oversize map 1: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize mapcases

Rights Statement

The text of this webpage is available for modification and reuse under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. (

Processing Information

Processed and encoded by Dustin Frohlich, October-December, 2018.

Processing Information

Job printing files within series II. are housed in their original envelopes which indicate job numbers and other information. Job numbers are used in place of consecutive folder numbering throughout this series, and gaps are present throughout.

Finding aid for Newark Publishing Co. records
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
2019 March 4
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021 November 16: The container list was updated to include box and folder locations for oversize materials. The shelving summary and access note were updated to show that the collection is stored at the Annex.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Delaware Library Special Collections Repository

181 South College Avenue
Newark DE 19717-5267 USA