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Professor Michael Twyman

  • I am a retired full-time member of staff, having taught at Reading from 1959 for many years as the first Head of the Department.
  • I now teach students on all four MA courses, and continue as the Director of the Department's Centre for Ephemera Studies.
  • My responsibilities as Director of the Centre for Ephemera Studies include making material in the Rickards Collection available to students and others, working on collaborative ephemera projects, and liaising with external bodies in the field.
  • I assist with the running of the departmental collections.
  • I am Vice President of the Printing Historical Society, Chair of the National Printing Heritage Trust, Council member of the Ephemera Society, and Chair of the Advisory Committee of the St Bride Library in London.

Areas of interest

My research interests have ranged widely, and I have published papers and books on a variety of aspects of graphic language, letterforms, and the history of printing.


My teaching focuses on collections of original material, both my own and items from the departmental collections, many of which I was responsible for acquiring. In addition, I respond to any enquiries that come my way from students, principally postgraduates.

Research projects

The main focus of my present research is the history of lithography, a field that has resulted in many books and papers, the most recent being A history of chromolithography: printed colour for all (British Library, 2013). I am presently editing a manuscript record of the lithographic experiments of the geologist John Phillips.