North American Hand Press Database

Good news??!! A version of the listing of presses (about 1130 of them) from the North American Hand Press Database has been posted on my website; check out to see what’s there. I deliberately left out the owner information, as many owners do not want it publicized. This is a first cut, with hopes that it can be improved in the future, but at least some of the data is publicly available.


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Glad to see you got the database on your website.

good work, Bob!

It’s too bad though, that we can’t see owner’s identification or at least the location so we’d know if a particular press was included or not.

Unfortunately I have not mastered the art of putting stuff on the Web. My niece is my webmistress and she reformatted it a bit when putting it up. I thought I had the 2-letter state abbreviations as one column, but I need to get back to my main computer to see what I actually sent her. Maybe we can reformat it and put that info in. I do think it’s very important to keep the owner information out of it for reasons of protecting privacy, but certainly the state info can be included.

(Edit) Darn! I just remembered what the problem is. The records are in three tables, one for owner information and the other two for kinds of presses. The link between the owner and press tables is the owner number, so that the location information would have to be hand inserted in each press record. I was too lazy to spend the time looking each one up and inserting it. Sorry! But maybe soon.



What about making the owners/locations of the publicly owned presses available….the ones which are in museums, historic villages, etc. (like the one I work on at Westfield Heritage Village in Ontario)? That is public information anyway, I would think. I don’t know what the percentage of publicly to privately owned presses is in your database, but would think it would cut down the work of providing information considerably. This would help a lot of interested people to see a lot of easily accessible presses.

About this time you are probably thinking, oh why did I start providing info….things were so peaceful a few days ago! Well, I’m certainly not trying to put pressure on you. If you want to spend the time, over time, to do more, that would be great. If not, that’s fine too.

As a handpress owner, I’d really like to see the owners and locations of the presses. It’d be great to know who owned a press similar to mine and how they use it; or what other handpresses are in use nearby. I like the set up of Paul Moxon’s Vandercook census. I suppose that’s a different project though; a census is different than a database‚Ķanother project for you, Bob…

The only reason I have been hesitant to post the owner info is that many have expressed a wish for privacy, and I also know that there are some who would be trying to buy presses the owners don’t wish to sell. Information about the location of presses in the database is available on request to me but I hesitate to make it available wholesale.

I am going to work on trying to develop a format for the database as posted that makes general location information available. Because of the way the tables were set up that will take some doing. It’s a lot of data.


It’s very good to see your database online - I know that you’ve put a lot of effort into compiling it. I think that there should be an identifying number for each press, to differentiate it from all other similar presses. It’s bewildering to see two dozen A. B. Taylor presses listed, many of the same size — but no number, location, owner, or anything else to tell one from another.

By all means if an owner does not want his name listed, don’t. But otherwise I don’t see any reason not to list the owner’s name.

Anyhow - good work!