The Grolier Club was founded in 1884 in New York by printing press manufacturer and book collector Robert Hoe and eight fellow bibliophiles. The men were all involved in the editing, design, production, sale or acquisition of fine books. They named their club after the great French bibliophile Jean Grolier. The Club’s Constitution committed it to fostering “the study, collecting, and appreciation of books and works on paper, their art, history, production, and commerce.” It would achieve this through the maintenance of a library devoted to all aspects of the book and graphic arts; occasional publication of books designed to illustrate, promote and encourage the book and graphic arts; and exhibitions and educational programs.
Today, the Club has nearly 800 members, mostly American. Membership is by nomination. Recommendations are made on the basis of a candidate's passion for books, generally as a collector, scholar, librarian or printer. To date the Grolier Club was published over 400 historical works. It has a 100,000-volume collection of books - author and subject bibliographies, histories of printing, publishing and collecting, and exhibition catalogues, bookseller and book auction catalogues.
The Club's first home was a few rented rooms at 64 Madison Avenue. In 1890 it moved to 29 East 32nd Street, where it remains today. The present Clubhouse is on East 60th Street in Midtown Manhattan.