UK Happenings

King Library Press Explores ‘Pandemic Printing’ With Spring Virtual Lecture Series

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photo of press at King Library Press
photo of print with image of press and the words "The King Library Press"
photo of postcard for King Library Press "Pandemic Printing" series

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 15, 2021) — Join University of Kentucky Libraries’ King Library Press this spring for the 2021 “Pandemic Printing” Virtual Lecture Series. Featuring prominent printers from around the country, over the next three months this series will give audiences multiple chances to hear from book artists as they share their experiences printing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Last April, Kadin Henningsen, who I met in 2019 at Rare Book School, emailed me to ask for my address as he was getting ready to start printing ‘a series of pandemic postcards,’” UK Libraries rare books librarian Colleen Barrett said. “This correspondence did much to raise my spirits in a very stressful year, and also got me wondering what others were doing to adapt to all our changed circumstances.”

The series will kick off with book artist and printmaker Tia Blassingame Tuesday, March 16. Blassingame is the proprietor of Primrose Press and assistant professor of art at Scripps College in Claremont, California, where she teaches book arts and serves as the director of Scripps College Press.

Blassingame’s art explores the intersection of race, history and perception, and her works are currently housed in libraries and museums around the world, including Library of Congress, Yale University, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Tate Britain and State Library of Queensland.

The 2021 King Library Press “Pandemic Printing” Lecture Series will continue with the presentation of:

All four lectures will take place at 2 p.m. via Zoom and are free and open to the public. Advance registration is required.

“All our lecturers embody the spirit of King Library Press by making book arts more widely available to all through their varied educational efforts,” Barrett said.

The “Pandemic Printing” Virtual Lecture Series is a continuation of the King Library Press’ biannual seminars and workshops celebrating the book arts and fine printing.

The press hosted its first ever virtual lecture in the fall of 2020 to great success. “(We) feel fortunate to be able to offer our engaging programming to a wider geographic audience than we would be able to otherwise,” Barrett added. “Two continents were represented at our fall lecture, something that would not have been able to happen before the pandemic, and we look forward to being able to offer hybrid programming sometime in the future.”

King Library Press is devoted to the tradition of fine printing and produces books and broadsides. Typesetting, printing and binding are all done at the press and there are opportunities for apprentices. The press, part of UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center, is located in the basement of the King Library Building.

The Special Collections Research Center at UK Libraries sustains the Commonwealth’s memory and serves as the essential bridge between past, present and future. By preserving materials documenting the social, cultural, economic and political history of Kentucky, the center provides rich opportunities for students to expand their worldview and enhance their critical thinking skills. Special Collections Research Center materials are used by scholars worldwide to advance original research and pioneer creative approaches to scholarship. UK Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center is the Archives, the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, the King Library Press, the Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center, the Bert T. Combs Appalachian Collection, the John G. Heyburn Initiative and ExploreUK.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $501 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.