Skip to Main Content

Book Arts Studio

Book Arts Studio

The Studio has several different presses for you to work with.  Some require more time to set up and use.  Below is a short introduction to our presses.  If you are interested in learning more, email or pop in during open hours.

Our Presses

Collins Library has 3 types of printing presses.

Collins Platen Press

This press was acquired by the library in 2009.  It is a tabletop platen press. To print, ink is applied to the circular ink disc, paper is set into the platen, and when the lever is pulled, rollers pick up the ink and transfer it to the paper. Because of its size, the Collins Press is limited to printing note cards and bookmarks,.  The first item printed by the Collins Library was a bookmark. The bookmark was designed by local artist Chandler O’Leary with original poetry by Puget Sound Professor Hans Ostrom.  Other keepsakes printed from the Press have commemorated freshman orientation, the Al-Mutanabbi Street project, and special occasions.   The Press is used in classes that focus on the history of technology, printing and book history as well as communication.  


How a Platen Press Works:

This short video demonstrates how a platen press works. 

Iron Hand Press


This Iron Hand Press from Schneidewend and Co. came to the library in 2017 from the West Coast Paper Company.  It is estimated to be from 1885.  It was restored to working order in February 2020 by local artist Mark Hoppmann and local wood engraver and printer Carl Montford.

Learn about printing presses from expert Stephen Galbraith,  This short demonstration shows how a Renaissance era press would work.   The type of Press that was used to print Shakespeare's works.




Book Beetle

Based on the early wooden hand press popular in the 18th century, the Book Beetle is a portable press ideal for teaching the basics on the parts and operation of a press.  Despite its small size, it is capable of producing images comparable to its larger counterparts.  



Book Beetle in use