The Bancroft Library Press

Nearly every semester, The Bancroft Library offers the course, “The Hand-Printed Book in Its Historical Context,” under the aegis of the Undergraduate and Interdisciplinary Studies Department as UGIS 140.

Open to both graduate and undergraduate students, the course emphasizes practical experience in the printing of the handmade book by presenting a historical perspective on the various technologies involved in producing printed books: type founding, paper making, binding, illustration, and the evolution of the printing press itself.

Under the instructor's guidance, students closely examine and discuss original printed books from Bancroft collections, ranging in date from the 15th century to the present. And as a group, these students hand-set and print a small publication on the library's cast iron presses: the Albion (ca. 1856) and the Reliance (ca. 1913).

Only a very limited number of copies of these editions are made. None of these exquisite volumes is available for purchase; they may only be viewed in the Heller Reading Room.

For a list of these hand-printed texts, please see The Bancroft Library Press Publications.