Criteria and applications for the Printer in Residence programme

On this page you will find basic information on the selection and application criteria for the Printer in Residence Programme at the University of Otago Library.

Detailed information can be found in Printer in Residence Programme (475K in PDF format)

Printer Selection Criteria

Technical skill and experience:

Candidates are to have knowledge and practical skills of using flat-bed and cylinder printing presses, specifically an Albion or a Columbian ‘Eagle’ press, or a 1950s Vandercook proofing Press. Working type in the Otakou Press Room is mainly Garamond, with a small selection of Gill, ornaments, and various sizes of wooden type. 

Production management

The PIR programme currently operates within a four to five week period beginning early August each year. This coincides with second semester teaching and hopefully matches the teaching requirements of the English Department, Design Studies, and Art History. One specified publication is completed within this time-frame.


There is a close liaison between the University Library, the English Department, Art History (Humanities) and Design Studies (Science). Associates include the University's Development Office.

Other interested parties include the Otago Polytechnic, especially the Printmaking Department, the College of Education, Dunedin Art Gallery and Dunedin Public Library.

Many of the publications are collaborative affairs, requiring dialogue between print-makers, artists, and authors, as well as the Special Collections Librarian, and other University Library representatives.

Education and Promotion

To raise the profile of the Otakou Press facility candidates are required to talk to students and staff of the University, and those interested parties from the general public. In the past, examples of outreach have been:

The visiting printer may be required to teach a selected number of students in a more formal setting. Eg. A two day workshop which would be scheduled after the print project has been completed.


The aim is to produce good quality limited edition publications that would not normally be produced. Importantly, the publications are made available to everyone, with a special emphasis on libraries and research institutions. That they become available in the public domain is important.

Illustrator Selection Criteria

If the print project requires images, an artist and/or print-maker is approached about their availability in the programme. The artists are expected to collaborate closely with the printer towards achieving the desired publication. Much freedom is given to the artists on what they produce. However, facilities at Otakou Press are limited and therefore etching and solar-plate engravings are the usual image outcomes.


Information on fees for:

For non-Dunedin residents:

The PIR programme offers accommodation, a stipend, and return airfare to and from Dunedin. Accommodation is usually at the Guest Room, St Margaret’s College, and includes meals. 

For Dunedin residents:

A stipend is offered.

For artists:

A fee is also allocated to the artist, and is apportioned on the complexity of the job and the overall costs of the publication.  

For authors:

Occasionally, an author’s fee is allocated, especially if the author has given special permission to reproduce text, or has created it specially for the purpose of the publication.

More detailed information can be found in Printer in Residence Programme (475K in PDF format).

How to apply

There is no formal application form. Applicants interested in the Programme should contact the Special Collections Librarian (contact details below) and give details of printing skills, work done, availability, and the usual contact details. 

Special Collections Librarian: Donald Kerr
Post: Special Collections, University of Otago, P.O. Box. 56, Dunedin, New Zealand.

To assist any successful candidacy, an established body of work printed by the candidate may be requested.