Reminder! Handmade Type: the Justin Howes lecture 2006

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Justin Howes lecture 2006
21 February in the Bridewell Hall, St Bride Institute

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Handmade type: thoughts on the future of typographical materials

A world in which printing would no longer be done from relief metal type
was already foreseen half a century ago or more, and when the effective
end came during the 1970s it was rapid and almost complete, leaving
traditional processes that had once been universal in the hands of craft
printers and type-makers.

But the materials for making type, like the punches and matrices which
hardly changed for centuries, are durable. Huge quantities survive. Not
only can they still be made to serve the purposes for which they were
originally created but, taken together, they form an archive that can
still yield new information about the types that were used to set and
print the books of the past, and some of which form the model for
digital types that are used today.

The task of preservation is a formidable and an expensive one, and those
who are willing or able to undertake it are rare. The urgent question
that now needs to be addressed is, how will the long-term preservation
of this archive be achieved, and who will set the agenda for future

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Justin Howes died in February 2005. This lecture, the first of a series,
is given in his memory. He was not only a distinguished scholar, whose
wide-ranging researches were making an important contribution to our
understanding of the types and lettering of the past, but he learned to
cast type by hand and to demonstrate to others the techniques of a
secretive and mysterious trade.

James Mosley, Visiting Professor in the Department of Typography in the
University of Reading and former Librarian of the St Bride Library,
writes and lectures on the history of type.

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The lecture is on 21 February 2006 and starts at 7pm.
It will take place in the Bridewell Hall, St Bride Institute.
Entry is free.

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For more details, or to contact the Library, please see

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