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Looking over some of the Victor Hammer pieces on exhibit at the Library of Congress for our April 2018 talk.




APHA 2019 Conference 

At the April meeting of the Board of Trustees of APHA, the proposal of the Vice President for Programs to hold the October 2019 APHA Annual Conference in the Washington, D.C. area was unanimously approved. Jesse Erickson, the VP for Programs, made a very strong case for holding the conference here and the board responded very positively.

We’re asking members of the Chesapeake Chapter to join our local team to work with Jesse and the national organization to plan the conference. If you are interested in being part of this exciting effort, contact chapter president George Barnum.  

Stan Nelson Birthday Picnic
Saturday, July 14th

Longtime APHA Chesapeake Chapter member Stan Nelson and his wife Lucille are planning to celebrate Stan’s 70th birthday by hosting a picnic at their home at 766 Declaration Drive, Charles Town, WV 25414. The schedule for the day is:

• 11:00 – Gather, nibbles, and drinks.

• 11:30 – Picnic fare, with a smoker for pulled pork, ribs and BBQ chicken, Filipino food, and beverages including water, soda, beer, and wine. If guests wish to contribute a dish, salads and sides would be helpful, but certainly not required.

• 4:00 – Winding down (but die-hards will not be driven away).

It’s Bastille Day; box fireworks around 9:00.

Stan expects that his shop (Atelier Press & Letterfoundry) will be fully developed and that something typographical will be done as a keepsake.

Over the years Stan has significantly furthered the study and teaching of printing history, working with the Graphic Arts Collection, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History, for 31 years. Among his various activities, Stan has taught at Rare Book School, authored many publications, and been in the BBC production, The Machine That Made Us, hosted by actor Stephen Fry. Stan was presented the American Printing History Association’s 25th annual Laureate Award.  

Print-O-Rama 2018!
Friday & Saturday, August 24th & 25th
1:00 to 4:00 p.m. both days

Volunteers for both days are needed to assist at the Smithsonian Institution’s 2018 Print- O-Rama, which will take place at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, First Floor, West Wing. Chapter member Joan Boudreau, Curator, Graphic Arts Collection, is coordinating the event.

Volunteers are encouraged to participate in up to three activities: discussing collection objects, demonstrating letterpress printing, and/or discussing their own letterpress work. Collection objects will include printing presses, printing-related patent models, printing kits, and examples of type and type-making equipment (information labels for each object will be provided). Printing demonstrators will use 5 × 8″ and 3 × 5″ Kelsey presses, and will assist visitors to print a souvenir card. This year Joan would also like to invite 2 or 3 letterpress printers (each day) to sit at tables with their printed products and discuss their work, how they got started, what presses they use, and their printing interests generally.

Chapter members interested in helping can sign up for either or both days by emailing Joan Boudreau. Plan to arrive by 12:30 p.m. on the day(s) you participate.

And, if you cannot commit to volunteering, be sure to mark your calendar to attend. It is very rewarding to see a part of the Smithsonian collection on display and watch the expression on visitors’ faces when they print their souvenir card, especially the younger visitors for whom letterpress printing is virtually unknown. 

Call for Chapter’s 2019 Calendar Printers

It’s already time to plan our next calendar! Val Lucas is currently coordinating the printers for the 2019 calendar effort. Each participating printer will be responsible for designing and printing the page for one month of the calendar. Printers will receive a small stipend from our treasury to help pay for paper and shipping.

Specifications are as follows:

• Calendar pages are due to Lead Graffiti, 120A Sandy Drive, Newark, Delaware 19713, by August 15.

• Page size 7 × 11″, vertical, each page single sided with one month.

• Quantity: 130. Cover weight paper preferred for strength; email Val Lucas if you need suggestions or sources.

• Any range of styles is acceptable, but must include the month name and year along with some sort of calendar grid/dates, which should be an important part of the image/design – please think about usability as a calendar.

• Leave o.5″ margin at the top to allow for binding (or allow for punches in the design).

• Letterpress MUST be the main printing process for your page. You may include other processes, but the intent of the calendar is to showcase letterpress printing techniques.

DEADLINE – to meet the date of the Lancaster Letterpress Fair (September 15th) and have these ready for the APHA conference, calendar pages are due August 15th this year. It’s early but it gives us a chance to promote the calendar and our group at the fair.

This can be a single person’s effort or small group of people for each month. Anyone without a press (and new Denker Fellows especially) are encouraged to work with an established printer. If you’re not able to print on your own, or would like to collaborate, email Val and she will work with you on a good pairing!

The cover and colophon are also pages that need printing, so you may volunteer for those (or be assigned one). Last year there was a waitlist for pages, so those who did not get a page last year have priority over those who did.

The final calendar will be a well-made work that we will be proud to offer for sale at the APHA conference in October and other events. Participants will receive a calendar for participating. The remaining calendars will be sold to members and other APHA folks and online to raise funds for future Chapter activities.

Please contact Val Lucasvia email to sign up for a month. The goal is to get all pages claimed by the beginning of July. When you email Val, please include your mailing address and colophon information as well.

Months already spoken for are January, June, July, and November. 

Save the Date
Lancaster Printers Fair
Friday & Saturday, September 14th & 15th

It is anticipated that the chapter will, once again, have a booth at the Lancaster Printers Fair, scheduled for Saturday, September 15th from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on the 300 Block of North Queen Street in historic downtown Lancaster, PA. The purpose of the chapter’s booth is to make space available for the use of chapter members who would like to sell items that they have printed, or equipment or supplies that they no longer need. Members can also display items they have printed that they do not intend to sell, but that would be of interest to attendees of the fair. The booth will, of course, also be used to promote membership in the chapter.

