The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0076  Tuesday, 23 February 2010


From:         Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         February 19, 2010 5:15:51 AM EST

Subject:      Virtual Printing Press


Dear SHAKSPERians:


As some of you are interested in early editions of Shakespeare, it seemed appropriate to mention here a research and teaching project that might be of interest. Please pass this announcement on to anyone you think might be interested.


The Virtual Printing Press is a project initiated by Ian Gadd (Bath Spa University) and Gabriel Egan (Loughborough University) to build a three-dimensional virtual model of an early-modern printing press of the kind used to print books in the 16th and 17th centuries.


The first draft version of the press is now available in Second Life at:




The model is intentionally big (one SL metre to the real-world inch, or about 40 times too big), so fly around it to see the detail. Feedback on this model is very welcome. The project leaders are grateful to the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) for the funding to create this first draft model, and to Graham Hibbert of Leeds Metropolitan University for doing the modelling. We would be very interested to hear comments from experts about the accuracy of this first attempt and from anyone who wishes to use the model. The project leaders will be incorporating the model into their teaching on the printing of early books later this year.




The project aims to build a virtual press to the highest level of accuracy possible with current technologies and will include the modelling of such attributes as the densities and strengths of the component parts. The aim is to make a replica machine in which all the physical processes of early-modern printing are represented. As well as the press, we will be modelling the individual pieces of type, the typecases, the chases, galleys, randoms, composing sticks, imposing stones, and all the other ancillary equipment to be found in an early-modern printshop. The project's homepage is at




Gabriel Egan (on behalf of himself and Ian Gadd)

Reader in Shakespeare Studies

Loughborough University



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