J-Term Workshops at Houghton Library

About The Workshops

Make the most of your January break at Houghton Library!

We're offering four workshops designed to introduce Harvard undergraduate and graduate students to Houghton Library’s extraordinary collections of books, manuscripts, and archives.

Come join us to learn about the history of different graphic techniques, the extensive ephemera in the Harvard Theatre Collection, the rich and varied history of bookbinding, and try your hand at printing on our iron handpress.

Space is limited so register early!

Setting type in letterpress printing workshop.

Register For A Workshop

Letterpress Printing

This hands-on workshop provides an introduction to the history and technology of printing from moveable type that will deepen your understanding of how books were made between 1450 and the early 19th century. Learn how to set type and operate an iron handpress. Print a keepsake to take with you.

Graphic Techniques

Learn how to identify and distinguish between the different kinds of printed images produced between the early 1400s and the mid-20th century.  View and examine examples of different prints, including woodcuts, engravings, and lithographs, as well as actual wood blocks, copper plates, and other material artifacts used to make printed pictures.

Theatrical Ephemera

This course will look at the rich collection of ephemera in the Harvard Theatre Collection. Advertising was in many ways the lifeblood of the entertainment industry and we will explore the varied ways that actors, artists, and impresarios attempted to entice audiences with creative playbills, photography, posters and other forms of printed ephemera.

Trends in Historical Bookbinding

This class will give you examples of book bindings from the 15th to 20th century and give a broad view of changing trends in materials, production, and decorative patterns of bindings, from the beautiful to the functional. We will identify specific areas to focus attention on to date and localize bindings and be able to distinguish contemporary bindings with later and repaired ones.