Rochester Institute of Technology’s Cary Graphic Arts Collection will receive the 2016 American Printing History Association Institutional Award for its dedication to the world of printing history and related fields of study.
The annual award is presented to an institution for its distinguished contribution to the study, recording, preservation or dissemination of printing history. With the honor, RIT’s Cary Collection joins 30 other libraries, museums, books arts centers and associations around the world, including the Division of Graphic Arts at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and the Gutenberg Museum in Germany.
The award will be given Jan. 30 at the American Printing History Association annual meeting at the New York Public Library. The Cary Collection will be given a hand-lettered calligraphic certificate.
“It is an honor for the Cary Collection to receive this recognition from our peers in printing history,” said Steven Galbraith, curator of the Cary Collection.
The Cary Collection was nominated due to its nearly five decades as an important resource for scholars and students of printing history. It was noted for its accessibility to students and its focus on looking at both the past and future of printing.
“RIT is one of only a handful of educational institutions in the world that take the art and science of printing seriously,” Robert McCamant, president of the APHA. “And RIT’s commitment includes history, which is exactly what APHA is most interested in.”
Galbraith and Amelia Hugill-Fontanel, associate curator of the Cary Collection, will deliver the acceptance speech at the event. Often, the acceptance speeches are important statements of philosophy or accomplishment about the importance of printing history and the book arts.
“We plan to speak about programming that the Cary sponsors that exemplifies the mission of the APHA,” said Hugill-Fontanel. “This includes our Adopt-a-font program, hosting the 40th annual APHA conference and using engineering to design a 21st century letterpress printing press.”
The American Printing History Association is an international membership organization that encourages the study of the history of printing and related arts and crafts, including calligraphy, typefounding, typography, papermaking, bookbinding, illustration and publishing. In 1976, the APHA established the annual award for individual laureates. In 1985, a second award was established for institutional achievement.
Note: Established at RIT in 1969, the Cary Graphic Arts Collection is one of the country’s premier libraries on graphic communication history and practices. Originally comprised of 2,300 books from the estate of Melbert B. Cary Jr., the collection has expanded into a comprehensive resource on the development of the alphabet and writing systems, early book formats and manuscripts, calligraphy, typefaces and their manufacturing technologies, bookbinding, papermaking, printing and illustration processes, and artists’ books. The Cary Collection also manages the RIT Graphic Design Archive comprised of 43 archives documenting the work of important 20th-century Modernist graphic designers.