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Hamilton Wood Type Loan Arrives at the University of Alabama

Wood type from the Hamilton Teaching Collection in action. (Photos: Sarah Bryant)

On August 23, Jim Moran, Director of the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum, escorted a large set of wood type to the fifth floor of the University of Alabama’s Amelia Gorgas Library, where the university’s MFA in Book Arts program operates its type lab and bindery. 

These wood types5, 8, and 10 line san serif gothics—are on a two-year loan from the Hamilton Teaching Collection, a program developed by the museum from its parent collection of more than 1.5 million pieces, the largest known collection of its kind in the United States. 

Jim Moran, Director of the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum, inspecting a font of wood type.

In addition to hand delivering these wood types from the museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin to the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Mr. Moran led a two-day workshop on their proper usage with students producing several prints each. He also gave a presentation on the museum and the storied history of the Hamilton Wood Type Manufacturing company, which began making wood type in 1880 and continued production for most of the twentieth century, and in whose factory was the museum’s first home from 2000 to 2012.

As part of the loan agreement, book arts students are asked to be kind stewards of the antique wood type, and that those who use the Hamilton Teaching Collection are asked to credit their usage on the prints they produce with the loaned wood type. Samples of student work will be sent to Hamilton for their archives, with a specific project to culminate the loan project at the end of the two years.

If you would like to know more about the Hamilton Wood Type collection, you can visit woodtype.org or the museum’s current location at 1816 10th Street, Two Rivers, WI 54241

If you would like to know more about the University of Alabama’s MFA in Book Arts, you can visit slis.ua.edu/mfa-in-book-arts/.