Highlights of the 2023 Annual Meeting
The American Printing History Association Annual Meeting took place Saturday, January 28, via Zoom with 58 members in attendance. The meeting began with greetings and announcements by the president, followed by the reports of officers, elections of trustees, and the announcements of the Mark Samuels Lasner Fellowship winner and the APHA Awards recipients.
President Fernando Peña, announced that the 2023 annual conference “The Printed Weird: Book History from the Margins” will take place October 13–15 at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin. He noted that a major review of APHA’s by-laws is currently underway, and the Board has retained attorneys specializing in non-profit law for assistance. Anticipated changes will refine board and committee structures, more clearly spell out procedures for announcing and conducting meetings, and address other issues that have sometimes inhibited APHA’s smooth operations. He will institute the practice of making regular deposits of APHA records, both print and born-digital, to Columbia University’s Rare Books & Manuscripts Library. He will work with the Diversity Committee and APHA chapters to generate more diverse programming at the local level. He pledged that he and the Board will make every effort to present all future national programming—the annual meeting, the annual conference and the Lieberman Lecture—in virtual or hybrid format.
Harold Kyle, Vice President for Membership, reported that we have 517 active members now, 26 fewer active members than at our annual meeting a year ago. We will continue to try to rally our membership to renew and upgrade memberships. If you haven’t renewed your membership for the year, please do so now at join.printinghistory.org.
Earlier this year, we conducted a survey to provide baseline demographic information on membership. This was announced by email in the Spring and only had 45 responses. That said, here is the feedback we received from this survey:
- From APHA’s activities, respondents valued most the Printing History journal, the annual conference, and Chapter events.
- The most common roles that respondents held were Printer/Printmaker (21%), Archivist/Librarian (15%), and Scholar (14%).
- 93% of the respondents identified as White.
- 17.5% of the respondents identified as LGBTQIAP+.
- We had no respondents under 30 years of age.
- None of the respondents reported that access to APHA was impeded by accessibility issues.
Here are updates from several Chapters of APHA:
- The New York City chapter is re-establish itself with the help of Joel Mason, Champe Smith, and Fernando Peña. They are planning events in the next few months, so stay tuned.
- New England had events with RISD, the Stages of Freedom Heritage Museum, a conversation with Frank Romano and Matthew Carter, and a talk by printer Lois Harada.
- Upstate New York had events featuring the Print Club of Rochester, Salt City Book Arts, bookbinder Leah Maklin, and a presentation by Robert Lee of the American Wood Type Museum. They also had a print exchange with a portfolio celebrating the Erie Canal.
- The Chesapeake Chapter was able to raise the funds and purchase a wooden common press to donate to the Library of Congress. Plans for moving the press and future programming are still underway. Last year, they had events with Seth Gottlieb, Stuart Bradley, the Conestoga Press, and the Lancaster Printers Fair.
- Ohio River Valley Chapter had several events with the Cincinnati Type & Print Museum including a visit from the Itinerant Printer.
- The Northern California Chapter had its Annual Valentine’s Day Broadside Printing with San Francisco Public Library, a type walk in Downtown Oakland with Paul Shaw, and its annual meeting and event at the Letterform Archive
Danelle Moon, Vice President for Programs, reported that the 2022 conference Making Artistic Noise: Printing and Social Activism from the 1960s to the Present was the first in-person APHA conference since the pandemic. Papers from the program will be included in Printing History 33, scheduled to appear in summer 2023, for which she will be as the guest editor. She reminded meeting attendees that Danielle Aubert, Professor of Graphic Design at Wayne State University, delivered the 2022 Lieberman Lecture via Zoom [To be posted on APHA’s YouTube Channel]. She reiterated President Peña’s announcement that the 2023 conference will take place at the Harry Ransom Center of the University of Texas at Austin and that the Programs Committee looks forward to working with HRC curators and staff.
Josef Beery, Vice President for Publications, announced that Printing History 31/32 is in the mail. He noted that The Publications Committee made a commitment to include more book reviews of new publications in Printing History and has developed guidelines for reviews and soliciting reviewers. The guidelines will be available on the website soon. The committee has discussed a 50th-anniversary publication for the year 2024. There is support for a publication that will feature the work of various APHA Individual Awardees or APHA Mark Samuels Lasner Fellows. An APHA co-publication venture has been proposed by APHA member Paul Shaw for the publication of a book of essays on “modern” type (1780–1970). Representatives of RIT Press expressed interest in this title and the possibility of APHA’s support for co-publishing. Similarly, The Typophiles, Inc. proposed co-publishing a chapbook on the creation of the font design, Walbaum.
David Goodrich, Treasurer: Josef and Harold and Donelle and Fernando have described what APHA accomplished in 2022.
The finances have followed in step. Dues income was a little up this year. The conference was within a few dollars of breaking even. We granted a fellowship to Mian Chan; we sponsored the Lieberman Lecture given by Danielle Aubert; we published one double issue of Printing History and completed much of the work for a second double issue which you should have already received.
As a result of falling behind on Printing History for the past two years and partially catching up this year we showed nominal surpluses in 2020 and 2021 and a deficit in 2022, and we will have another deficit in 2023 as we finally get caught up. When this is sorted through, we are meeting our goal of keeping our expenses within our income. However, we will need to use funds from our endowment in 2023 for the first time.
Fortunately, we have been able to build up an endowment that will allow us to use some of its earnings. The value of the endowment fell during 2022, reversing the bubble which occurred at the end of 2021 and stands at $325,000.
But even with help from the endowment, we are going to need more income in future years to continue our publishing and programs in the face of the substantial inflation the economy is experiencing.
James Asher, on behalf of Haven Hawley, will now give the report of the Nominating Committee.
The election by APHA members, via instant Zoom poll, of trustees Christine Moog, London, United Kingdom (first 3-year term), Kseniya Thomas, Ogden, UT (second 3-year term), and Diane Dias De Fazio, Cleveland, OH, (second 3-year term). Nominating Committee: Haven Hawley, Chair and James Ascher.
Presentation of APHA Awards
The 2023 APHA Awards were conferred to Individual Laureates letterpress supplier Fritz Klinke and print historian Irene Tichenor and Institutional Recipients Tipoteca Italiana Fondazione and The International Printing Museum by Awards Committee: Diane Dias De Fazio, Chair; John Risseeuw; Marina Garone Gravier; Jeff Groves; Colleen Barrett; Kara McLaughlin.
Presentation of the Mark Samuels Lasner Fellowship in Printing History
The 2023 Mark Samuels Lasner Fellowship in Printing History was conferred to Val Lucas for her research into typecasting by Fellowship Committee: E. Haven Hawley, Chair; Johanna Drucker; Miriam Intrator.
The meeting is available on APHA’s YouTube Channel