The American Printing History Association (APHA) is a 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. The organization does this through a wide variety of programs and services: the annual three-day conference and Lieberman Lecture series; the oral history project; the fellowship program; the scholarly journal Printing History and other special publications; annual individual and institutional awards that honor distinguished achievement in the field of printing history.
APHA is international, with members all over the world. The parent organization is supported by regional chapters that sponsor active programs of lectures, field trips, and other opportunities to meet fellow APHA members on an informal basis. APHA was founded in 1974; the founding board included J. Ben Lieberman, Catherine T. Brody, Joseph R. Dunlap, Stuart C. Dobson, Paul Noble, Robert Leslie, Herbert H. Johnson, Elizabeth Harris, Philip Grushkin, Martin Speckter, Terry Belanger, Jean Peters, Stephen O. Saxe, and Susan O. Thompson.
The by-laws state that APHA exists:
- To encourage the study of printing history, especially American printing history, in all its facets from a world context to national, regional, state and local interests, and including all the arts and technologies relevant to printing, book arts and letter forms;
- To produce and promote publications, exhibitions, conferences, lectures and other functions, at both national and local levels, by which information and ideas relating to printing history may be exchanged;
- To foster the development and maintenance of libraries and museums for the preservation of materials bearing on printing history, including specimens of printing and the equipment and materials used in printing; and
- To cooperate with other organizations, institutions and individuals to recognize the central importance of printing to humanity.