A Letterpress Legacy: The Dartmouth College Book Arts Workshop. Online exhibition


Special Collections

Date Created

8 August, 2016


In 1936, Ray Nash (1905-1982), an American graphic-arts historian and calligraphy expert, established a hand press in the Baker Library, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire. The Graphic Arts Workshop, as it was called then, with the imprint of The Baker Library Press, ran for some 25 years. Teaching, instruction and discussion were all part of the print programme. In 1989, three Nash students - Mark Lansburgh, Roderick D. Stinehour, and Edward Connery Lathem - re-established the Workshop. This initiative was aided by the kindness of the Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Endowment that not only provided funding to re-establish the workshop in the Baker Library but also the support for a Fellow in the Book Arts. Today the Workshop provides students with access to a letterpress studio and a bookbinding studio. There they can mix inks, create posters and cards, and learn how to set type and bind a book. In the spirit of Nash and his students, the Workshop is open to all Dartmouth students and the Dartmouth community after they complete an orientation session.
In 2015, Dartmouth College celebrated the Workshop’s 25th Anniversary with an exhibition entitled: ‘The Secret Revealed. The Books Arts Workshop at 25 Years’. This exhibition showcased a selection of print and book arts materials produced by students and staff at Dartmouth over the years. To celebrate the University of Otago’s association with Dartmouth College through the Matariki Network*, this exhibition highlights a small selection of materials borrowed from Dartmouth’s Books Arts Workshop and Rauner Special Collections Library. Please enjoy.

*The Matariki Network of Universities (MNU) is an international group of seven universities that focuses on strong links between research and undergraduate teaching. Alongside the University of Otago, the other six are Durham University; Queen’s University; University of Tübingen; University of Western Australia; Uppsala University; and Dartmouth College.


Dartmouth Book Arts Workshop; Special Collections, University of Otago

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