Printing with Hebrew Wood Type
Preservation of Letterpress Artifacts Through Use
In 2014, the Cary acquired a collection of about forty fonts of Hebrew and Yiddish wood type. As we focus on telling the history of printing through original artifacts, this collection has been carefully cleaned, restored, and catalogued in accordance with established archival practices. Now, it is poised to serve its purpose as an accessible historical resource. The photographs of the type and proof prints of type specimens are available for download online through the RIT Libraries Digital Collections website.
In May 2021, Cary curators Shani Avni and Amelia Fontanel worked with graphic design co-op student Kat Ward, to typeset an edition of multilingual prints in Hebrew, Yiddish, and English. The wood type characters were composed into the main texts reading "Preservation through use," in Hebrew as "שימור באמצעות שימוש," and in Yiddish as "אויפֿהיטונג דורך באַניצן." Optima metal letterpress type was used for the supporting explanatory text in English. The two-color print was completed on a Vandercook Universal I cylinder press. These images show the printing process that was completed in several typesetting sessions and two, 4-hour print runs.