Kelly Library Print Studio

Welcome  |  Chapbooks

Watch a timelapse of St. Michael’s College students pamphlet-stitching Cumhdach in the fall of 2019.
Master Printer Deborah Barnett, right, helping students learn to use a 1945 C.M.C Jobber Platen Press in the Kelly Library Print Studio. Photo by Sheila Eaton.

Welcome

The Kelly Library Print Studio is a letterpress print shop. From designing layout to choosing inks and papers, setting type, operating a handpress, and binding, students gain hands-on experience here learning about early and mid-twentieth Century letterpress printing.


The Studio supports several St. Michael’s College Programs, including Book & Media Studies, Medieval Studies, Celtic Studies, Christianity & Culture, and SMC1: The Boyle Seminar in Scripts and Stories.


The Studio is a publisher too. In 2019, it published A Tetrad in celebration of the philosopher and former St. Mike’s professor Marshall McLuhan, followed by Cumhdach, an Irish / English poem by St. Michael’s professor Máirtín Coilféir. A third title, Judith, is forthcoming.


Chapbooks

A Tetrad, by Simon Rogers; book design and printing by Deborah Barnett.

Purchase a copy

A Tetrad comes in two editions: the first, pamphlet-stitched in a run of 125, costs $75.00 CAD; the second, a coptic-bound impression of 25 copies, costs $225.00 CAD. To buy a copy of A Tetrad, please contact kellylibrary.administration@utoronto.ca.

Signed by Michael McLuhan, the chapbook’s two editions are die cut, hand sewn, and letterpress-printed from plates on 100% cotton paper.

About the Book

In 1969, the John M. Kelly Library first opened its doors. Fifty years later, we celebrated middle age with the release of a chapbook designed and produced in our Print Studio.

The chapbook honours Marshall McLuhan, a St. Michael’s professor who rattled the world with his take on the influence of media and technology. Called A Tetrad, the chapbook is both a digital and a hand-printed instance of McLuhan’s tetrad concept.

What is a Tetrad?

A tetrad is a set of four things.

McLuhan’s tetrad refers to a set of four media laws he believed you could apply to any human creation, from ideas to artifacts. When a new brainchild appears, McLuhan says, it affects existing culture in four ways: it ENHANCES, REVERSES, RETRIEVES, and OBSOLESCES.

  • ENHANCES by galvanizing a new possibility
  • REVERSES by taking a new possibility to such an extreme that it eclipses its original intention
  • RETRIEVES by dipping into the historical-cultural bank of human experience to adapt an old idea
  • OBSOLESCES by nudging aside current ways of thinking

Listen to Kelly Library Archivist Simon Rogers discuss the library’s McLuhan collection on Salt & Life television.

Watch a timelapse of library staff pamphlet-stitching A Tetrad in preparation for the 2019 Small Press Exhibit.

A Tetrad (2019). Photo by Sheila Eaton

About the Author and Designer

Simon Patrick Rogers is the special collections archivist at the John M. Kelly Library. He earned his Master’s degree in Information Studies (archival stream) from the University of Toronto in 2008 with an additional specialization in Book History and Print Culture. He has extensive experience processing, arranging, and appraising archival materials and is also active as a faculty instructor for the Book and Media Studies program at the University of St. Michael’s College. He has published an eclectic array of articles on diverse topics including archives, municipal history and architecture, music, literature and the field of monetary appraisal.

Deborah Barnett is a typographic designer and letterpress printer in Toronto, the publisher and creative Director of Someone Editions, and a candidate for her Masters of Fine Art degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. One of the founding members of Dreadnaught Press in the 1970s, Deborah has worked with literary works by Margaret Atwood, A.F. Moritz, and Nicole Brossard among many. She designs letterpress chapbook productions as explorations in material research, creating experiential learning environments, and providing authentic training and pedagogical support for the Book and Media Studies program at the University of St Michael’s College.

Cumhdach: A Poem in Irish and English, by Máirtín Coilféir; book design and printing by Deborah Barnett.

Purchase a copy

Cumhdach costs $425.00 CAD plus shipping. Tax is included. To buy a copy, please contact kellylibrary.administration@utoronto.ca.

About the Book

This chapbook was designed and printed by Deborah Barnett in three letterpress inks and a blind impression, with a laser-cut and etched cover. The papers were made from cotton at La Papeterie St-Armand in Québec. Wrapped in sheep’s vellum from Pergamena in Montgomery, New York, Cumhdach is available in a numbered edition of 52 copies signed by the author.

Watch a timelapse of St. Michael’s College students pamphlet-stitching Cumhdach in the fall of 2019.

Cumhdach, stitched and bound. Photo by Sheila Eaton.

DÁN IN DHÁ THEANGA

A POEM IN TWO LANGUAGES

From Cumhdach:

I MEAS C NA nAETÓPACH

      faoi chasadh an chéid dhom

Le cúram a chrochainn

      ar thairne sa mballa é

Le dúshlán na luchóg a thabhairt

Sula dtéinn an athuair síos

      ar mo ghogaide ag breacadh

Mo chuidse den scrioptúr

      le taobh na mbráithre

Is thíos dom mar sin ag adhradh

      roimh mhála ar foluain

Ba é chloisinn dá shioscadh ná

      tiacha m’fhearainn fhéin i gcéin –

AMONG THE ETHIOPS

      at the century’s turn

I’d hang it just so

      from a nail in the wall

(To spite all the mice)

Before I’d go hunkers again

      And take up my work

On my copy of scripture

      Alongside my brothers

And when I’d be

      down in a crouch

All aprayer in front

      of the hovering bag

What I’d hear in its rustle

were hides from my home –

About the Author and Designer

Máirtín Coilféir is from Navan, County Meath, Ireland, and teaches as a Celtic Studies professor at the University of St. Michael’s College. His poems have appeared in The Stinging Fly, Gorse, and Poetry Ireland Review, as well as the anthology Calling Cards, which was published by the Gallery Press last year and includes English translations by Paul Muldoon. Máirtín’s first book, Titley, was published in 2019 and was shortlisted for the Irish-language Book of the Year award.

Deborah Barnett is a typographic designer and letterpress printer in Toronto, the publisher and creative Director of Someone Editions, and a candidate for her Masters of Fine Art degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. One of the founding members of Dreadnaught Press in the 1970s, Deborah has worked with literary works by Margaret Atwood, A.F. Moritz, and Nicole Brossard among many. She designs letterpress chapbook productions as explorations in material research, creating experiential learning environments, and providing authentic training and pedagogical support for the Book and Media Studies program at the University of St Michael’s College.