The Bodleian Bibliographical Press

Typesetting in Bodleian Bibliographical Press

The Bodleian’s Bibliographical Press is located in the Old Bodleian Library in a ground-floor room, the Schola Musicae, opening from the Old Schools Quadrangle.

Inside are free-standing iron presses (four Albions and a Columbian), a ‘Western’ model proofing press, a star-wheel etching press, a number of table-top presses, and several composing frames, including three seventeenth-century frames, with a quantity of wooden and metal type.

The room hosts classes in hand-printing for students from Oxford and other universities, and regular workshops for families, adults, and primary school groups.

Latest inspirations

Newly-made printing blocks from a 17th-century ballad in the Bodleian Libraries, 4o Rawl. 566(121), showing a man and woman with hats

Working presses in the Bodleian letterpress studio:

Large John & Jeremiah Barrett Albion Press of 1835, serial number 539.
Platen 17¾” x 24”.  This was the press used by C.H.O. Daniel, Provost of Worcester College, from 1880-1906 and presented to the library in 1919.

Medium Miller & Richard Albion Press of 1898, serial number 4993. Platen 12” x 18”. From the Moss Press

A Columbian, from the Samson Press (c. 1860)

Medium Harrild & Sons Albion Press of 1877, serial number 3531.  Platen 11” x 16”. From Leonard Baskin’s Gehenna Press

Small table-top Frederick Ullmer Albion Press of circa 1900, serial number 2919. Platen, 9 ⅞ x 7 in.

A star-wheel etching press

A ‘Western’ model proofing press, formerly belonging to Vivian Ridler, Printer to the University, by kind permission of the Story Museum.

A Risograph (stencil duplicator)

The hand-press workshop in the Old Bodleian Library
The hand-press workshop in the Old Bodleian Library

Other material:

A Chinese typewriter (Double Pigeon brand)

A Western typewriter (Remington)