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The elegant woodcut illustration by chapter member, Chris Manson,
for the “print your own keepsake” celebrating our annual Wayzgoose | see story


Current exhibition: Folger Library Exhibit
through April 30, 2017

An exhibit entitled 500 Years of Treasures from Oxford will open this Saturday, February 4th at the Folger Shakespeare Library and run through April 30, 2017. Per the exhibit web site:

“Founded 500 years ago in 1517, Corpus Christi College, one of the oldest of the 38 self-governing colleges at the modern University of Oxford, is a repository of extraordinary treasures, few of which have ever been seen by the public. To mark its 500th anniversary, a selection of fifty manuscripts and early printed books from its celebrated Library, ranging in date from the 10th to the 17th centuries, is being brought to America for the first time.”

 University of Delaware Symposium
Celebrating the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection:
Rare Books and Manuscripts, Victorian Literature and Arts
UD Morris Library, Newark, Delaware
Friday /  Saturday, March 17 /  18, 2017

The University of Delaware will host a two-day symposium, “Celebrating the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection: Rare Books and Manuscripts, Victorian Literature and Arts” at the University’s Morris Library in Newark, DE. Elaine Showalter, Professor Emerita of English, Princeton University, will be the keynote speaker. In addition to Ms. Showalter, speakers will include Mark Dimunation (Library of Congress), Barbara Heritage (Rare Book School, University of Virginia), Edward Maggs (Maggs Bros. Ltd., London), Joseph Bristow (UCLA), Linda K. Hughes (Texas Christian University), Margaretta S. Frederick (Delaware Art Museum), William S. Peterson (Emeritus, University of Maryland), David Taylor (UK historian and author), and Margaret D. Stetz (University of Delaware).

The symposium is being held in conjunction with the exhibition Victorian Passions: Stories from the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, curated by Margaret D. Stetz, University of Delaware, on view in the Special Collections Gallery, UD Library, from February 14 to June 3, 2017. The Mark Samuels Lasner Collection focuses on British literature and art of the period 1850 to 1900, with an emphasis on the Pre-Raphaelites and writers and illustrators of the 1890s. It holds more than 9,000 books, letters, manuscripts, and artworks, including many signed items by such figures as Oscar Wilde, George Eliot, Max Beerbohm, William Morris, Christina and D. G. Rossetti, Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and Aubrey Beardsley. In 2016, Mark Samuels Lasner, a long-time member of APHA and the Chesapeake Chapter, gave his collection to the University of Delaware. It is the largest and most valuable donation in the Library’s history.

The symposium is free and open to the public, but online registration in advance is requested. More information, including hotel arrangements and the full symposium schedule, and online registration, is available at 2017/.

 Viewing of Block Books
from the collection of the Library of Congress
Wednesday, March 22, 10:30 pm

We will visit the Library of Congress to see their collection of block books.

Stephanie Stillo, the new Rosenwald curator, will be our host and she will make some remarks about the books. Each page of these books is printed from a wood block on one side of the paper. There are 11 of these books in the collection, at least one of which is hand colored.

Chapter member Chris Manson, who is arranging the visit for us, has provided this introduction to block-books:

A block-book is a book whose pages (whether text only, or text combined with pictures) are printed entirely from wood blocks, the text being cut on the block and not printed separately from moveable type. Many of the earliest European woodcuts from the first half of the 15th century incorporated words as well as pictures cut in the same block, and the block-book may reasonably be seen as a logical extension and elaboration of this practice, resulting in illustrative images being cut in series with more substantial accompanying text, the whole published as a book.

Block-Books have been proposed as an intermediary stage in the development of printed books but, while single-leaf woodcuts began appearing around the year 1400, most, if not all, surviving block-books are dated from the middle of the century, contemporaneous with the invention of printing from moveable type. The blockbook, therefore, may represent a parallel development in book-printing, rather than a precursor, though this assertion is controversial, with some scholars dating some examples of block-books to the 1430’s. Block-books were not as highly valued as manuscripts or books printed from moveable type, and the greater number of them have perished, making accurate dating of the survivors problematic.

To further confuse the distinctions, there are books with block-book images combined with manuscript text, and with text printed from metal types, and one example we will Chesapeake Chapter, American Printing History Association March 2017 see at the Library of Congress has pages of text printed from both wood blocks and metal types.

The block-book may perhaps have a place as the earliest iteration of the ™graphic novel∫ and the books we will see (the Library of Congress has eleven of these rarities) are stunning displays of graphic art showing surprisingly sophisticated composition and draftsmanship, some being hand-colored as well.

Reserving a place is not required, but we would appreciate having a sense of how many are coming. Please email Chris Sweterlitsch if you plan to attend

Also, see below.

Current exhibition: Folger Library Exhibit
500 Years of Treasures from Oxford
through April 30, 2017

We are very pleased to announce that we will be visiting the Folger Shakespeare Library for a tour of their current exhibit 500 Years of Treasures from Oxford, on Wednesday, April 12th, at 12:00 noon. The tour will be led by Chesapeake Chapter member Caroline Duroselle-Melish, who is also the Curatorial Advisor, and Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Early Modern Books and Prints at the Folger.

The exhibit marks the 500th anniversary of Corpus Christi College, one of the oldest of the 38 self-governing colleges at the modern University of Oxford, and consists of a selection of fifty manuscripts and early printed books from its celebrated library. They range in date from the 10th to the 17th centuries and this is the first time they have been brought to America.

Focusing on the first hundred years of the College’s existence, the exhibition presents books which reflect the mission of the college, which was to pursue Humanist ideals of scholarship in three languages: Latin, Greek and Hebrew, the original languages of the Bible, along with such other subjects as Astronomy, Mathematics, Medicine, and Philosophy. Most notable among them are a group that has been called “the most important collection of Anglo-Jewish manuscripts in the world”; these works of the 12th and 13th centuries include a series of volumes apparently commissioned by Christians from Jews, from which to learn Hebrew and study biblical texts in their original language, as well as the commentaries of Rashi and what is thought to be the oldest surviving Ashkenazi prayer book.

Highlighting the college’s role in the development of science and medicine at Oxford, the exhibit includes a series of ground-breaking works, from Galileo’s first observation of the moon using a telescope and Sir Isaac Newton’s autograph observations of Halley’s comet to Hooke’s observations of insects using a microscope and Vesalius’ studies of the human body.

Reserving a place is not required, but we would appreciate having a sense of how many are coming. Please email Chris Sweterlitsch if you plan to attend

Iron handpress for sale
by Greg Robison

Greg Robison, a member of the APHA / Chesapeake Chapter is interested in selling his iron handpress

Press details:
A.B. Taylor iron hand press
Platen: 19″ x 25″
Bed: 22.5″ x 29.75″

Asking price: $5,000 FOB Bethesda (i.e., I will help you load it into your truck or onto your trailer)

Includes a Chase (ID): 19.5″ x 23.5″, tympan, frisket & all operational parts.

The press was manufactured in NYC before 1865 (when company is known to have moved to Chicago and castings changed to “A.B. Taylor & Son”).  A.B. Taylors are relatively rare.  History of press is documented from mid-1880s, when it was owned by I.P. Kieffer and used to published an 8pp German-language Democratic weekly in Remson, Iowa (“Die Glocke”) for the Luxembourger community there.

Greg is principally interested in selling the press but will include in the price other accoutrements as may be necessary to complement destination shop (quoins, furniture & rack, imposing stone on small cabinet, a same-period 16 in. Challenge paper cutter, samples of printing from the press, some printable curiosities, etc.). Photos of most of the major additional pieces are available on request.

Greg can be contacted directly about this equipment at