The American Printing History Association welcomes proposals for its 40th annual conference: “Printing on the Hand Press & Beyond” to be held at RIT Cary Graphic Arts Collection, Rochester, NY, October 23–24, 2015. Proposals are due by March 15, 2015. PDF
The flat-bed hand presses invented in the fifteenth century were the predominant models in the printing industry for over 350 years and are still used by printers, artists, scholars, and educators. This conference will investigate the technological history of these earliest printing machines, along with the associated materials of the printer’s trade: type, paper, ink, and relief printing methods. The theme also invites exploration into areas of early print culture including but not limited to: the reception of printing, increases in literacy, changes in the dissemination and standardization of texts, the availability of books, considerations of authorship, publication and print shop practices, the book trade, printer’s manuals, the triumphs (and failures) of historic printers and printing houses, literary depictions of print shops, and collaborations between printers and authors.
This conference sets the stage to investigate how the hand press fits into twentieth- and twenty-first-century private press and artist’s book production, and contemporary printmaking. Further, it addresses the application of hand press operation to teaching in programs of library and information science, history, digital humanities, and book arts programs.
Opportunities are available for teaching workshops using the Cary technology collection. This includes five iron hand presses, among them the recently acquired Kelmscott-Goudy Albion hand press, which dates from 1891 and was first used by William Morris and subsequently, American type designer Frederic W. Goudy, and APHA founder J. Ben Lieberman.
The 40th annual conference will be held at the Rochester Institute of Technology Cary Graphic Arts Collection and the Vignelli Center for Design Studies. The Cary Collection is one of the country’s premier libraries on graphic communication history and practices. Conference excursions will include trips to the University of Rochester Special Collections, as well as Wells College Book Arts Center and Bixler Letterfoundry in the New York Finger Lakes.