Caroline Archer-Parré is Professor of Typography, Co-director of the Centre for Printing History and Culture at Birmingham City University / University of Birmingham, and Chairman of the Baskerville Society. Caroline supervises doctoral students both at BCU and beyond and is a member of the Faculty Research Directorate with particular responsibility for research outputs and career development. With a particular interest in printing and typographic history of the English Midlands from the eighteenth to twentieth centuries, Caroline has published widely and is the author of three books, a contributing author to numerous journals, and a regular contributor to the trade and academic press.
Interests and expertise
- John Baskerville and 18th century printing
- The Kynoch Press, Birmingham 1876-1981
- Leonard Jay and printing education in the 20th century
- Watford's prints past
- Tart Cards, London's illicit advertising art
- Street literature
- Underground graphics of Paris
- Typographic history
Areas of Expertise
- Printing history and culture of the English Midlands from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries, with particular reference to Birmingham and the work of John Baskerville, Leonard Jay and the Kynoch Press;
- Twentieth century typeface developments, with a focus on British type manufacturers;
- Typographic education, specifically the Birmingham School of Printing, and Watford Department of Printing;
- Printed ephemera, specifically tart cards and katatracts.
- Co-Director, Centre for Printing History & Culture
- Chairman, Baskerville Society
- Editorial Board Member, Midland History
- Editorial Board Member, Private Libraries Association
- Editorial Board Member, Journal of the Printing Historical Society
- External Advisory, Birmingham Manufacturers Project, Birmingham Museums Trust
- Committee Member, Print Network
- Committee Member (events), Printing Historical Society (2012-)
- Committee Member, Centre for West Midlands History Research, Birmingham University
- Ex-officio member, Virtual Museum of Printing Steering Group
- Member, Bibliographical Society
- Member, Wynkyn de Worde Society
- Printed Gurmurkhi
- Hebrew type / German face:Designing Israeli identity in Berlin’s linguistic landscape
- Women in Birmingham’s nineteenth-century printing trades
- Beatrice Warde: first lady of typography?
- The Printing Type(s): reimagining contemporary typographic practice through integrating traditional visual design principles
- The sans serif in nineteenth-century printed ephemera: a Birmingham and Midlands case-study
- Printed silk cigarette cards, 1900-36
- Beyond Discipline: design practice and education in the twenty-first century
- Between text and place: positioning the designer in the liminal
- Graphic DNA: towards a taxonomy of environmental lettering
Title: The Baskerville Punches: revelations of craftsmanship
Funder: History West Midlands, Ltd.; Printing Historical Society; Private Benefactor
Researchers: Dr Caroline Archer-Parré, Dr Ann-Marie Carey, Keith Adcock
Background: Eighteenth-century punch-cutting was not only difficult to execute, it was also difficult to document, therefore, knowledge of early typographic practices is generally limited. Fortunately, the punches of one of the century’s foremost English printers, John Baskerville (1707–75), still survive as the primary evidence of craftsmanship and the punch-cutters skill and the means of their manufacture. This pilot-project undertook preliminary investigations into the Baskerville punches. The project was a collaboration between the Centre for Printing History and Culture; the Centre for Digital Design and Manufacturing in the School of Jewellery at Birmingham City University; the Digital Content Unit, at the University of Cambridge; and the Birmingham Assay Office. The partnership brought together experts from different institutions and disciplines each with their own methodological approaches. The participants comprised historians, technicians and makers working in the areas of craft, digital humanities, jewellery, metallurgy, material culture, printing and typography.
Title: Letterpress printing: past, present, future
Funder: Art & Humanities Research Council
Researchers: Dr Caroline Archer-Parré, Dr James Mussell (University of Leeds)
Background: Letterpress Printing: Past, Present, Future was an AHRC-funded Research Network that explored the survival of historical printing equipment and how it is used today. The network brought together scholars, museum professionals, printers, and other interested people to explore the legacy of historical presses and type – what survives and where; its condition – as well as what it has to teach us, both about the textual and typographical cultures of the past, as well as those of today.
Paris Underground. New York: MBP. 2005.
The St Bride Notebook. Oldham: Incline Press. 2003.
Tart Cards: London’s illicit advertising art. New York: MBP. 2003.
The Kynoch Press: the anatomy of a printing house 1876–1981. London: British Library. 2000.
Letterpress printing: past, present, future [ed Archer & Mussell]. Oxford: Peter Lang. forthcoming.
Women in Print Vol 1 [ed Archer & Hinks]. Oxford: Peter Lang. forthcoming.
Women in Print Vol 2 [ed Archer & Hinks]. Oxford: Peter Lang. forthcoming.
Global Scripts [ed Singh, Afshar, Lim, Archer]. Oxford: Peter Lang. forthcoming.
Printing in the Midlands. [ed Archer & Hinks] special issue of Midland History, Taylor & Francis. 2020.
Pen, Print and communication in the eighteenth century [ed. Archer & Dick]. Liverpool: University Press. 2020.
James Watt: culture, innovation, enlightenment. [ed. Archer & Dick]. Liverpool: University Press. 2019.
John Baskerville: art & industry of the Enlightenment. [ed. Archer & Dick]. Liverpool: University Press. 2017.
Book 2.0: From codex to computer [ed. Archer & Day]. Bristol: Intellect Books. 2017.
Religion & the book trade [ed. Archer & Philips]. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishers, 2015.
Book 2.0: An indivisible unity [ed. Archer]. Bristol: Intellect Books. 2012.
‘Appropriating printing’, Post-Digital Letterpress Printing: Research, Education and Practice [ed Pedro Amado, Catarina Silva and Vítor Quelhas], Routledge, 2021
‘The Baskerville punches: revelations of craftsmanship’, Printing in the Midlands. [ed archer & Hinks] special issue of Midland History, Taylor & Francis. 2020.
‘Places, spaces and the printing press: trade interactions in Birmingham’, Printing in the Midlands. [ed archer & Hinks] special issue of Midland History, Taylor & Francis. 2020.
‘Private pleasures and portable presses: do-it-yourself printers of the eighteenth century’ Pen, print and communication in the eighteenth century [ed. Archer & Dick]. Liverpool: University Press. 2020.
‘Type, typography and the typographer’ New companion to the history of the book [ed. Rose & Eliott]. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. 2020.
‘A short history of the type historians’ Graphic design reader. [ed. Triggs & Atzmon]. London: Bloomsbury. 2018.
‘Leonard Jay’ The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography [ed. Curthoys]. Oxford: University Press. 2018.
‘Leonard Jay: a pioneer of printing education’ Printing History [ed. Palmieri] New York: American Printing History Association. 2017.
‘The Cambridge cult of the Baskerville Press’ John Baskerville: art, industry & technology of the Enlightenment. [ed. Dick & Archer] Liverpool: University Press. 2017.
‘Paris sous la rue’ Text & the City; [ed. Armstrong & Hinks]. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars. 2017.
‘Printing & the printed word,’ Birmingham: workshop of the world [ed. Dick & Chinn] Liverpool: University Press, 2016.
‘Black Letters in the Heart of Rome’ Religion and the book trade [ed. Archer & Philips]. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishers, 2015.
‘Various entries’ in Encyclopedia of graphic design classics [Phaidon editors]. London: Phaidon. 2012.
‘Printing in Hertfordshire’ in An historical atlas of Hertfordshire [ed. Short]. Hertfordshire: University Press. 2011.