An occasional newsletter

News on progress on forthcoming books and events.
Hinton Charterhouse, Bath, UK

May 2011


Where have we been?

No, we haven't given up!


I note with alarm that our last newsletter was in November last year - six months ago. And that was only to announce two events. Despite the silence a lot has been happening behind the scenes, of which more below. Actual printing has been pretty much suspended after I injured my back two weeks before Christmas. I have only recently been out in the press-shop at last, doing some gentle dissing and tidying up, hardly daring to lift anything yet.
But enough . . .


a new title:
Printing at the University Press, Oxford,

the first continuous narrative covering printing during this formative period in OUP's history

2012 and 2013
read the next news item on this title

We are pleased to be able to announce a major new work in our series of titles about Oxford University Press. For nearly three years we have been researching the development of printing at the Press during its most formative period: 1660-1780. The result will be what is turning into a two-volume work, the first volume dealing with the resources of the press (its premises, paper, and type) and the second with its processes (from author to bookseller) and staff (compositors, correctors, printers, engravers, rolling-press men, and others).

2012 will see the publication of a major four-volume history of the Press from OUP itself. I was asked to write a chapter specifically on the printing side over the period 1660 to 1780. It became apparent that although Harry Carter and Falconer Madan had delved into many aspects of this and published material on it in their books and papers, there was no single continuous narrative telling the story of the business of printing. It is that gap that we hope to fill. It has been a wonderful opportunity to work with manuscript material from the period, in the archives of the Press and in the Bodleian Library in particular: letters, receipts, accounts, minutes, and more - all provide insights into the daily workings of the Press, brought to life by the words of those involved. One area that will be completely new to the literature will be coverage of the workings of the Bible Press towards the end of the period through a statistical analysis of the weekly accounts - such an analysis has only been possible for a handful of other presses, and I believe this will be the first for one such as Oxford's Bible Press which printed hundreds of thousands of Bibles and prayer books each year.

read the previous news item on this title

I expect to bring the text to completion around the end of this year, with a view to bringing out the first volume in 2012. We are very grateful to OUP for permission to publish this work as an 'extension' to the official history, in which the topic can of course only appear as but one chapter in four volumes. It is still too far off to be specific about details, but the book will be uniform in size and binding with the previous titles in (what has turned out to be) this series on OUP. I suspect we shall be using Van Dijck again as the typeface and I am already collecting materials for tip-ins.

We still have a few copies available of The Fell Revival, Stanley Morison & 'John Fell', and Harry Carter, Typographer.

a note on progress on
The Daniel Press in Frome

relating the early days of the first private press

by David Chambers
 and Martyn Ould

ready for the Oxford Fair!

read the previous news item on this title
read the next news item on this title

The writing of this book has required the collection and analysis of a vast amount of detail: David Chambers and I have records now of over 1,000 copies of printed items from the early Daniel Press, before its better-known Oxford days. But the good news is that the text has finally gone to Harry McIntosh for typesetting on his Mactronic system.

The book now takes shape. There will be 72pp of text printed letterpress and 48pp of litho illustrations of some of these rarest of items from the Daniel Press. For the latter we are gathering photographs and scans from five collections including the Bodleian and Worcester College, Oxford. I am planning 170 copies, printed in 12pt Caslon on a duck-egg blue laid paper by T J Edmonds.

Our goal is to have copies ready for the Oxford Fine Press Book Fair (5-6 November, see the FPBA website). The price looks as though it will be about 125 though this is still an estimate. As with our earlier title Oxford Ornaments, we are offering ad personam copies to customers ordering before the title goes to press. I shall be sending out a paper prospectus in the summer.

a note on progress on
Printing at the Daniel Press

proof sheets from Daniel's press in Oxford tell us about his printing practices

late 2011

read the previous news item on this title
read the next news item on this title

I first announced this title nearly two years ago! As a reminder, I acquired fifty-three proof sheets from the Daniel Press in Oxford, dating from 1883 to 1897, complete with the Reverend Henry Daniel's pencil corrections. This short book will describe what they tell us about Daniel's printing practices in Oxford.

I had of course hoped to get this published some time back but The Daniel Press in Frome popped up, took precedence, and then supplanted it. However, the text had been largely written and it is perhaps appropriate now to bring it out as a companion volume - the copy for this book has also just gone to Harry McIntosh for typesetting.

I expect the text will make 24pp of 12pt Caslon which I plan to print on an antique Turkey Mill wove, and there will be a dozen photographs of the materials. The binding will be uniform with The Daniel Press in Frome. A small edition - please contact us if you are interested in a copy.


a note about an

coming up soon

London International Antiquarian Book Fair
Olympia, London
9-11 June 2011

As in 2010 we have a stand in the 'Downstairs' section of the London International Antiquarian Book Fair in London in June. The main thrust of the Fair is of course everything from incunabula to modern firsts, all in the main hall. 'Downstairs' you will find the cafe with its sitting area, around which will be a number of private presses filling that important gap in the offerings upstairs! Details of opening hours and location can be found here. If you would like a complimentary ticket for two please let us know as soon as possible.


click to step to the next newsletter

click to see an index of our newsletters

Copyright Martyn Ould 2011