Unregulated Printing
Modern Private Press Books

Printing schools and other small presses

printing schools in Great Britain first developed towards the end of the nineteenth century, principally as trade schools. As the twentieth century progressed, printing became an element in the curricula of schools and colleges of arts and crafts, with an increasing emphasis on printing as an art medium. Since the Second World War many large libraries, including the University Library, have acquired traditional printing equipment and established working presses, both to preserve such items, and to instruct librarians and readers in the essentials of hand-press printing.

Leicester in particular became a centre for British private presses in the 1960s and 1970s, many of which were established by true amateurs of the black art. The small selection of items shown here is quite typical: essentially produced for the sheer joy of printing, they combine text and illustrations from a wide variety of established writers and artists in an engaging style.

items on display