In 1995 Philip Atkins and Michael Johnson had the idea to create a guidebook to Oxford, featuring a dodo. They not only wanted to write and illustrate the book, but to do the design, typesetting (using typefaces created by Michael), publishing, marketing, sales, and distribution themselves. In 1999 Dodo Publishing launched The Heart of Oxford.
The Heart of Oxford only dealt with Oxford’s academic centre, based around Radcliffe Square. In 2005 they published The Dodo Guide to Oxford, which extended coverage to the whole city. It was later renamed The Pocket Guide to Oxford and 2019 sees the publication of its eighth edition.
Sadly, Philip passed away in 2009. In 2010 A Dodo at Oxford, which had been in proof shortly before Philip’s death, was published. It is the unreliable account of a student and his pet dodo.
Michael continues the business under the name of Oxgarth Press.
Various postcards, bookmarks, fridge magnets, prints, and greetings cards, all with Oxford and Alice themes, have since been added to Oxgarth’s range of products.
2019 sees the publication of Oxgarth Press’s latest book Alice’s Alphabet Book.