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Stephen Harvard Memorial Lectures

The lettering craftsman is apt to be a perfectionist – he is likely to have a crystal clear alphabet somewhere in his mind; a perfect, proportionate set of images that shine with pythagorean light. All of his work in the real world of ink, paper, copper, steel and stone will be an attempt, with varying degrees of success, to approach the ideal unseen letterforms. He is a craftsman who shares something with the artist as well as the mathematician; it is his trade as well as his joy to weigh form and proportion in his mind.
--Stephen Harvard, ‘70

In 1989, friends, classmates, and colleagues of Stephen Harvard ’70 established the Stephen Harvard Memorial Lecture Series to honor the gifted typographer and graphic designer. During his Dartmouth years Harvard was a student of Ray Nash in the Graphic Arts Workshop (now called the Book Arts Workshop). Through his association with Ray Nash he received a grant from the American Friends of the Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp where he studied engraving and the particular technique of punchcutting. Following his graduation from Dartmouth he worked as a professional stonecutter of which a number of examples grace various locations in Baker Library. He subsequently began a career at the Meriden-Stinehour Press as a book designer, calligrapher, and illustrator. He was the creator of the illustrations for Noel Perrin’s memoir, First Person Rural, published by David R. Godine. In the latter part of a much too abbreviated life and career, he began an association with Adobe Systems, a California computer enterprise, to adapt some of his own typeface designs for electronic typesetting. He also served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Friends and in 1986 and 1987 served as its chair. He died the following year at age 40.


Past Lectures

Book Arts: It's a Thing, a presentation by Matt Liddle ’83 (Book Artist & Professor, Western Carolina University), Wednesday, October 12, 2022.

Recasting the Cherokee Syllabary, a presentation by Ed Rayher (printer, poet and typecaster) as part of the Touch Your Words: Teaching Indigenous Language through Making Symposium Friday, April 12, 2019. Dartmouth News 

In Defense of the Roman Letter, A 2018 Stephen Harvard Memorial Lecture delivered by John R. Nash, D'60, calligrapher, stone lettercarver, and a Fellow of the Society of Scribes and Illuminators, London, England. Thursday, April 19, 2018.

Printing Down Under: Otago Printers-in-Residence, a talk by Dr. Donald Kerr, Special Collections Librarian at the University of Otago Library, Dunedin, New Zealand; and Sarah M. Smith, Program Manager, Book Arts Workshop, Dartmouth College.  Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Douglass G.A. Scott, Senior Critic of Graphic Design at RISD and Yale University, Alvin Eisenman and Post-WWII Graphic Design, January 6, 2015

David R. Godine, publisher and Dartmouth class of 1966, A Printer's Work: Rocky Stinehour and His Legacy, Thursday, April 11, 2013

Typography in the Digital Age Looking Back and Looking Forward with the inaugural presenters of the Stephen Harvard Memorial Lecture, Matthew Carter, Lance Hidy, and Sumner Stone, Thursday, October 8, 2009

Dean Bornstein, Intelligent Design: The Perpetua Press, 2006

Roderick Cave, British Bibliographer and Book Historian, The Politician and the Printer, 2003

David H. Stam, Bibliotheca Universalis: Some Common Themes in Library History, 2000

Barry Moser, Tanakh and Testament: A Reprobate Tinkers with Holy Writ, 1999

Martin Antonetti, Le Caractère C'est Moi, 1998

Ellen Dunlap, Book History as Institutional Elixir: The Case of a Vernerable Library Eamin'd, 1997

Welford D. Taylor, Robert Frost, J. J. Lankes, and the Library, 1996

Claire Van Vliet, [untitled], 1995

Bruce Kennett, Dwiggins & Harvard, 1994

John Benson, Lettering in Stone, 1993

Alvin Eisenman, Printing as Memory, 1992

George Mackie, Books, Mostly Scholarly, and Some Ephemera, 1991

Barry Moser, Dante and Brer Rabbit, 1990

Presentations by Matthew Carter, Lance Hidy and Sumner Stone, with a panel discussion led by Rocky Stinehour, Typography in the Digital Revolution, 1989