Matthew Boulton’s Baskerville family bible

Thanks to generous pledges from a number of donors, including the National Printing Heritage Committee of the Printing Historical Society, a consortium of heritage organisations in Birmingham, UK, has been successful in its bid to acquire Matthew Boulton’s family bible, from its previous owner. The bible was printed by John Baskerville in Cambridge in 1763 and, as well as being a fine example of his printing and binding skills, is a unique heritage item connecting Baskerville, the industrialist Matthew Boulton, and Birmingham. The bible is being donated to the Cadbury Research Library at the University of Birmingham.

Exhibition on east London’s printing history

An exhibition on the history of east London’s printing industry across the 20th century is being staged at the Nunnery Gallery, Bow Arts, 181 Bow Street, London E3 2SJ. The exhibition, entitled Lightboxes & Lettering runs until 29 March 2020. For further information see the exhibition web page.

Printing History News 65

Printing History News 65 was issued in January 2020. See the Publications page for further information.

Printing Historical Society Prize for New Scholarship

The Society is pleased to announce the ‘Printing Historical Society Prize for New Scholarship’, a competition for a new article on any printing-historical subject, suitable for the Society’s Journal. For further information see the Publications page.

Grants for 2020

The Printing Historical Society is pleased to continue its research grants programme in 2020, and awards will be announced at the Society’s Annual General Meeting. For further details see our Grants Programme page.

Renewing an existing subscription - new form

A new form is available to assist you in renewing your subscription for 2020. Please go to the Join us page for a link to the new form.

Journal New Series 31 published

Issue number 31 of the Society’s Journal was published in December 2019. The issue contains articles by Michael Twyman, Martyn Ould, Katharina Walter, Peter Lanchidi and Paul Nash. See the Publications page for further information.

Printing History News 64

Printing History News 64 was issued in October 2019. See the Publications page for further information.

Printing History News 63

Printing History News 63 was issued in August 2019. See the Publications page for further information.

Journal New Series 30 published

Issue number 30 of the Society’s Journal was published in July 2019. The issue contains articles by Roger Gaskell, Richard Staines, Stephen Hoskins and Martyn Ould. See the Publications page for further information.

2019 Annual General Meeting

The 2019 Annual General Meeting was held on Wednesday 3 July. A full report will appear soon on the Past events page.

Printing History News 62

Printing History News 62 was issued in April 2019. See the Publications page for further information.

New St Bride librarian appointed

The St Bride Foundation has announced the appointment of Sophie Hawkey-Edwards as full-time librarian of the St Bride Printing Library. Ms Hawkey-Edwards has been a senior manager at Conway Hall in Holborn, London, and has extensive previous experience in the library sector in Scotland. She will take up her new role during April 2019.

Cultures of the book: science, technology and the spread of knowledge

The Centre for Printing History and Culture has announced a conference on how science and technology have been deployed in book production and how the book itself has been a vehicle for the promotino of science and technology. The conference will take place on 6–7 November 2019 at AURUM in Pescara, Italy. A call for papers has been issued. For further information see the Other events and announcements page.

Atelier-Musée de l’Imprimerie

At the end of September 2018 Europe’s newest printing museum opened in Malesherbes, France, 70 kilometres south of Paris. It is impossible to do justice to this extraordinary venture in a short news item. For further information in English there is an illustrated news item on the Association of European Printing Museums’ website here. For further information in French, see the museum website.

Digital version of Nijhoff’s l’Art Typographique...

Paul Dijstelberge has announced the publication of a digital version of the first volume of Wouter Nijhoff’s “L’Art Typographique dans les Pays-Bas Pendant les Années 1500 à 1540: Reproductions en fac-simile des caractères typographiques, marques d'imprimeurs, gravures sur bois et autres ornements empoloyés pendant cette période”. The page-scans can be viewed in two ways: image by image in a Flickr collection; or as a single, zoom-able image with a text overview at

This project was in part funded by a research grant from the Society awarded in 2014.

