|The Tradition of Letterpress Printing at Yale||
twelve residential colleges that make up Yale College have, in the past,
each had their own printing facilities. The printing offices were started
over a period of 40 years between 1937 and 1967. More details about the
early history can be found in the online
version of Random Notes on the Origins of the College Presses.
In 1939 Sterling Memorial Library held an exhibit showcasing the work of
this new craft on campus. A brochure entitled "An Exhibition Of Undergraduate
Printing" accompanied the show. It contains a short article by R.D. French
about this history of college printing. The first paragraph speaks to the
origin of this activity on campus:
"Although the printing offices of Branford, Timothy Dwight, and Jonathan Edwards Colleges have been in operation but three years, the idea that lies behind them is at least as old as the Colleges themselves. At an early stage in the consideration of plans for the employment of self-supporting students, under what is now called the Bursary System, and well ahead of the opening of any of the Colleges, the training of a number of men in the craft of printing was suggested, and it was a natural further proposal that men so trained might be set to work in printing offices within their own Colleges. The place which a college press might take in the life of this community was then only dimly foreseen, since that life itself was still but a vision of the future; and in these early discussions, the emphasis fell rather upon the advantages of offering employment of an interesting sort to men who might with to study a craft that could take its place in their lives as a permanent hobby."
The below images are selected examples
from the archive of student printing housed in the Arts of the Book Collection.
2001 Yale University Library
Last modified: 16 November 2001 11:59:25 AM.
by Jae Williams and D.L.Nolting