Independent Publisher is currently featuring an article on David R. Godine and the publishing house. Here's an excerpt on how David was first introduced to publishing:
“I really got started at Dartmouth because Ray Nash (a legendary teacher there) was giving his courses on ‘Books and Bookmaking’ and ‘Prints and Printmaking.’ These were unusual (at least for Dartmouth) in that they combined serious study of the subject, looking firsthand at the objects involved and finally (and probably most importantly) actually setting type, printing it, and doing the same for prints.
"So you not only had the theoretical background and the history, but also some practical knowledge based on actual experience My senior year I was awarded a Senior Fellowship which absolved me of formal course work and allowed me to travel in Europe to visit the great libraries and also print my first book entirely handset ad printed on a Vandercook proof press. 112 pages, printed in fours in an edition of (gulp) 500 copies. Very few sold, but that’s another story.
"So when we began, we really had our roots in printing and design, not publishing (about which we knew nothing). But most of the early books were still issued in relatively large quantities and at very low prices. We did not think of ourselves as a ‘private press’ in any sense, and we did a lot of work for others to survive in those first years.”
The rest of the article can be found here.