Teaching Print Shop

On the Trail of Gutenberg - Right up to the Present Day

Since 1982, the department of Book and Reading Studies has had its own teaching print shop. Courses on lead typesetting and printing on a letterpress are offered here, which enjoy great popularity as the institute's own soft skills offering.
In a combination of intellectual and practical work rarely offered in the humanities subjects, insights into basic problems of typography are provided in addition to an introduction to the typesetting and printing craft à la Gutenberg.

In the letterpress department, which since 2021 has been housed in the university library's bindery near the Philiosophicum, a walk through the history of typesetting begins: trained typesetter PD Dr. Dipl.-Ing. Christoph Reske instructs 12 students per semester in the black art. They learn to set with the angle hook and discover the peculiarities that arise in the process.  The selfmade typesetting is printed on a Korrex proofing press, and the operation of the original Heidelberg platen (OHT) is also demonstrated. The aim of this course is to sharpen the view of the books that are often found in libraries and are produced by means of lead typesetting and letterpress printing - this view will be different afterwards!