Looking back to look ahead: From the Year of the Dog to the Year of the Pig
2018 was a year of milestones for the Chinese heritage type restoration project. We hit the ground running just after Chinese New Year with a research trip to Taiwan and Hong Kong, tracing the lineage and history of our types.
In June, just before Wai-te-ata Press closed for earthquake strengthening, we consolidated the connections forged during our research trip by hosting Professor Wu Tsu-Ming ((吳祖銘/Anthony) from National Taiwan Normal University. As the author of a report on the development of letterpress technologies within Taiwan from 1930-1990《1930~1990年代的台灣活版印刷發展之研究》, Prof. Wu proved a fount of knowledge. In particular, he generously shared high-resolution scans of type-case layout diagrams to help us better understand how the heritage type cases were designed and organised.
Our temporary closure afforded different opportunities: on the day of the big move, research assistant Ya-Wen Ho could – for the very first time since its arrival in 2016 – glimpse and photograph individual type cases as the professional movers lifted and relocated each one. She discovered the collection had come with its own font of English type! The relocation of the tonne of type to our temporary offices means imaging and restoration work could continue. As of today, we’ve imaged all the loose pieces of type that were reclaimed from the ground, a grand total of 31,361 pieces!