The Pathfoot Press turned one year old in December 2017. It seems as if we only started it yesterday, but in that time we’ve produced seven broadsides and bifolia (besides more ephemeral productions), ran all manner of workshops, took part in the university’s fiftieth-anniversary celebrations, sent our printers to an international letterpress conference in Dublin (see the picture above), and printed the Principal’s Christmas card – a full year all told.
Looking ahead we’re excited to keep this momentum going and to continue expanding the press’s range of activities and publications. We already have a workshop-with-pamphlet planned for February and a student writing competition across the spring term, but we’re also in the process of making larger plans: applying for grants, producing longer and more complex pieces of printing, and integrating the press into research programmes of scholars across the country.
And now it’s time to order a fresh batch of Crane’s Lettra, set the print room in order, and crack on with our newest project . . . .
We were tremendously excited – and more than a little nervous! – to print Stirling Principal Gerry McCormac’s official Christmas card for 2017. The project involved doing more or less everything from scratch: we asked Stirling makar Clive Wright to compose a poem for the occasion, commissioned a swan design which was then produced as a magnesium plate by Centurion Graphics, and pulled out all the stops to produce what we think is a pretty fine card.
We’re very pleased to be part of a fantastic Scottish Graduate School of the Arts and Humanities (SGSAH)-funded series of workshops entitled “The 21st-Century Book Historian”. Open to doctoral students from all SGSAH institutions, these workshops have been designed to introduce them to a variety of aspects of scholarly book history. The first is being held here in Stirling on 21 February and will consist, in part, of us explaining traditional methods of book production: everything from casting off to setting to pulling to folding, etc.
As part of the event we’ll be printing a small pamphlet in the style of mid-seventeenth-century printing. Details are still up in the air, but we’re hoping to use as copy-text a section from the autograph manuscript (pictured above) of James Fraser’s “Triennial Travels”, a vivid account of his experiences as a Scottish traveller in continental Europe during the 1650s. As well as printing completed copies of the pamphlet, we’ll also be printing partial and whole sheets to demonstrate traditional methods.
If that sounds at all exciting and you’re a doctoral student within Scotland, please join us! Attendance is free but booking is essential and you can sign up here.