Introduction to Letterpress

A woman wearing an apron stands in front of wooden compartments filled with stacks of metal printing blocks


Introduction to Letterpress

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  Saturday 25 November 2023

  10am – 5pm

 Schola Musicae, Old Bodleian Library

 £115 (concessions £100), places limited

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Discover the craft of letterpress printing

Learn to prepare work and print on the hand-operated presses in the historic setting of Bodleian’s letterpress workshop in Bodleian Old Library.

In this course, instructors Elizabeth Adams and Richard Lawrence will introduce you to the basics of setting type by hand.

Participants will have an introduction to the Bodleian's letterpress workshop and the range of hand-operated presses including the 'Duerer Press', a replica of a wooden 15th-century press, Albion and Columbian platen presses, a ‘Western’ (Vandercook-style) proofing press, and a star-wheel etching press.

Participants will learn:

  • About relief and intaglio processes
  • How to hand typeset lead and wooden type
  • To set up work into a forme
  • How to select paper stock
  • How to choose and mix inks
  • The correct and safe use of the press

By the end of the session you will leave with your own handprinted objects, designed collectively in the class.

Learn more about printing and book arts activities at the Bodleian Libraries Bibliographical Press 

Age 18 and over. All materials are provided. No previous experience necessary.


Schola Musicae, Old Bodleian Library, Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3BG

The class will meet in the printing workshop, Schola Musicae, Bodleian Library. The room is accessible via a ground-floor entrance. Please report to the Bodleian Library Great Gate, accessed from Catte Street, upon arrival.

 Wheelchair access

The Schola Musicae is wheelchair accessible.


£100 (£115 concessions for Oxford University and Oxford Brookes students, GLAM staff and volunteers).

Book now


Elizabeth Adams and Richard Lawrence

Booking information

When you have booked your place, the ticketing system will send you an automated confirmation.

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