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Colorado CollegeBulletin | March 2006
by Rachelle Latimer '93

CC Press Exhibit

Tour Ends in Philadelphia

A traveling exhibit on “The Press at Colorado College: The Pressroom as Classroom” concludes its tour this spring in Philadelphia. The exhibit illustrates the painstaking production method as well as the interdisciplinary learning process of creating handmade letterpress books.

After opening at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center in April 2004, the exhibit has toured the country; its final engagement is at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

In November, the CC Press introduced its most recent book, “Good Night Bynum” — a collection of 18 poems by Jenn Habel, visiting assistant professor of English. David Mason ’78, associate professor of English, said Habel’s poems have “an individualist stance toward their subjects and an uncanny verbal freshness that makes her work stand out.”

The CC Press created 125 copies of Habel’s book, which took a year to produce. Each letter for each volume was hand-set in spring 2005, printed page by page over the summer (three pages on a good day, says Chris Forsythe ’03, coordinator of the college’s letterpress), and bound by hand in the fall. The book sells for $110 a copy.

The Press at Colorado College, founded by Jim Trissell in 1978, is a unique letterpress dedicated to the art of making limited-edition books and broadsides. Under Trissell’s guidance, The Press became one of the finest letterpresses in the country, producing exquisite books on a variety of subjects, from “Color for the Letterpress” to “A Selection of Poems by Helen Hunt Jackson and Emily Dickinson” to “Silence,” the latter considered one of the most beautiful books ever made.

For more information about the CC Press, visit www.ColoradoCollege.edu/dept/EN/thepress/.

CC Press Inspires Gutenberg Leaf Donation


Carky '52 and Mary Crawford '53 Rubens P '81 and their family have given Colorado College a "noble fragment" from the Gutenberg Bible, noting the value CC places on the printed word through programs such as the CC Press.

The Gutenberg Bible was the first book printed with movable type. In the 1450s, between 145 and 180 copies were made on paper and a few more on vellum (calf's skin). Only about 48 complete copies still are known to be in existence worldwide. In the early 1910s, a collector bound loose leaves of a partial Gutenberg Bible into a book, one leaf to a book. He sold these "noble fragments" for $150, one of which was purchased by Carky Rubens' grandfather; it now will contribute to CC students? study of the printed word.

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About the top image: Long before word processing, long before typewriters ... each letter for a line of print was pulled from a drawer and fit into a literal "line of type." This drawer is one of those still in use at the CC Press, where type is still set by hand for letterpress books like Jenn Habel's "Good Night Bynum." Photos courtesy of CC Press.