About Briar Press and briarpress.org

Briar Press is a community of letterpress printers, book artists, and press enthusiasts. The site is dedicated to the preservation of letterpress-era equipment and the art of fine printing.


(With now over 70,000 registered members, before contacting us, please see if your question is answered in the Help pages .)

Since its inception in 1994, Briar Press has been operated by the mother-son team of Elizabeth and Eric C Nevin. Eric designs and produces the site when his schedule permits. Elizabeth directs daily operations and responds to correspondence. The site is named for Elizabeth’s private press, The Briar Press, established in 1973.

Over the years, many readers and friends have helped the site grow. We’d like to acknowledge in particular the help of our advisors:

Elizabeth Harris, former Curator of Graphic Arts in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. Her primary research has concerned wooden and iron printing presses of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Dave Norton, author, collector, teacher. His collection includes 650 fonts of metal, 100 of wood, several hundred pounds of ornaments and borders, and “the usual” shop equipment.

Stephen O. Saxe, a leading historian of 19th-century printing. His collection of foundry specimen books is one of the largest private collections in the United States.

Alex Reisner, technical advisor and engineer. With his help, and that of the drupal.org community, Briar Press moved to the Drupal publishing platform in 2006. The site has grown so quickly that we now have to revise it in a technically more advanced and easier to maintain system.