Looking for another class to add to your schedule for Spring Semester that isn’t just another lecture? We have just the class for you. Book Arts Collaborative is an immersive-learning experience that is also student-managed business.

What do students in Book Arts Collaborative do?

Participants professionalize skills through a variety of hands-on learning and management experiences. They teach letterpress printing and hand-sewn book binding to students, who assist with and eventually lead community workshop instruction in these apprentice-taught skills.

Book Arts Collaborative sells its work through a network of Central Indiana retailers, and students work with those business and gallery owners. They publicize their workshops, community donations and activities such as appearances at street fairs and book arts-related events. Their website also includes a student-written blog.

Book Arts Collaborative welcomes students from every college and major on campus, but it is particularly relevant to English majors and minors because:

  • They publish WORDS.
  • They blog and write about their experiences.
  • They teach the public.
  • They learn and recover the history of the book, of printing with moveable type, and forge new futures for the hand-printed and hand-made book.

What is letterpress printing?

Where is the Book Arts Collaborative?

Their facilities, located in the Madjax building, include about a dozen vintage printing presses, a plethora of metal type, and all of the tools and materials necessary to print and bind books. They are community partners with Tribune Showprint, which is located on the same premises. They are the oldest continuously-operated letterpress business in America, and they allow Book Arts to use one of the ten largest collections of wooden type in the country.

During Spring semester, they publish a book in its entirety and host a Midwestern regional gathering of book artists called Interrobang, a two-day event that features speakers, a marketplace, workshops, and other public activities.

This will be your classroom.

How do I register?

They are offering two versions of Book Arts Collaborative:

  1. 3-hour registration:  Students sign up for ENG 400/04 and learn the history of the book, moveable type, and how to sew books and print with our vintage equipment.  Six hours of lab time per week comprise the homework requirements for ENG 400.
  2. 6-hour registration:  Students sign up for ENG 400/04 and ID 400.  They learn all of the above, and they hold leadership roles in publishing the Book Arts Collaborative Press book and organizing and promoting Interrobang.

If you have any questions, you can contact Dr. Rai Peterson (rai@bsu.edu) for more information.