The Bodleian Library’s printing workshop holds three 17th-century composing frames, along with presses and type of more recent date, all in working order and regularly used to teach type-setting and printing on hand-operated presses.
The workshop is housed in a ground-floor room, the Schola Musicae, opening from the Old Schools Quadrangle in the Old Bodleian Library. The room holds five free-standing iron presses, all dating from the 19th century, one proofing press and one etching press.
Richard Lawrence is the supervisor and teaches classes for beginners and more advanced printers, as well as teaching University of Oxford postgraduates. The Press hosts hands-on experiments, which have included publication of a broadside of Martin Luther’s 95 theses, produced by students from the Medieval and Modern Languages Faculty, and the ‘print-tweets’ made by artist Tamarin Norwood.
The Bodleian Library offers classes in hand-printing for students on University of Oxford courses and visitors from other universities, as well as regular workshops for families, adults, and primary school groups. Experienced printers may register to attend weekly open sessions in termtime.