This display marks 200 years since the birth of Herman Melville with 21st-century prints inspired by his most famous fictional creation, Moby-Dick.
Monday to Friday 9am-5pm
200 years after the birth of Herman Melville, the Bodleian Bibliographical Press invited a collaboration with printers everywhere to honour the author by printing parts of 'The Whale,' (London, October 1851), or, as it is best known, 'Moby-Dick; or, The Whale' (New York, November 1851).
The aim is to print, collectively, the section of the novel, 'Extracts. Supplied by a sub-sub librarian.'
The aim of this effort is to share methods of styles of printing and also to reflect upon the surface and the depth of Melville's themes. The project will be an opportunity to consider our relationship with whales in the 21st century.
The Bodleian maintains a hand-press printing workshop, the Bibliographical Press, which supports teaching of practical printing to the public, school groups, and university students. In 2016 the Bibliographical Press made an appeal for new printings of Shakespeare’s Sonnets, each sonnet made by a different printer. That collection, fresh, multi-dimensional, multilingual and international in origin, has proven to be a valuable teaching tool at the Bodleian. The items collected for 'Very like a whale' will be similarly treated as pieces for display and use in teaching.