Alan May’s reconstructions of historical printing presses

Alan May has created a website about his reconstructions of historical printing presses, from the Gutenberg Press to the Senefelder Pole Press, and his practice-based research into the history of printing techniques. See

Iain Bain

It is with sadness that we must record the death of the Society’s Life President, Iain Bain, on 20 April 2018, at the age of 84. While he later became a distinguished publisher, art historian and printing historian, in his youth Iain Bain was an accomplished athlete and in the 1950s was three times the Scottish hammer-throwing champion. After university (St Edmund Hall, Oxford), he joined Unwin Brothers in Woking, before joining Bodley Head as production manager. From 1972 to his retirement in 1994 he was head of publishing at the Tate Gallery. He wrote extensively about the history of copperplate printing and was the acknowledged world authority on the woodblock printing of Thomas Bewick. He was President of the Bewick Society, President of the Private Libraries Association and Vice-President of the London Topographical Society.

The Society's Privacy Policy

The Society has issued a Privacy Policy on the use of personal data that it holds and uses to serve its members and other customers.

The Society's website: an apology...

We’d like to apologise to anyone affected by problems using the Society’s website, especially the online membership application and publication order forms. A succession of changes to web servers have been made over a period of several months over which we have had no control, resulting in lack of response or error messages when forms have been submitted. At present both forms appear to be working, but we will be keeping a close eye on this over the coming months. If submission of a form appears to be unresponsive or results in an error message on your screen, please contact us.

Ken Brooks

We are sad to record the death of Kenneth Brooks, a long-standing member of the Society and its Treasurer for many years until 2010. An appreciation of Ken Brooks was included in the Summer 2018 issue (No 59) of Printing History News.

Good home needed for four German collotype presses

The AEPM reports (January 2018) that four collotype presses, built by Faber & Schliecher in Offenbach between 1897 and 1907 and currently held in a former printing house in Dresden, are in danger of being scrapped. Anyone interested in helping to preserve any or all of these unique presses should contact Dr Michael Streetz by email. For photos of the presses see the news item on the AEPM website.

St Bride Library open to the public on first and third Wednesdays of the month

The St Bride Library is open from 12 noon to 8 pm every first and third Wednesday of the month. Use of the Reading Room and the 2,000 books it contains is free, but a small charge will be made to retrieve items from closed collections and to photograph or photocopy items. For further details visit the St Bride Library web page.

St Bride Library catalogue searchable online

The St Bride Library catalogue is now searchable online. The catalogue, now entirely separate from the Guildhall Library catalogue of which it used to be a part, can be reached at this web address.

Music Printing History website

An interesting and potentially useful online museum of Music Printing History has been launched. Unfortunately, the current content includes many errors and misleading statements. Printing historians are encouraged to review its contents and submit suggestions for improvements to the museum’s founder, Rosendo Reyna.

Centre for Printing History and Culture

In 2015 Birmingham City University and the University of Birmingham, UK, jointly launched the Centre for Printing History and Culture (CPHC), to encourage research into all aspects and periods of printing history and culture, as well as education and training into the art and practice of printing. As well as collaborating with the Society on joint events, such as the conference on twentieth century printing history in Dublin, March 2017, CPHC organises regular events of its own, details of several of which are posted on our Other events and announcements page. Further information about the CPHC may be found on their website.

History of chromolithography - copies still available for purchase

In 2013 the British Library and Oak Knoll Press, in association with the Printing Historical Society, published A history of chromolithography: printed colour for all by Michael Twyman. This important book has become a standard reference work on the subject. Copies of this book may still be purchased from the Printing Historical Society at a price of £75 for non-members and £40 for non-members (excluding delivery). For further details see the Publications page.

John Phillips's lithographic notebook

A facsimile of John Phillips’s lithographic notebook, with a learned transcription and commentary by Michael Twyman, was published in December 2016 by the Society. See our Publications page for further information.

Order our publications online

You can now use an online order form to order back-issues of the Society's Journal and other publications that we have in stock. You can, of course, still place orders by contacting our Publications Officer by email. For further information on publications that are available for sale, see our Publications page.

Past issues of PHN available online

The Society is beginning to make past issues of Printing History News available for free download in PDF format, starting with the most recent issues. See the Publications page for more information and for links to the online versions.

Apply for membership online

A revised membership application form has been uploaded to the PHS website and is available both for download in PDF format and for use online. Visit our 'Join us' web page.