On November 19, 1930, a group of sixteen men who shared an interest in books, fine printing and the book arts were called together by Frank K. Walter, rare book librarian at the University of Minnesota and Arnett W. Leslie of the John Leslie Paper Company, Minneapolis, to form a book club.

For the first five years of its existence Ampersand was known as the Unnamed, or No-Name Club. In 1934 Harold Kittleson, who was working for Powers Book Department in downtown Minneapolis, invited the prolific New York-based author Christopher Morley, who was in town for a book-signing engagement at Powers, to a club luncheon. This was Morley’s introduction to the club, and it was at his suggestion that it be named The Ampersand Club. The name indicates, in the words of Emerson G. Wulling, a charter member of the Club, “the miscellaneous components of the group and its literary and typographical amity.”

Written Histories

Fred Phelps, History of the Ampersand Club, 1945
Leo J. Harris, The Ampersand Club at 85: Bibliophilic Ephemera, The Ephemera Journal, vol.18, no.2, 2016
Leo J. Harris, The Ampersand Club: Apex of Minnesota’s “Community of the Book”, Hennepin History Magazine, 2016