CREDIT: © Susanne Klein / Golden Gate / lithograph

Conference: De/Reconstructing photomechanical reproduction

Event info

Don’t Press Print is an annual conference organised by the University of West of England's Centre for Fine Print Research and the Royal Photographic Society. In 2020 the conference looked at the collodion process and its contemporary practice through the eyes of twenty artist-printmakers and photographic historians.

In 2021 Don't Press Print will take as its theme the history of photographic and photomechanical print reproduction and processes from both an historical and contemporary perspective.

The conference will take place at RPS House, Bristol.

Call for papers / Deadline for proposals 20 June (500 word abstract to

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:

Professor Kelley Wilder, Director, Photographic History Research Centre at De Montfort University and Professor of Photographic History.

Dr Geoff Belknap, Head Curator at Science Museum Group and author of From a Photograph: Authenticity, Science, and the Periodical Press, 1870–1890 (Bloomsbury, 2016).


The conference will be conducted in English. We expect to hold an in-person conference with live stream, but should COVID-19 restrictions return 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.


7 May 2021 – Call for papers

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

25 July 2021 – Notification of accepted papers

25 July 2021 - Conference registration opens

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

9-10 September 2021 – Conference

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


Woodbury from John Thomson and Adolphe Smith, Street Life in London, (1877-78).

Event Organiser

Dr Michael Pritchard


Venue Information

Within RPS House, all areas are fully accessible with a lift, ramps and restrooms on each floor.

If you have any accessibility requirements, please contact us on in advance so we can assist you in your visit.

Though there is some accessibility parking in Paintworks, we also have some private parking spaces we can reserve for those with accessibility requirements. Please contact us in advance if you would like a space reserved.

From street level car parking there are lifts available to reach RPS House on the raised ground floor.

Cancellation policy

The RPS and CFPR  will do their best to ensure that the event keeps to the published timings, programme and runs as planned. In the unlikely event that the event has to be cancelled all participants will be advised by email at the earliest opportunity.  No responsibility will be accepted for any consequential losses.


RPS House

337-340 Paintworks

Arnos Vale



RPS website