The Pathfoot Press was founded by Sarah Bromage and Kelsey Jackson Williams in 2016 as a centre for letterpress printing, teaching, and research at the University of Stirling.
Its history doesn’t begin there, though. Before the press was the Stirling Bibliographical Society, which published eight volumes of Occasional Publications between 1981 and 1989, some of them on the same Columbian press we use now. The SBS was a manifestation of the vibrant bibliographical and book historical research culture which has always been a part of Stirling’s Arts & Humanities Faculty, but it fell into abeyance in the 2000s and it was only by foresight and good fortune that the contents of its press room survived to be inherited by the Pathfoot Press.
Some of our equipment has an even deeper history. We’re still uncovering the details, but a portion of the equipment we inherited from the Stirling Bibliographical Society had previously been used in the print shops of the venerable Edinburgh printers R & R Clark (active 1846-1979) and amongst other gems we retain two printer’s devices of the Victorian firm amongst our ornaments.
We look back to the previous users of our presses and types for inspiration and knowledge as we do our best to keep letterpress flourishing in the twenty-first century.