Yellow Barn Press

Council Bluffs, Iowa

Neil Shaver


wood engraving © John DePol


This book is at the binder's now.

 A Year at the Sorbonne by Oliver Pollak

© photo by Mary Pape

Neil Shaver began collecting printing equipment in 1958. He'd been interested in printing since taking a letterpress class in junior high school. In 1978, he enrolled in Harry Duncan's handmade book course at UNO and soon after began his Yellow Barn Press. Since his retirement from the grocery business in 1980 he has published over thirty titles. Most of his books are about books, collecting, or printing.

For those of us who are not commercial printers, but printers by avocation, what can it be that moves us? And we can be so serious about it too. So serious that we have a name for it. We conduct what are known as "private presses." "Private" presumably because we do it at home or in a location not noticed by the passing crowd. But more likely "private" because we are publishing only what pleases us. But for many of us there is another aspect even more important. We are by desire devoted to the letterpress craft. This is the craft now ushered out by more modern methods. But we find a particular joy in handling real type as opposed to hitting a key on a keyboard. The printing presses we use are products of the recent industrial age, and as you watch them in operation, even a layperson can understand the mechanical principles at work. The ink and the paper give us a certain joy. In short, we are doing something that provides us with a real good time. - Neil Shaver, The Yellow Barn Press.

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