During the 1920s and 1930s, Mr. Cary assembled a library of over 2,300 volumes about printing., Melbert Cary was also an avid collector of playing cards. The Woolly Whale press's most renowned publication was The Devil's Bible, which was a set of playing cards using caricatures of World War I figures.
Woolly Whale also published The Missing Gutenberg Woodblocks, which was a made-up story of missing woodblocks from the Gutenberg project. Friz Kredel did some illustrations for this book, and some scholars took the book seriously.
His father, Melbert Brinckerhoff Cary, Sr., was the Democratic candidate for governor of Connecticut in 1902, and was the Chairman of the Democratic Party in Connecticut.
Melbert Cary, Jr. died of bone cancer in 1941.
The Cary Collection was presented to the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1969 by the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust as a memorial to Melbert Cary. Its collection of 20,000 volumes is described as one of America's premier libraries on the history and practice of printing.