The Jericho Press

 

Our press takes its name from the part of Oxford known as Jericho where Chip Coakley and his family lived from 1991 to 1993 and spent summers from 1994 to 2007. (Printing goes back before that to the 1980s when the press was set up in Luneside Studios in Lancaster. It was then just 'the Press of J. F. Coakley'.) The logo above, from a wood-engraving by Nancy Ruth Jackson, shows a woman weeping among the ruins of Jericho. The horn alludes to the story in Joshua chapter 6. The other logo, on the home page, is by Jane Lydbury and also shows the ruined city of Jericho. 

   

From 2008 until July 2019 the Jericho Press was in Ely. The press operated in a renovated studio in the back garden at 21 Castelhythe. The house suited us as commuters to Cambridge, but Chip retired from teaching at Cambridge University in 2013, and his wife Sarah, who was the Norris-Hulse Professor of Divinity, followed in 2018. We then acted on our plan to relocate to the United States where both our daughters live. The press went with us, and is now in our house in Alexandria, Virginia; and printing has resumed.  

   

Our printing machinery consists of a Vandercook model 4 proofing press. An Arab crown folio treadle platen was regretfully sold before our move to the U.S. We have 100 or so cases of type, a collection started in the 1980s when commercial printers were getting out of letterpress, and when a large range of Monotype founts could be bought from trade typesetters. 

   

A special and prized asset of the Jericho Press is a collection of oriental and other exotic types, including some old founders' types from the Oxford and Cambridge University Presses. Some of the items listed below make use of these types, especially Syriac (the subject of an article in John Randle's annual Matrix, no.10 (1990), pp.181-91). See also The Hebrew types of the Jericho Press, 2010, and The Greek types of the Jericho Press, a companion volume, 2014 (the latter still in print). 

   

Other, non-exotic, books have been the result of collaborations with friends who offered interesting and significant texts to print, and with other friends, notably Andy English, who are wonderful wood-engravers. Still other books have simply been projects that seemed useful and appealing. 

   

You can see a picture of the press and printer in Ely in January 2014, part of an article on academic private presses in the Times Higher Education Supplement. The Jericho Press was the cover story in The Living Church, 20 September 2020.