Call for papers: Don’t Press Print

Call for papers:
Don’t Press Print: De/Reconstructing of nineteenth-century photomechanical reproduction and their 21st century embodiment.

Bristol: Thursday, 9th and Friday 10th September 2021

Don’t Press Print is an annual conference looking at the history of photographic and photomechanical print reproduction and processes from both an historical and contemporary perspective.

In 2020 the conference looked at the wet-plate collodion process and its contemporary practice through the eyes of 20 artist printmakers and photographic historians.

The 2021 conference theme will be photo-mechanical reproduction from both historical and contemporary perspectives. Some of the potential areas for papers are, but not limited to are:


  • Approaches to the photomechanical transfer of images to the printed page from Talbot onwards
  • Specific processes, in particular the Woodburytype, Photogravure, Photolithography and Collotype
  • The impact of new methods of photomechanical reproduction on printed publications


  • Contemporary artistic practice of historical analogue photomechanical printmaking processes
  • The application of historic photomechanical processes to innovative modern use
  • Hybrid digital /analogue approaches that open up the potential of photomechanical print processes in a virtual world

Keynote speakers:

Kelley Wilder, Director, Photographic History Research Centre at DeMontfort University    
Professor of Photographic History

Geoff Belknap, Head Curator at Science Museum Group


The conference will be conducted in English. We expect to hold an in-person conference, but should COVID-19 restrictions still be in place then we will hold the conference online.

The organizers welcome proposals from practicing printmakers and photographers, historians and process specialists, visual artists as well as image and print scientists, to present their theoretical and/or practical research and working methods and artworks.

Proposals and final papers will be peer reviewed. Please submit a 500 word abstract for your proposal to

Presentations will be 25 minutes, if you are reading your paper this equates to approximately 3000 words, but please adjust for your own style and take account of your visual materials.


We will be publishing the conference proceedings, one copy of which will be sent to you without charge. Your paper in the publication will, of course, need to be prepared differently to your online presentation.

Papers may be longer than your online presentation, between 3,000-5,000 words, and should be in English. They should also include references and bibliography where appropriate. Please include an 80-100 word biography and website URL and/or email address.

In the context of the conference illustrations are important. We would ask for around 8-10 illustrations relevant to your text. They should ideally be TIFF files in Adobe RGB colour space and a minimum of 1500 px on the shortest side.

Your publication text and images will be required before the conference, but may be revised in the light of any discussion during the conference. More details will be provided to speakers with their acceptance notice.


7thof May 2021 – Call for papers

20th of June 2021 – Deadline for proposals (500 word abstract to

25th of July 2021 – Notification of accepted papers

1 September 2021 – Deadline for receipt of paper/images for publication

9-10 September 2021 – Conference

The conference convenors are Dr Susanne Klein, Associate Professor and EPSRC Manufacturing Fellow at the Centre for Fine Print Research, University of the West of England and Dr Michael Pritchard, Director, Education and Public Affairs at the Royal Photographic Society, Bristol. Questions relating to the conference can be sent by email

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