Reconstructing Gutenberg’s Press: The IES' Term-Long Celebration for 'Gutenberg Year 2018'

Alan May (r) and Martin Andrews (l) at the Gutenberg Press. Photo courtesy of University of Glasgow Library

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Johannes Gutenberg printed the first book, the Gutenberg Bible, around 1455. Over 500 years later, his invention still shapes how we communicate. But what did his press look like? And how did it work? This term-long portfolio of events participates in an international initiative to commemorate the 550th anniversary of Gutenberg’s death and celebrates the relaunch of the IES Annual Lecture in the History of the Book. It is part of the international 2018 Gutenberg Year, https://gutenberg2018.eu.

The event portfolio includes:

IES Annual Lecture in the History of the Book + Keepsake Printing

Reconstructing Gutenberg’s Press’

Johannes Gutenberg printed the first book, the Gutenberg Bible, around 1455. Over 500 years later, his invention still shapes how we communicate. But what did his press look like? And how did it work? This event gives participants the rare opportunity to learn how Alan May and Martin Andrews reverse-engineered and rebuilt Gutenberg’s invention, and then stand in Gutenberg’s footsteps to print a take-away keepsake themselves on the replica Gutenberg Press. Alan and Martin are world-leading experts in the history of printing techniques. Their reconstruction of the Gutenberg Press pioneered research into mechanics of the press and methodologies based on reconstructions. Raphaële Mouren (Warburg) will respond. The event coincides with an exhibition of fifteenth-century books at Senate House Library. Together, they relaunch the IES Annual Lecture in the History of the Book. The event is free, including keepsake printing and wine reception, with a recommended donation of £10 to benefit St Bride Library.

Participants

Keynote: Martin Andrews (University of Reading)

Martin Andrews started his career as a museum and exhibition designer and in 1990 became a lecturer in Typography & Graphic Communication at the University of Reading. As well as teaching graphic design he concentrated on printing history and helped in the development of the department’s extensive historical collections and the Centre for Ephemera Studies. He has published widely and lectured in this country and abroad. Specialising in the history of nineteenth-century commercial wood-engraving, he has also written a biography of the twentieth-century wood-engraver Robert Gibbings, the director of the Golden Cockerel Press. More recently he has been working with Alan May on a reconstruction of the one-pull press developed by Gutenberg.

Keynote: Alan May (University of Reading)

Alan May’s career in printing commenced with his employment as a designer at the Kynoch Press, Birmingham. He later took up the teaching of design and was employed at Stafford College of Art and the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication at the University of Reading. His practical and research interests include type-founding and early letterpress printing. Since retirement from teaching he has concentrated on reconstructing a number of early presses. To date six model presses and five full size common presses have been built, including the Gutenberg Press, the Dürer Press, and two for the television series ‘Outlander’. 

Respondent: Raphaële Mouren (Warburg Institute)

Dr Raphaële Mouren is Reader in History of the Book and History of Libraries, University of London, and Librarian of the Warburg Institute; Deputy-Director, Centre Gabriel Naudé.

Convenor: Elizabeth Savage (IES)

Elizabeth Savage is British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow & Lecturer in Book History and Communications, Institute of English Studies. She is convening the IES’s term-long portfolio of events to commemorate the 550th anniversary of Gutenberg’s death for the international 2018 Gutenberg Year, https://gutenberg2018.eu.

Lecture

Thursday, 1 February 2018
6pm: lecture; 7pm: keepsake printing
Senate House, London

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Click the REGISTER HERE button below to reserve a seat (free; £10 recommended donation to St Bride Library):

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A Selection of Incunabula at Senate House Library

The reception coincides with a private view of SHL's earliest printed books. Highlighting some of its rarest holdings allows SHL to promote its collections to a wider public and new user constituency and advocate IES's object-based teaching philosophy.

Event Details
Coming soon

Masterclass (graduate students/ECRs)

This three-part, hands-on masterclass offers graduate students, postdocs, early career researchers (up to 10 years post-PhD) the unique opportunity to learn about the history of the printing press itself by examining historical relief printing presses and reconstructions covering the hand-press period, 1450-1830. Participants must commit to attending all three sessions and writing a blog post about the training. Eligibility: current PhD students and early career researchers (less than 10 years post-PhD)

Convenor
Elizabeth Savage (IES)

Part 1: Dürer Press, Senate House, London
2 February 2018, 12pm-1pm
Led by: Alan May, Martin Andrews

Part 2: Bibliographical Press, Oxford University
2 March 2018, 1-3pm
Led by: Richard Lawrence

Part 3: Gutenberg Press, Department of Typography and Graphic Communications, University of Reading
The Gutenberg Press, University of Reading
23 March 2018, 1-4pm
Led by: Alan May, Martin Andrews

Apply (EXTENDED: deadline 12 January 2018)
http://bit.ly/Gberg2018Masterclass

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Masterclass Leaders

Martin Andrews (University of Reading)

Martin Andrews started his career as a museum and exhibition designer and in 1990 became a lecturer in Typography & Graphic Communication at the University of Reading. As well as teaching graphic design he concentrated on printing history and helped in the development of the department’s extensive historical collections and the Centre for Ephemera Studies. He has published widely and lectured in this country and abroad. Specialising in the history of nineteenth-century commercial wood-engraving, he has also written a biography of the twentieth-century wood-engraver Robert Gibbings, the director of the Golden Cockerel Press. More recently he has been working with Alan May on a reconstruction of the one-pull press developed by Gutenberg.

