Matrix and the Whittington Press

Long may Matrix continue to excite mind, fingertips, and eye, for it is the unique                     ability of printing to be able to appeal to and satisfy these three senses                                       simultaneously that has given Matrix such a wide variety of material to choose from             in its first five issues.

                                                                                                                              —John Randle, Matrix I

          Print is a visual music which requires a highly trained organ of sensibility.

                                                                                                                     —Richard Kennedy, Matrix I

The Whittington Press was founded in 1971 by John and Rosalind Randall. An internationally acclaimed press, Whittington prints and publishes all of its work in letterpress. They have published over 250 books as well as thirty-four issues of Matrix, a periodical of book arts that is a triumph of letterpress and fine printing in and of itself. The Burns Library holds an entire run of Matrix as part of its fine print collection. The journal is concerned with fine printing and typography and serves as an annual review for printers and bibliophiles. Beautifully crafted, each issue contains tipped in items such as paper samples, pamphlets, and illustrations, providing a tactile as well as visual reading experience.

The Whittington Press is located in Whittington, Gloucestershire, England where it holds an Open Day every year, welcoming printers, book lovers, and other interested parties to view Whittington’s three presses in action as well as vendors, published materials, and other fine-printing resources. The press’s archive, including the only complete library collection of every book the press has published, is held by the University of Minnesota Library. If you would like to see the Burns Library’s collection of Matrix journals they are available in the Reading Room. Please call (617)-552-4861 or email burnsref@bc.edu to schedule an appointment.

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  • Rachel A. Ernst, Burns Library Reading Room Assistant & PhD candidate in the English Department

About John J. Burns Library of Rare Books and Special Collections at Boston College

The University’s special collections, including the University’s Archives, are housed in the Honorable John J. Burns Library, located in the Bapst Library Building, north entrance. Burns Library staff work with students and faculty to support learning and teaching at Boston College, offering access to unique primary sources through instruction sessions, exhibits, and programming. The Burns Library also serves the research needs of external scholars, hosting researchers from around the globe interested in using the collections. The Burns Library is home to more than 200,000 volumes and over 700 manuscript collections, including holdings of music, photographic materials, art and artifacts, and ephemera. Though its collections cover virtually the entire spectrum of human knowledge, the Burns Library has achieved international recognition in several specific areas of research, most notably: Irish studies; British Catholic authors; Jesuitica; Fine printing; Catholic liturgy and life in America, 1925-1975; Boston history; the Caribbean, especially Jamaica; Nursing; and Congressional archives.
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