[UK] Oxford University

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1. Overview

1667 - early 18th century; 1853 - 1987.

Before 1667. Printing at Oxford is nearly as old as printing in England. Talbot Baines Reed discusses this, as I'm sure do many others. But before the gift by Fell in 1667 of a typefoundry to the University, it isn't clear whether or not the types used were made at the Press.

1667. Dr. John Fell (1625-1686) gave the University a typefoundry. Talbot Baines Reed dates this to 1667. Moseley ("The Materials of Typefounding" blog entry) puts Fell's contributions slightly later. Moseley notes that the Foundry "fell into disuse in the early 18th century."

See also Talbot Baines Reed, p. 113, where he references an inventory of 1695 which lists the number of hand molds.

Moseley (same source) says that the foundry was "revived" in 1853.

In discussions with the typefounders at Oxford at the 1982 American Typecasting Fellowship conference in Oxford, Roy Rice learned something of the history of its matrix making operations. Matrices were elecctroformed not at the Foundry but in the Stereotype Department of the press starting in about 1864 and continuing to about 1909.

From about 1909 to about 1953, the electroforming of matrices was outsourced (first to R. P. Bannerman & Son and then to Williams Engineering Co. Ltd.).

From about 1953 to sometime after 1982 matrices were electroformed in-house in the foundry, originally by L. Bullen.

Moseley (same source) says the foundry closed in 1987 (and the printing of books ceased in 1989). Some types to the St. Bride's Library). Apparently most materials still held by a musem (1992-) at the Press.

[Moseley] The blog of James Mosley, [http://typefoundry.blogspot.com] especially "The Materials of Typefounding" 2006-01-06: http://typefoundry.blogspot.com/2006/01/materials-of-typefounding.html

Rice, Roy Matrix Making at the Oxford University Press. (1982), Part 2. )

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