Richard Lawrence (Oxford University)

Richard Lawrence started printing at school in the 1970s. When he left school he bought a Heidelberg platen and has been printing, collecting, and teaching ever since. He has a science degree and worked in publishing producing and commissioning complex science titles for more than 25 years. He has also taken time out to complete an MA in printing history from the Department of Typography at the University of Reading, UK. He is a past editor of the Journal of the Printing Historical Society. He is one of the people who set up the printing workshop at St Bride Foundation in London where the newly commissioned Duerer press is housed. He teaches at the Bodleian Library in Oxford, St Bride Foundation (e.g. The London Rare Books School) and in his own workshop as well as taking machinery out to give public demonstrations in schools and museums. He strongly believes in the value of practical experience to printing history.

Alan May (University of Reading)

Alan May’s career in printing commenced with his employment as a designer at the Kynoch Press, Birmingham. He later took up the teaching of design and was employed at Stafford College of Art and the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication at the University of Reading. His practical and research interests include type-founding and early letterpress printing. Since retirement from teaching he has concentrated on reconstructing a number of early presses. To date six model presses and five full size common presses have been built, including the Gutenberg Press, the Dürer Press, and two for the television series ‘Outlander’. 

Respondent: Raphaële Mouren (Warburg Institute)

Dr Raphaële Mouren is Reader in History of the Book and History of Libraries, University of London, and Librarian of the Warburg Institute; Deputy-Director, Centre Gabriel Naudé.

Convenor: Elizabeth Savage (IES)

Elizabeth Savage is British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow & Lecturer in Book History and Communications, Institute of English Studies. She is convening the IES’s term-long portfolio of events to commemorate the 550th anniversary of Gutenberg’s death for the international.

School Visit

Fifteen Year 12 History students (ages 16-17) from St Marylebone School will learn about the history of printing. They will have a hands-on workshop at the Dürer Press, print a keepsake, and visit the Durning-Lawrence Library to explore early printed travel accounts from Senate House Library Special Collections. 

Details

As part of the activities taking place to commemorate the 550th anniversary of Johannes Gutenburg’s death, a group of Year 12 students from St Marylebone School will visit Senate House on Friday 2 February. They will spend the morning learning about the printing press and the role it played in facilitating the momentous social and cultural changes of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The visit will begin in Senate House Library, where Matthew Coneys (IMLR) will present a range of early printed travel accounts from the library’s special collections, showing how printers and editors across Europe communicated news of journeys through old and new worlds using printed words and images. The students will then have the unique opportunity to observe a fully functioning replica of a Gutenburg-style press, designed and built by Alan May and Martin Andrews (Department of Typology, University of Reading), world-leading experts in the history of printing techniques. Having discovered how the press functioned, the students will use it themselves to print a personal keepsake to remind them of their visit.

Convenor

Matthew Coneys (IMLR) & Andrea Meyer Ludowisy (SHL)

Venue

Senate House Library, Durning Lawrence Library

Date and time

Friday 2 February 2018, 11:00-13:00

Schedule

11.00am: Students arrive at reception

11.15am: Hands-on demonstration of printing press (Grand Lobby)

12.00am: Workshop on early printed travel accounts (Durning-Lawrence Library)

1.00pm: End of visit

Workshop material/ Items on display

[Incunabula] 89: Bernard von Breydenbach, Peregrinatio in Terram Sanctam [Dutch] (Mainz: 1488)

[Rare] Mic. P 450: Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales [English] (London: 1492)

De [Alberti] fol. (SR): Leandro Alberti, Descrittione di tutta Italia [Italian] (Bologna: 1550)

E1a [Alvares] SR: Francisco Alvarez, Historia de las cosas de Ethiopia [Spanish] (Antwerp: 1557)

[S.L.] I [Hakluyt - 1589] fol.: Richard Hakluyt, Principal Navigations [English] (London: 1589)

 

Explainer Video

A one-minute video of the keepsake printing will introduce the wider public and potential graduate students to the history of the printing press and resources at the School of Advanced Study.

 

Convenor

Elizabeth Savage (IES)
With Martin Andrews (Reading), Matthew Coneys (Institute of Modern Language Research), Alan May (Reading), Richard Lawrence (Oxford), and Andrea Meyer Ludowisy (Senate House Library)

International Gutenberg Year 2018

Please click on the flier for details:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Website: www.Gutenberg2018.eu
Twitter: #gutenberg2018
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/imprimeurs/

This event is generously supported by the John Coffin Memorial Trust Fund.

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