“The Press Feeder.” Engraving by William Burns, from Life in New York, In Doors and Out of Doors, 1851.
There is a letterpress printing renaissance afoot: Young people are flocking to the San Francisco Center for the Book to learn how to set type and make books. Letterpress note cards are appearing in shops everywhere--even at the Apple store, where you can buy a letterpress app for your iPhone. You can follow Kyle Durrie’s blog of her cross country trip in a letterpress-shop-in-a-van. There’s even a national organization called The Ladies of Letterpress.
|"The Book Folder" from Life in New York, In Doors and Out of Doors.|
There is no better time to highlight one of the library’s best-kept secrets: the Marjorie G. and Carl W. Stern Book Arts & Special Collections Center, which includes the Robert Grabhorn Collection on the History of Printing and the Development of the Book. By the time the Library acquired Robert Grabhorn's personal printer's library in 1965, his collection included examples of almost every typeface, printer and publisher of note from the previous five hundred years. The collection has grown over the years and continues to support the study of typography, printing, papermaking and bookbinding.
Book Arts & Special Collections celebrates the holiday season with a letterpress holiday card and the annual Holiday Lecture. Since 1995, we have featured a fascinating array of lectures by book arts experts, including Alastair Johnston, Carl Rohrs, David Mostardi, James Keenan, Alisa Golden, Peter Koch, Sandro Berra and Jonathan Aaron. Past topics have included: typography, publisher Paul Elder, poster artist Rick Griffin, and vernacular folk lettering around the world. One year, Karen Zukor discussed book and paper repair; another year, Patricia Wakida spoke on the life and work of Shig Murao.
|"The Book Sewer" from Life in New York, In Doors and Out of Doors.|
|Kathleen A. Walkup|
This year we are proud to present Professor Kathleen Walkup of Mills College, who will talk about women and printing in a lecture titled Printing at the Margins: An Ink-stained History of Women & Work. Professor Walkup teaches courses on typography and letterpress printing, artists’ books, and seminars on the nature of the book. She is Director of the MFA Program in Book Art & Creative Writing at Mills College, the first program of its kind established in the USA. Her interests include the history of women in print culture and conceptual practice in artists’ books. Her most recent curatorial project is Hand, Voice & Vision: Artists’ Books from Women’s Studio Workshop (Grolier Club, 2010). Her lecture The Book Is A Public Place, part of Threads: Talk Series, can be heard at the University of Pennsylvania’s PennSound website.
|"The Gold Leaf Packer" from Life in New York, In Doors and Out of Doors.|
Mark your calendar: Saturday, December 10th, 2pm, Koret Auditorium, Main Library. Join your book arts community friends and colleagues to enjoy this illuminating talk by Professor Walkup and find out more about the “ladies of letterpress of yore.”