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All posts in Amphora content

Paper in the Making: MARLENE CHAN investigates a proud family tradition at Montreal’s Papeterie Saint-Armand, steps from the historic Lachine Canal.

This article was published in Amphora no. 173, Summer 2016. See a scanned copy of the printed version here.

A HEAVY METAL door painted bright yellow marks the entrance to La Papeterie Saint-Armand, the legendary Montreal paper mill that David Carruthers launched in 1979. Situated in the heart of what was one of Canada’s primary manufacturing centres from the mid-19th century until the end of the Second World War, the mill faces rue Saint-Patrick and the historic Lachine Canal.

Opened in 1825, the canal linked the Old Port of Montreal with Lake Saint Louis and played a critical role in the industrial development of this part of Montreal. It was an essential link in the network that allowed ships to make their way to the heart of the continent before 1959, when the St. Lawrence Seaway opened. The rapids that made locks necessary for the passage of ships also provided a source of hydraulic power for local factories, including the Dominion Oil Cloth & Linoleum Co.—premises where Saint-Armand now occupies 15,000 square feet. Continue Reading…

Saving the Irreplaceable in Small Libraries: SARAH SUTHERLAND explores the retirement options for superannuated books in libraries with specialized collections, with particular reference to the life sciences and the law.

This article was published in Amphora no. 165, Fall 2013. See a scanned copy of the printed version here.

I still remember the winter day I packed into boxes the pile of books that had been gathering dust on my desk for six months, walked them over to the university library through the wind-swept Prairie snow, and donated them to the library’s special collections. A climate-controlled room became the home for these treasures entering their afterlife, judged too valuable to be touched by bare hands. Continue Reading…

To throw Some Light on the Origin of Species: JONATHAN SHIPLEY and PETER MITHAM investigate Kelly Houle’s illuminated manuscript project.

This article was published in Amphora no. 160, Spring 2012. See a scanned copy of the printed version here.

A BOOK WAS SHELVED in the stalls of London on November 24, 1859. It was a Thursday. It sold for 15 shillings. One thousand two hundred and fifty copies were printed, 5oo of them sent directly to Charles Mudie’s Lending Library for wider distribution (as much as could be had, anyway, with so few copies). The book was written by an English naturalist—Charles Darwin. The book shook the foundations of religious and scientific inquiry. His theory, with compelling evidence for evolution, reshaped the world. The book was On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. Continue Reading…

Amphora No. 171, Fall 2015 published

The latest Amphora (#171) is out. It leads with the long anticipated article on the elusive printer Will Hudson who is an almost mythic figure because, among other things, he printed at Cape Dorset in the high Canadian Arctic.  The Editor, Peter Mitham, has produced a fifty year retrospective of Amphora which does an excellent job of capturing the tone and tenor of the publication over five decades.  He has found many gems in his mining of 170 issues.  Also of note is an article by George Walker, the Toronto based wood engraving specialist, on the nature of visual narrative in books.

Other delights await the attentive reader …

Amphora is the society’s journal. Members of the Society receive Amphora as a benefit of membership. Continue Reading…