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King Library Press apprenticeships and volunteer opportunities are available to all majors at the undergraduate and graduate level and to all faculty, staff, and community members regardless of prior experience. Apprentices and volunteers can work with the Press for as little as a semester or as long as several years.

Working with the Press is a unique and unparalleled opportunity to learn the centuries-old art of letterpress printing from world-renowned experts and to carry on the craft of producing books by hand. Along the way, apprentices and volunteers gain a deeper historical understanding of the book as a form and the tradition of type that sustains it.

One of the oldest and most prolific of the collegiate presses, the KLP has distinguished itself through the artistry and craftsmanship of its products. Apprentices and volunteers are the lifeblood of the Press, and their work and dedication are responsible for the many high-quality, hand-made books, broadsides, and keepsakes produced by the Press over its nearly seventy-year history. 

To get involved, email KLP director Paul Holbrook at or come visit the press on a Tuesday or Thursday morning.

King Library Press apprentice Isabelle Pethtel works on a linocut

Isabelle Pethtel '22 apprenticed with the Press for three years and wrote, printed, and illustrated her own book, King of the Coop.

Learn an Ancient Craft

The King Library Press proudly carries on a tradition that dates back hundreds of years, using equipment, techniques, and materials that differ only slightly from those developed in Renaissance Europe. 

Our printers have decades of experience across all aspects of printing and typography, with extensive knowledge of typefaces, letter forms, paper, binding, and the decorative features of books.  

Working with our experts, apprentices and volunteers will gain invaluable, hands-on experience with many aspects of the book arts, depending on their personal interests and the needs of the press, including type distribution, printing, book binding, and decorative paper design.

A wood cut printing block of a lion

Keep an ancient art alive and learn how to print books using techniques first developed in the fifteenth century.

Create Remarkable Objects

The King Library Press prints unusual and rare materials, especially works by Kentucky authors and unpublished manuscripts. Apprentices and volunteers have a hand in all of the books published by the Press, which are noted for their beauty and technical sophistication.

The Press also offers opportunities for apprentices to create their own materials.

Isabelle Pethtel '22 majored in Digital Media and Design and started volunteering at the Press during her sophomore year. As a senior, she carried out a year-long independent study, working with the Press to produce her own children’s book, King of the Coop. Isabelle wrote the story, engraved linocut prints, printed the book on one of the KLP’s Chandler & Price presses, then watercolored the illustrations and bound the book by hand.  

Isabelle was recognized with the Dean's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Scholarship for her work.

Isabelle Pethtel's hand-bound book King of the Coop stands on a table in the King Library Press

Isabelle Pethtel's King of the Coop, printed, illustrated, and bound by hand at the KLP.

Earn Course Credit

You can earn credit for the time you spend working at the Press. We have extensive experience arranging for course credit both within and outside the university, at the undergraduate and graduate level. 

We work frequently with the UK College of Fine Arts and the Library & Information Science program. 

Apprentices and interns have earned credit for:

  • Semester-long experiential learning opportunities
  • Year-long, project-based independent studies
  • Studio and practicum hours for advanced degrees
King Library Press intern Agnes Tanama holds up a book bound with marbled paper

KLP intern Agnes Tanama studied bookmaking as part of her coursework for her Masters in Rare Book and Digital Humanities at University Burgundy Franche-Comté in France.