The Beaver Press Print Shop was founded at MIT in Spring 2016. It features a Gutenberg-facsimile wooden letterpress designed by former MIT Hobby Shop Director and alumnus Ken Stone '72, and built by MIT students in the Spring 2016 term. Mr. Stone has made the plans for building the press freely available here. The Print Shop is located on the MIT campus in Room 10-810, on the eighth floor of Barker Library. It has over 25 cases of metal type, ink, paper, and other equipment necessary to set and print texts and images. The Press publishes its own imprints, which are written, designed, and printed by MIT students taking 21H.343/CC.120 "Making Books in the Renaissance and Today."
The Print Shop was closed from March 2020 to September 2021, but we are now able to access Barker Library again, in conformity with MIT guidelines regarding campus access during the pandemic. This fall the students in 21H.343/CC.120 have once again been able to print! We are hoping to offer letterpress printing classes to the entire MIT community during IAP 2022. Please check our "Sign Up to Print" page for more information.
MIT Instructors are welcome to integrate a printing exercise in the shop into their MIT graduate and undergraduate subjects. Contact Print Shop Co-Director and Professor of History Jeffrey Ravel to learn more.
At various times during the year, the shop is open to all members of the MIT community. Visit our Sign Up to Print page to learn about dates and times for open printing. Trained student shop assistants help novice printers to design, set, and print their short texts. The Beaver Press is also occasionally available to high school students outside MIT who wish to learn how to print on a letterpress. Contact Professor Ravel for more information.
Anne McCants, Professor of History and Director of Concourse; and Jeffrey Ravel, Professor and Head of the History Faculty, are the Co-Directors of the Beaver Press. Dr. Erica Zimmer, an instructor in the Concourse First-Year Program, teaches 21H.343/CC.120, and also leads other printing exercises during the academic year. Ken Stone, MIT Class of 1972 and former Director of the MIT Hobby Shop, is our Technical Director. The Press has received generous support from the Concourse First-Year Program, the History Faculty, and the MIT Libraries.