Since its inception in 1965, the Alcuin Society has published limited edition books,
chapbooks and pamphlets, and over fifty keepsakes and broadsides. In the best
tradition of fine private presses, all are superbly printed and designed. The Alcuin Society publishes a journal Amphora and catalogue of winners of The Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada.
Our out of print publications have been moved to this
page; below are the remaining available copies.
Prices are shown here in CDN dollars. All items in this list of publications are subject to prior sale. Quantities are small on
most items. All mail orders are subject to Handling and Postage charges with a minimum $7. Postage costs will be determined prior to shipping.
Mail: The Alcuin Society, PO Box 3216, Vancouver, BC V6B 3X8
Back in the early days of our blog
(circa 2006), the Alcuin Society offered an electronic publication titled
From Writer to
Reader: An eJournal on Books and Reading. Richard Hopkins edited the
Today you can currently follow the Alcuin Society on
Facebook, as well as
of winning books in the Alcuin Society Annual Awards Competition for
Excellence in Book Design in Canada
1996 - present
Since 1981 the Alcuin Society has sponsored the only competition for book design in Canada. The results of judging were reported in Amphora up to 1996 when publication of a separate catalogue began.
Catalogues are of varying size and page count. Each catalogue features images of winning books in black & white with colour on some covers.
Since 2008, the catalogues have been produced in full colour. A select number of
these catalogs are now posted here in PDF format:
Amphora, the Society's journal, covers a wide range of topics related to the book arts: collecting, typography, type design, type-setting, calligraphy, paper-making, ornamentation, illustration, printing and binding. Designed by Robert Reid, Amphora also features wood engravings and wood cuts.
Selected back issues are available, and ONE complete set
is available for the distinguished collector or print library. Please contact the Society for availability.
Robert R. Reid. 2010.
Third in our series on Printing and the Book Arts.
The book is filled with his keen artistic and typographic style,
with 156 pages of reproductions of book pages and job printing
and 19 tip-ins, all in full colour.
The first edition will be printed in very low numbers, with 70
copies being produced. For more, click
7 copies remaining.
Belinda, or the Rivals
A.S.H. (Abraham S. Holmes). 1970. (Originally published in 1843)
With introduction by Prof. Carl F. Klinck. Sixteen period water colours of
Chatham area from originals in the Public Archives of Canada. Numbered & signed
by pressman, typesetter, designer & binder. Limited to 400 copies slip cased. Printed letterpress
in Palatino on Strathmore Natural Art Parchment. Illustrations lithographed by four-colour process on Phototext. 154pp + colophon.
8 copies remaining.
A tale of coquetry, set in Chatham, Ontario, of Miss Belinda Howard, her charms and
her pursuers. Considered the first Canadian satirical novel, Belinda deals with
Canadian life in the 1840's in Upper Canada.
In Praise of Scribes (De Laude Scriptorium)
Johannes Trithemius. 1977.
(Originally published in 1494) Translated by Elizabeth Bryson Bongie and edited with an introduction by Michael S. Batts.
Limited to 485 numbered copies. Handset in Caslon by Cobblestone Press & printed by members of the Alcuin Society on Cortlea Cover. 62pp + colophon.
John of Trittenheim, at the tender age of twenty-one, became abbot of the monastery of Sponheim in 1465 and began to build a library which reached 2000 volumes by 1505. During these years printing began to replace scribes. Trittenheim wrote his book as a gentle plea that the art of handwriting should not be neglected. His thoughts are as relevant in the computer age as they were 500 years ago.
Praise of the Book, being a facsimile of important articles and pages about
books taken from Amphora 1965 - 1990
Edited by Barbara Hemphill and Jean MacDonald, designed by Gwen Murray with Don Atkins as printer and guiding spirit. 1992.
Printed in two colours on acid free Teton Text with a wrap around cover on indigo
Teton Cover. Limited to 200 copies. Perfect bound. 100pp.
Silver anthology of articles and illustrations chosen from issues of Amphora. A
treasury of interesting, humourous, scholarly, informative, opinionated articles on
books and those who make them, buy them, love them and treasure them.
The Alcuin Society: A Compilation of its Publications from 1965 to 1998
Compiled by Jim Rainer. 1999.
Text type is Minion and display type is Alcuin, designed for the Alcuin Society by Gudrun Zapf von Hesse. Paper is Fusion Cream printed & bound by Benwell-Atkins Ltd. Cover was typeset and printed letterpress by Stuart Isto.
Limited to 300 unnumbered copies. 84pp + colophon. 14 copies
A compilation of publications produced by the Alcuin Society from its founding in 1965 to November 1998, including books, chapbooks and pamphlets, keepsakes and broadsides, ephemera and Amphora, the Society's journal.
Chapbooks and Pamphlets back to top
MacDonald: Canada's Foremost Book Illustrator
Terry Stillman. 2005.
A tribute to Thoreau MacDonald with a checklist of the Woodchuck Press & select
works by Thoreau MacDonald. Printed letterpress at Blackstone Press on
Mohawk Superfine Text. Limited to 350 copies, 100 stitched (all sold) & balance stapled. 32pp
of which 14 are woodcut examples. 6" x 9".
Keepsakes & Broadsides back to top
Geoffrey Spencer. 1969.
To give a flavour the first four lines
read: "O tarry for a moment here / and on my message ponder: / My destiny your own
reflects, / all beautys doomed to fading." Calligraphy by Ann Tresize. Lithographed
on Curtis Tweedweave. Text in two colours. 20" x 13".
Song of the Queen Bee
Written by E.B.W., who is presumed to by E. B. White, & originally published in the New Yorker. 1969.
A sense of the lilt and humour can be felt in the first verse of eight: "When the air is wine & the wind is free / and the morning sits on the lovely lea / and sunlight ripples on every tree / then love in the air / is the thing for me / I'm a bee / I'm a ravishing, rollicking young queen bee / that's me." Scripsit by Ann Tresize. Lithographed on Curtis Tweedweave in two colours. 20" x 13".
Some Observations on the Colophon
Geoffrey Spencer. 1972.
A monograph on the history of the colophon. Included are specimens colophons in five categories. Compiled and annotated by Geoffrey Spencer. Designed by Martin Jackson. Lithographed in two colours on assorted coloured papers. 21 loose sheets in wrap around folder forming a booklet. 7 ¼" x 7 ¼".
Only one copy left!
none available at this time