Norman Bassett papers, 1936-1954

Bassett, Norman, b. 1891
Active in Wis.

Collection size: 356 microfilm frames.

Collection Summary: Files on Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry, Rockwell Kent and Reginald Marsh containing correspondence and drafts of articles for special issues of DEMCOURIER.

Biographical/Historical Note: Norman Bassett studied literature and art at the University of Wisconsin, receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1914. In 1931 he bought the Democrat Printing Company and incorporated it as Demco Library Supplies, Inc. In 1932 Demco began publishing DEMCOURIER, primarily an advertising journal, but one which also published a variety of articles, including a special series "American Authors as Printers." In 1935 DEMCOURIER featured a Mark Twain centennial edition which proved popular, prompting Bassett to run regular issues featuring notable Americans. The first of these (1937) featured Rockwell Kent. DEMCOURIER was discontinued in 1943. Bassett retired from Demco in 1972, and the company was sold to George Banta Company of Menasha, Wisconsin. Bassett became a director of Banta at that time.

The Norman Bassett papers were presented to the State Historical Society of Wisconsin by him in 1954 and 1974. Only a small portion of the papers were microfilmed by the Archives of American Art in 1985. A complete bound set of DEMCOURIER can be found in the Memorial Library, University of Wisconsin.

How to Use this Collection

  • Microfilm reel 3684 available for use at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
  • With the exception of brief extracts, permission to publish any unpublished material from the papers must be secured from: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 816 State Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53706.
  • The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
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