The Caxton Club was founded in Chicago in January 1895 by fifteen bibliophiles. Their charter stated that the intent of the club was “the literary study and promotion of the arts pertaining to the production of books and the occasional publishing of books designed to illustrate, promote and encourage these arts.”
Today the Caxton Club today has more than 300 resident and nonresident members of all ages and from a wide variety of fields—archivists, authors, binders, book artists, collectors, conservators, dealers, designers, editors, librarians, publishers, and scholars—united by the love of books in all their forms. Club members from these diverse backgrounds form a community of those interested in the study and promotion of the arts and technologies pertaining to the production, distribution, and reception of handwritten and printed books and related textual objects such as pamphlets, broadsides, and ephemera.
Throughout its 125 years, the Caxton Club has published fine books on a variety of subjects, including Americana, art history, the book arts, the history of printing and collecting, and literature. The club continues its commitment to publishing, focusing especially on topics related to the Midwest. It has arranged numerous exhibitions in cooperation with cultural institutions and libraries. In addition, the club’s regular events, publication of the Caxtonian, joint meetings with related organizations, and field trips provide the membership with many ways to learn about the history, production, and collecting of books. The club reaches out to the next generation by providing support for young book collectors.
The Club meets for an evening program on the third Wednesday of the month and mid-day on the second Friday of the month from September through June. Currently, all programs are presented virtually and recorded for members to view at any time. When in-person, these meetings may include receptions and optional meals.
The Caxton Club welcomes members of all races, ethnicities, religions, gender identities/expressions, sexual orientations, and socio-economic statuses.