May 22, 2022

Scholarly Publishing: “Oxford University Press and the Making of a Book” (Silent Film, 1925)

From the Oxford University Press Archive (via YouTube).

A silent film made in 1925 by the Federation of British Industry. This film was one of a series illustrating industrial life and it highlighted the Press’s work to audiences around the world.

More Silent Films Re: Oxford U. Press from the Federation of British Industry

John Fell, Secretary to the Delegates of the Press, obtained an outstanding collection of typographical punches and matrices from Holland in the 17th century. This clip shows the casting of one piece of type by pouring molten lead into a handmould, which contains the matrix for that character.

The Girls’ Section of OUP’s bindery. Printed sheets are folded by the women using ivory rulers (also known as bone folders), and the folded sheets are then gathered into sections to be sewn.

Stereotyping was invented in the 18th century to avoid the repeated setting of pages in type for reprints of a text. Using papier-mache, a mould was taken from a bed of type and molten metal poured into it to create a metal plate. This process lay behind much mass printing in the 19th and 20th centuries, including The Oxford English Dictionary as shown in this clip.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.