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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 26, 2004

UI Opens Historical Printing Studio Of 20th Century Printing Technology

A new teaching lab and printing studio will give University of Iowa students a taste of what printing was like before the digital age.

The Historical Printing Studio, operated jointly by the UI Printing Department and UI Center for the Book, will provide a teaching laboratory for instruction and demonstration of 20th century letterpress printing technology, including composition, line casting and presswork.

"Prior to digital composition and offset printing these letterpress technologies enabled the production of all printed matter, including the daily production of newspapers and timely printing of books," said Jonathan Wilcox, director of the Center for the Book. "First hand experience of these technologies is now available to students of media history, graphic arts and book studies."

The Historical Printing Studio provides tutorials in Linotype setting and casting as well as earlier hand setting and hand press work. The studio also includes production letterpress printing equipments and a complete array of layout and pre-press equipment.

"Of particular note is the fully operational model #31 Linotype machine, as well as a traditional Reliance flatbed press and a Vandercook cylinder proof press," said Gary Frost, a UI librarian who helps oversee the new studio. He said the studio is renovated to provide a pleasant and practical classroom environment in the setting of a modern digital printing operation.

A grand opening for the studio will be Tuesday, Oct. 26, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Center for the Book instructors Chuck Wendel and Larry Reid will demonstrate Linotype operation and maintenance. Other activities include demonstration of the traditional Reliance flatbed press. Students can participate on their own schedule. Free souvenir 2005 calendars featuring the UICB/Printing Department Linotype will be available.

The Historical Printing Studio is located in the Mossman Business Services Building, 2222 Old Highway 218 South (Riverside Drive, south of the Iowa City Municipal Airport).

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010,