Otakou Press Room
This page provides information on the presses and type available in the Otakou Press Room.
The following presses:
The Press Room also includes various type.
A full history of the bibliography room can be found in Keith Maslen's 'THE BIBLIOGRAPHY ROOM PRESS 1961-2005: a Short History and Checklist' (182K in PDF format). Excerpts from this history are used below.
The Albion press
Albion handpress (foolscap size), from the Otago Museum. This press, built in London in 1845 by Hopkinson & Cope (no. 2245) had previously belonged to Crown Print, Dunedin. Its earlier history remains obscure. It may originally have been used by Henry Graham, the first printer in Otago, who in December 1848 issued a prospectus for the Otakou News (renamed from its first issue The Otago News, forerunner of the Otago Daily Times). (1), (1.1)
The Columbian or "Eagle" Press
An historic royal Columbian handpress, given by Laing & Matthews Printers. This rare museum piece, an early nineteenth-century American design, made by Thomas Long of Edinburgh about 1860, was probably brought to Dunedin in the mid-1860s by Henry Wise. Wise soon concentrated on directory compilation and publishing, and in 1870 sold his printing equipment to Harry Matthews and William Henry Baxter. Some of this, including the Columbian, remained in the firm for almost a century until given to the Bibliography Room by J.B. Laing, the last of the old owners. (2), (2.1)
(2) See K.I.D. Maslen, Victorian typefaces in Dunedin, New Zealand, Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand Occasionnal Publication No. 2, Melbourne, 1981; also Keith Maslen, ‘Wise’s directories: a short history and a checklist (1865-1922)’, Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand Bulletin, 12 (1988) , 21-41.
A Phoenix "platen press" and a Vandercook #4 proofing press.
Other Dunedin firms at different times contributed materials of historic interest. In 1968 a Phoenix treadle-platen came from Dunedin Print. (3)
The Otakou Press also has a small Adana table-top handpress for printing jobs on paper no larger than quarto-sized paper (260 x 210 mm). (4)
(3) THE BIBLIOGRAPHY ROOM PRESS 1961-2005: a Short History and Checklist Keith Maslen [July 2003; revised August 2005] p.4
- a small selection of Gill
- Perpetua italic
- various sizes of wooden type
Full list of the type styles (53K in PDF format)