LOUISVILLE, Ky. – UofL Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections will present local fine press printer Timothy Hawley’s letterpress publications, including his recently completed typographic interpretation of a rare 1920s-era manuscript, at an exhibit Dec. 6-March 18.
Hawley, who operates the Contre Coup Press, produces extremely limited editions – often fewer than 30 copies – using his vintage Vandercook SP20 printing press. Archives and Special Collections has collected many of his publications.
Since 2013, he’s been working on an interpretive production of “The Laundry Book,” a 1920s compilation of holograph and typescript essays, poems and watercolors created by members of a London literary group called The Launderers. The account gives insight into an artistic community of young people in England — their work, drug use and other aspects of life between the World Wars.
Hawley printed 29 copies of his version of “The Laundry Book,” which have all sold.
Hawley said he was combing through Archives and Special Collections holdings, looking for a new project, when he came across “The Laundry Book” and was intrigued.
“They were writers, actresses, artists, playwrights – quite artsy types, who wrote and put on plays, exchanged poetry, played pranks on each other, collaborated on novels, painted together, traveled throughout Europe. They played and played. It was the Roaring ‘20s and they roared along with it,” Hawley said.
Hawley visited Archives and Special Collections on Wednesday mornings for a year to transcribe the text, amassing a small library researching the Launderers and their many significant connections and contributions to the social milieu of the time. He also created a companion volume to document the lives and work of the participants.
“It’s beautifully done and quirkily fun,” said Delinda Buie, UofL curator of rare books.
The opening reception for the exhibit is 2 p.m. Dec. 6 in Archives and Special Collections, lower level of Ekstrom Library.
For more information, contact Buie at 502-852-6762 or firstname.lastname@example.org.