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Low-tech lessons: Creating a book the old-fashioned way
22 August 2002

Students (L to R) Tag Savage, Renée Elsdon, Connie Chang and Paloma Young ink a 19th century press at the Bancroft library.

BERKELEY - This fall, students in "The Hand-Printed Book in its Historical Context" class at the Bancroft Library will set metal type by hand and print a small book using the library’s Albion hand press, manufactured in London in the mid-1800s. They will draw text from the rich collections of the library’s unpublished material.

Instructor Les Ferris said he does discuss digital typesetting and printing with his students. "But I don’t think the printed book is going to disappear any time soon," he said. "The codex (the bound book) is a wonderful container for information: simple, portable, inexpensive. Flip through the pages. No scrolling. No crashes. And the book, at its best, aspires to and attains the state of art."

– Kathleen Maclay   

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