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Charles E. Davis papers on Civilian Public Service and the Untide Press

Identifier: Coll 470

Scope and Contents

The Charles E. Davis collection includes booklets, ephemera, letters, and proof and mock-up sheets of materials related to the Untide Press and the Fine Arts Group at Waldport. It also includes a collection of books and periodicals from Glen Coffield, with whom Davis corresponded after the war.


  • 1942-2003


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Conditions Governing Use

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

Charles E. Davis, Jr. was born in La Verne, California, in 1923, the son of a minister and Christian Educator in the Church of the Brethren. During World War II, he registered as a conscientious objector and entered Civilian Public Service. He was at Camp #56 from June, 1943 to December, 1944 — a period that saw the genesis of and much activity in the Fine Arts Group. With his background in printing, “Chuck” Davis was a key figure in teaching the Fine Arts members how to set type and operate a press. He supplied their first printing press, a tabletop Kelsey model, which was used to print some of the early books, beginning with Glen Coffield’s The Horned Moon.

Davis served in other CPS camps, including Camp #115 in Pinehurst, North Carolina, where he was a “guinea pig” for experiments in atypical pneumonia; and spent the 1945 calendar year at Camp #27 in Tallahassee, Florida working on public sanitation projects. From January 1946 until his discharge in June of that year, he was at Camp #34, Unit 4, at New Windsor, Maryland, where he set up and ran an in-house printing shop for the Church World Service Relief Center, the hub for relief shipments being sent to Europe. It was also the center for the new Heifer Project (founded by Dan West, a Brethren farmer from Indiana), which has grown into the iconic Heifer International.

After the war, Davis returned to La Verne, married Mildred Streit and raised a family. In 1946, while a student at La Verne College, he printed Glen Coffield’s The Horse of Summer, under the imprint of C D Print, done on the 9x15 Chandler and Price press on which he had spent so many hours printing for college activities before being drafted. He earned a B.A. and M.A., worked as a printer from 1948-1957, then taught Printing Management at Los Angeles Trade Technical College, retiring in 1984. While there he became known as “Charlie,” and continued to use that name when he owned and operated Windsor Graphics, a trade typesetting and graphic arts camera shop for nine years.

His major avocation has been clock collecting and repair, where he was also known as “Charlie” during twenty-seven years of teaching. His website,, highlights his interest in how the Japanese adoption of the Yankee eight-day time and strike clock style and production methods provided their introduction to semi-precision manufacturing.

[Source: Zachariah Selley, Lewis and Clark College, 2015]


0.5 linear feet (1 container)

Language of Materials



Charles E. Davis was a printer who served in the conscientious objectors camp on the Oregon coast during World War II (Civilian Public Services Camp #56), as well as other CPS camps during the war. This collection contains Untide Press booklets, proof and mock-up sheets, correspondence, and other examples of fine press printing.


This collection received a basic level of processing including minimal organization and rehousing. Description information is drawn in part from information supplied with the collection and initial surveys of the contents.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Linda Long, 2016.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Guide to the Charles E. Davis papers on Civilian Public Service and the Untide Press
Revise Description
Linda Long.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA