News

Information in this section:
Bamber Gascoigne »»
Winner of 2021 Prize for New Scholarship announced »»
Grants programme update, December 2021 »»
Bibliographical Society awards Gold Medal to Professor Michael Twyman »»
Prize for New Scholarship 2021 »»
Plantin Institute takes History of the book course online »»
Printing Historical Society to launch a Virtual Museum of Printing »»
First volume of Journal Third Series published »»
Award of Printing Historical Society Prize for New Scholarship »»
St Bride Library opening times »»
Printing History News 68 »»
Call for papers: Places, spaces and the printing press: imprinting regional identities »»
The History of the Printed Image Network »»
Matthew Boulton’s Baskerville family bible »»
Exhibition on east London’s printing history »»
Renewing an existing subscription - new form »»
Cultures of the book: science, technology and the spread of knowledge »»
Atelier-Musée de l’Imprimerie »»
Alan May’s reconstructions of historical printing presses »»
The Society's Privacy Policy »»
Good home needed for four German collotype presses »»
St Bride Library open to the public on first and third Wednesdays of the month »»
St Bride Library catalogue searchable online »»
Music Printing History website »»
Centre for Printing History and Culture »»
History of chromolithography - copies still available for purchase »»
John Phillips's lithographic notebook »»
Order our publications online »»
Past issues of PHN available online »»
Apply for membership online »»

Bamber Gascoigne

The death has been announced of Bamber Gascoigne, on 8 February 2022, after a short illness. He was Vice-President of the Printing Historical Society and formerly Patron of the National Printing Heritage Trust. A full obituary will be published in the next number of the Journal of the Printing Historical Society.

Winner of 2021 Prize for New Scholarship announced

The PHS Grants and Prizes Committee is pleased to announce the winner of the Society’s 2021 Prize for New Scholarship, for an article on a printing-historical subject written by an author new to the field. The Prize has been awarded to Julia Smith, a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh, for her article ‘Batch colouring and printed illustrated books: a handcraft revolution in fifteenth-century Nuremberg’. The author has received the prize-money of £500, and her article is being prepared for publication in the Journal of the Printing Historical Society (subject to the usual process of peer-review).

Grants programme update, December 2021

Our Grants Programme for 2022 is open and we are keen to hear from applicants.

See the Grants Programme section for details of how to apply

Please read about the scope of the programme to discover whether your proposal is likely to be eligible for consideration.

Bibliographical Society awards Gold Medal to Professor Michael Twyman

From time to time the Bibliographical Society awards a Gold Medal for distinguished services to bibliography to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the development of the subject and the furtherance of the Society’s aims. Over forty awards have been made since the Medal Fund was established in 1929. This year the Society’s Gold Medal will be awarded to Professor Michael Twyman, Professor Emeritus of the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication at the University of Reading. Professor Twyman has long been internationally acknowledged for his research and publication in the history of typography, lithography, ephemera, and graphic design, and, of course, for establishing a BA course in Typography & Graphic Communication at Reading and then a full department for such study in 1974, both the first of their kind in the world. He retired from full-time teaching in 1998 but still teaches postgraduate students and is also the Director of the Centre for Ephemera Studies. He will be presented with the Gold Medal at the Bibliographical Society’s meeting on Tuesday, 16 November 2021.

The Printing Historical Society would like to congratulate Professor Twyman, President of the Society, on the occasion of this award.

Prize for New Scholarship 2021

The ‘Printing Historical Society Prize for New Scholarship’ will be available again this year. Submissions are invited in the form of a new article on a printing-historical subject, suitable for the Society’s Journal. The winning author will receive this year’s Prize, a purse of £500, membership of the Society for one year, and publication in the PHS Journal (and digitally, subject to the usual processes of peer-review). Full details on our Publications page.

Plantin Institute takes History of the book course online

The Plantin Institute, in the Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp, is organising its three-day course on the history of the book in a new online format.

History of the Book – one of the Plantin Institute's students' favourite courses – is to be repeated in March 2021 in a new format. For the first time, the entire course will be livestreamed and given in English, allowing international students to take advantage of this three-day course.

More information from the Plantin Institute of Typography.

Printing Historical Society to launch a Virtual Museum of Printing

On 28 October 2020, the Printing Historical Society (PHS) Committee approved a proposal, presented by the National Printing Heritage Committee (NPHC), for a web-based ‘virtual’ British Museum of Printing. The objective of the museum will be to ‘bring as much of the nation’s printing-historical resources as possible together on one virtual collective museum site.’ The site will be a platform for print historians, practitioners, and heritage professionals across the nation to contribute data, images, video, and narrative relating to their collections. This concept, developed by Lee Hale, is entirely new and will allow for improved connections, knowledge transfer and potential education and training opportunities. Most importantly, ‘museum’ visitors will engage not just with one virtual museum, but with a range of physical collections from all over the country, many of which would otherwise be inaccessible.


You can read the full press release here Download file

First volume of Journal Third Series published

Volume number 1 of the Third Series of the Society’s Journal was published in December 2020. The issue contains articles by Michael Twyman, R.B. Williams, Daniel Reynolds, Michael Knies, Robert Oldham, Riccardo Olocco and Paul W. Nash. See the Publications page for further information.

Award of Printing Historical Society Prize for New Scholarship

The PHS Grants and Prizes Committee is pleased to announce the winner of the Society’s first Prize for New Scholarship, for an article on a printing-historical subject written by an author new to the field. The Prize has been awarded to Isabel Feder McCarthy for her article ‘Ad fontes II: a new look at “The problem of the blockbooks” ’. The author has received the prize-money of £500, and her article is being prepared for publication in the Journal of the Printing Historical Society (subject to the usual process of peer-review).

St Bride Library opening times

The St Bride Library have announced that the Reading Room will be open by appointment on Wednesday 9 and Thursday 10 December, 12–3.00pm and 3.30–6.30pm. The Reading Room will re-open after the holiday period on Wednesday 6 January. To book an appointment visit the Library web page or email library@sbf.org.uk.

Printing History News 68

Printing History News 68 was issued in November 2020. See the Publications page for further information.

Call for papers: Places, spaces and the printing press: imprinting regional identities

The Centre for Printing History and Culture, Birmingham, UK, and the National and University Library, Ljubljana, Slovenia, have announced a conference entitled Places, spaces and the printing press: imprinting regional identities, to be held online on 24–25 March 2021, and have issued a call for papers. The deadline for submissions is 30 November 2020. For further information see the conference page on the CPHC website.

The History of the Printed Image Network

The Centre for Printing History and Culture has announced a new initiative, the History of the Printed Image Network (HoPIN), aimed at anyone interested in the history of printed images, including (but not limited to): artistic prints; book illustration; chapbooks; ballad-sheets; maps; photographs; transfer prints. Online events are being planned. There is no charge for membership. For further information visit the HoPIN page on the CPHC website.

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.

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.

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.

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 www.makerpress.co.uk.

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.

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.