The Horn Presses and Printing at UCLA

Meet the Press: UCLA Library Letterpresses

Have you visited the Albion or the Reliance yet?

These printing presses, manufactured around the turn of the 20th century, were used by UCLA students and faculty at the Horn Press in Powell Library from 1961–1992. For three decades, they practiced the arts of printing, typography, and graphic design. To understand how books were made, and not just why, was a key project for the Horn Press even after mechanical printing was the norm.

UCLA is known for its world-class libraries. But the study of books (also known as bibliography) grows ever smaller as academic and literary pursuits shift toward online platforms and digital media. As we apply our expertise to these newer formats, it’s increasingly important to respect the roots of our literary culture — its ideologies, its practices, and its artifacts.

These presses stand sentinel in our libraries as reminders not only of printing and publishing past, but of the study of information on a continuum that includes today and the future.