Letterpress Alive! 78 Years at CCSF

April 12-October 193rd Floor, Rosenberg Library
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Letterpress Wooden TypeLetterpress exampleLetterpress Studio City College

Janet Ellliot, a member of the Letterpress Club at CCSF, discovered the rich history of letterpress printing at CCSF by talking with instructors and conducting research in the CCSF Archives. Her love of letterpress and printing lead her to develop Letterpress Alive! In addition to developing this exhibition, she is conducting interviews with faculty who have taught printing at CCSF over many decades. Her interviews will be added to the CCSF Archives. She describes her experience:

Having a Hand in Letterpress

It all started when I took Letterpress Printing with Bob Pinetti at the Mission Campus in 2009 and became quite enamored with letterpress. Fellow students did as well and we formed a Letterpress Club. The club had several events. One was an open house and round table discussion in May 2012. It was intended that a timeline be created for the occasion noting letterpress history at CCSF.The timeline wasn’t completed for the event, but is in this exhibit, tracing printing-related developments at the institution from 1935-2013. Research was necessary to devise a timeline. I contacted the Rosenberg Library in March 2012, and was connected to Librarian Christopher Kox. He provided me with an outline of key resources in the archive and at the reference desk for the topic. College catalogues from the institution’s beginning in 1935 to the present were searched, as well as class schedules for the last 78 years.An ever-changing curriculum was encountered as printing technology evolved over the years from letterpress, to offset, to digital, with the department changing names and course offerings over the years to keep up with the times. The timeline identifies these technological changes that also reflect industrial, societal, cultural and educational progressions. Librarian Kate Connell at the reference desk helped me with materials and asked questions about the research. From those conversations, she encouraged me to submit a libraryexhibit application which became the Letterpress Alive! 78 Years at CCSF exhibit in the cases before you. All the letterpress equipment inthe exhibit is from the CCSF Letterpress Shop. All the graphic pieces in the cases were designed and printed by CCSF students.May items in the exhibit stimulate your eyes and minds! Plan a visit to see the CCSF Letterpress Shop.Enroll in a Letterpress Printing or a Contemporary Letterpress class to discover the rich experience of letterpress printing by hand!

Letterpress assignment and bibliography

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2 Comments

Filed under Book Arts, City College Community

2 responses to “Letterpress Alive! 78 Years at CCSF

  1. Don Vaupel

    Wonderful treasure!!

  2. We think the City College letterpress studio, instructors and students are tops.–Book Arts & Special Collections, San Francisco Public Library

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