Archive for November, 2017

Seminar on Baskerville in France, Oct. 2018

Friday, November 24th, 2017

Closing date for proposals: 31 January 2018

In conjunction with L’École supérieure d’art et de design d’Amiens (ESAD), the Centre for Printing History & Culture (CPHC) is organising a two-day international conference which aims to review and reassess the relationship between Baskerville—the man and the typeface—and France and the French.

John Baskerville (1707–75) was an English typographer, printer, industrialist and Enlightenment figure with a worldwide reputation. He not only designed one of the world’s most popular and important typefaces, he also experimented with casting type, improved the construction of the printing press, trialed a new kind of paper and refined the quality of printing inks. His typographic experiments put him ahead of his time, had an international impact and did much to enhance the printing and publishing industries of his day.

Baskerville, however, was a prophet without honour in his own land and ‘only in France did he meet with the encouragement he undoubtedly deserved.’

During his lifetime, Baskerville allied himself with France both through print and politics. His books were purchased, read and collected by an admiring French public; his magnificent Orlando Furioso, printed in 1773, carried the work of the Paris-based Molini brothers and their French artists. The French State was appreciative of Baskerville’s work and wished to purchase his typographic material, and he enjoyed the hospitality of the King. Aptly known as ‘Birmingham’s little Voltaire’ Baskerville was an admirer and correspondent of the French author with whom he shared political, religious and freethinking values.

After his death the Franco-Baskerville relationship persisted. Caron de Beaumarchais, French author and polymath, purchased his types and presses to print the complete works of Voltaire and the link between Baskerville and French politics was strengthened when his type was deployed on a succession of Revolutionary material, including Le Moniteur, the official journal of the Republic. Baskerville’s influence on French typography is also significant, from the Didot family to the Deberny & Peignot foundry, who purchased and restored his materials before giving them to the university of Cambridge in 1953. Today, Baskerville’s typographic impact continues and his typeface is still widely used in the publishing trade.

This conference welcomes papers that consider the impact of Baskerville in France from the eighteenth century to the present day. Papers may consider the technical, aesthetic, literary, political or philosophical influences of Baskerville on France and France on Baskerville.

Look here for details.

–Bob McCamant

Deadline for Oxford book fair applications

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

Brief applications are needed to be considered for exhibition at the Oxford Fine Press Book Fair, administered by Henry Gott of the Provincial Booksellers. See this page for his contact information. They will need to be received by November 30, but can be filled out and sent electronically on a form Mr. Gott will send you.

–Bob McCamant

Paper proposal deadlines for Birmingham shortly!

Monday, November 13th, 2017

1. Script, print and letterforms in global contexts: the visual and the material 28-29 June 2018, Birmingham City University, UK

Keynote speakers: Professor Ulrike Stark (University of Chicago)
Deadline for submissions: 1 December 2017

In this conference, we seek to explore the plurality of engagements with, and interpretations of the printed and written word in various writing systems and artefacts; whether handwritten, lithographed, typographically printed, or digitally conjured.
More information


2. Women in Print: production, distribution and consumption
13-14 September 2018, Winterbourne House, University of Birmingham UK

Keynote speakers: Dr Nadine Chahine (Monotype UK), Ann Field (Marx Memorial Library); Professor Helen Smith (University of York)
Deadline for submissions: 1 December 2017

This interdisciplinary conference seeks to recover the lives, work and impact of women who have been active in all aspects of printing and print culture, and to assess those contributions that may have been neglected or undervalued.
More information


3. Printing for the workplace: industrial and business publishing
12 July 2018, Gladstone Library, Hawarden, Flintshire, Wales, UK

Deadline for submissions: 30 January 2018

This conference considers ‘industrial and business publishing’ that is, the production and issuing of commercial literature that not only utilizes the skills of traditional publishing (authorship, editorial direction, the commissioning of artists, designers and photographers) but also necessitates the supervision of printing and distribution. These customary activities are, however, executed by—or for—an industry for which publishing is not the primary business.
More information

–Bob McCamant