Since the 1960s Lisa Unger Baskin has been collecting works concentrated on “women at work.” Her collection and research have placed special emphasis on the role of women in the book trades and related arts; reminding us that women were also instrumental—and influential—in the printing trades. Lisa has opened her library and home to countless scholars, students, and bibliophilic groups. She knows the story of every book and tradeswoman involved—and she knows how to tell those stories. For over forty years Lisa has run her own private public library.
In her collection, recently placed at the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture within the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University, one can find early illuminated manuscripts by women, early woodcut illustrations by women, one of the first books to be typeset by women, the work of women printers, and work of women binders, as well as the work of women publishers. Often, this work of was carried out to further the cause of women—thus putting printing to its most important use: instigating social change.