Jan 28, 2009

Wishing I Had a Local Resource Like This.

I had come across a link to their upcoming conference - "The Form of The Book" about a week ago, and downloaded the program brochure, even though I am not able to attend. But a closer look at the website of The St Bride Library reveals an incredible resource for anyone interested in printing and the graphic arts. The London-based organization rightly promotes itself as the world's foremost printing and graphic arts library, offering over 50,000 books on printing technique visual style, typography, graphic design, calligraphy and more.

The Library also has on hand 3,500 periodicals, catalogues and directories, from typographic journals such as The Fleuron and Emigre to graphics reviews like Motif and Eye, and a number of specimen books and catalogues. Artifacts on hand include specimens of type, with punches, matrices and founders’ type from the seventeenth to the twentieth century. There are wood blocks, copper plate and lithographic stones to exemplify the various reproduction techniques, as well as copies of some of the software that has been used in the graphics industry.

Opened in 1895 as a technical library and printing school, the Library's collections cover all aspects of printing—paper and binding; graphic design, typography, typefaces and calligraphy; illustration and printmaking; publishing and bookselling; and the social and economic side of printing and its allied trades. For anyone involved in the book design or printing trades, it's a "must see," and I shall surely put it on my list. Now, if there was a way to get most of this material online...(sigh). In London, go here: St Bride Library - Bride Lane, Fleet Street -London EC4Y 8EE

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