The event, which is one of the largest of its kind on the east coast, started in 2013 as a nod to Lancaster’s place in printing history.

This outdoor event will feature vendors and suppliers of letterpress equipment, foundry type, cards, posters, broadsides, ephemera, and more. Tere will also be food trucks, live music and the unique shops of the 300 block will be open during the fair.

This year a World’s Record for the most people printing with a potato on one day will be attempted. Te sponsors believe potato printing showcases not only basic printing skills but also the rich agriculture that exists in Lancaster and the region. Potato printing is something people of all ages can do and can be as simple or artistic as the printer wants it to be.

Admission is free, and donations to benefit

The Heritage Press Museum Education Center will be appreciated. 

Oak Knoll Fest XX

Friday through Sunday, October 5th to 7th

The theme this year is “Bringing it on Home” in which Printers, booksellers, and collectors will discuss that theme in a free symposium on Saturday, October 6th, focusing on the importance of fine press book fairs that help expand the knowledge of the books arts. To register for the symposium email Rob Fleck to confirm your participation. Only 75 seats are available, so sign up while you can.

The book fair follows on Saturday and Sunday, October 6th and 7th. Please check the website for this year’s exhibitors, including 40+ fine press printers from North America and Europe, and the complete schedule.

There will also be talks by Pat Sweet, proprietor of Bo Press, David Sellers, owner of Pied Oxen Printers, Graham Moss, owner of Incline Press, and Rebecca Romney, bookseller at Honey & Wax Booksellers.

In addition, any exhibitors who have not yet reserved a table can also do so by emailing Rob Fleck. He can provide more information about the fair and a registration form on request.

The chapter usually organizes a picnic lunch for chapter members attending 

Call for Papers
“Black Bibliographia: Print/Culture/Art”
April 26-27, 2019
University of Delaware 

A symposium hosted by the 
Center for Material Culture Studies
in collaboration with
UD Library, Museums & Press and the
College of Arts & Sciences’ Paul R. Jones Initiative

  Keynote Speakers: Jacqueline Goldsby (Yale University) & Meredith McGill (Rutgers University). Tia Blassingame (Scripps College)

Printer-in-Residence: Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr. 

The question “What is a black book?” is implicit in the work of scholars and curators who examine histories of African American print production and reading. It is equally germane to artists and printers experimenting with the book and other print forms today. To address this question, “Black Bibliographia: Print/Culture/Art” will host an exchange of ideas across longstanding divides of discipline and practice. The symposium invites participation from individuals invested in books and other print objects as material forms, aesthetic inventions, circulating texts, and repositories of design. In this way,”Black Bibliographia” aims to build on a growing body of work in African American print culture—already rich in nineteenth-century studies—while also inviting reassessment of the material life of black bookmaking and print production in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

The purpose of “Black Bibliographia: Print/Culture/Art,” is to think theoretically and practically about a number of questions: What are the aesthetics of black books, conceived in the broadest terms, and how can we bring book history, visual studies, and material culture into closer collaboration? In what ways has black textuality challenged the boundaries of print forms past and present, and how do the book arts make such interventions visible? How does attention to the innovations of print workers—from typesetters to booksellers to mimeograph operators—reframe black textuality?  From the strategic adoption of typographic conventions by black printers and publishers of the early twentieth century to the radical break from those conventions in the alternative press of the 1960s and ‘70s, how do the arts of the book speak to our conceptions and constructions of blackness? 

“Black Bibliographia” represents the second biennial conference sponsored by the Center for Material Culture Studies at the University of Delaware.  We invite participants from all fields—book artists, librarians, archivists, collectors, art historians, editors, digital humanists, and scholars working across the disciplines of literature, design, history, and Black Studies—to join us in critically investigating the past and futures of black bookmaking, paper arts, print cultures, and technologies of transmission, reproduction, and reading.  

Please send abstracts of 300 words, with a brief CV, by October 5, 2018, to materialculture@udel.eduPapers, artist talks, and other presentation formats welcome.

For information see

Organized by Jesse Erickson (Special Collections & English), Laura Helton (English), and Curtis Small (Special Collections)

Speaker Roster Set for 2018 APHA Conference

The speaker roster is now confirmed for Matrices: The Social Life of Paper, Print, and Art, the joint conference with the Friends of Dard Hunter. APHA’s forty-third annual conference will be held at University of Iowa Center for the Book Iowa City, Iowa, October 25–27, 2018. 

Lancaster Heritage Press Museum
and the .918 Club
Lancaster, PA

Our friends at the Lancaster Heritage Press Museum and the .918 Club are raising funds to finish the Heritage Press Education Center for the preservation and promotion of letterpress printing and the book arts.

Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology generously offered The .918 Club the use of the Naval Reserve Training Center building at its Orange Street campus. This 70-year old, 3,000-square-foot building needs to be restored to bring its systems up to code and be ADA compliant. The updated facility will greatly expand the classroom, studio and exhibition space available for workshops in letterpress printing, papermaking, bookbinding and other educational experiences. The construction work has already begun and continues as quickly as material and labor costs are funded by generous businesses and individuals.

Simply visit the campaign page and click donate. Even a small donation increases the number of supporters, helping trend the project upward on the website. An anonymous donor has offered to donate $1 for every $2 raised on Fundly this week. As an enticement, rewards are available, starting at just $10, with special rewards at $250 and $500 for workshops from Typothecary Letterpress Studio in Lancaster, PA and Lead Graffiti Studio in Newark, DE.