The main entrance to the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center is now open. Van Pelt Library and the Fisher Fine Arts Library are currently open to Penn Card holders, Penn affiliates, and certain visitors. See our Service Alerts for details.

Common Press Studio

Common Press is the letterpress and book arts studio at the University of Pennsylvania.

Printers at Common Press

About the Common Press

With printing presses dating from the 1850’s to the 1960’s and a collection of wood and metal type available for use, the facility provides an environment to learn about the history of the book, to creatively experiment with hands-on analog technologies, to explore the origins of digital typography, and to use the constraints of the letterpress print shop to spark new ways of thinking about their research in any field. Common Press supports movement between digital and manual image making, and exists to support teaching and to facilitate creative projects across the university. Common Press is a collaboration of Penn Libraries, Weitzman School of Design, and Kelly Writers House.

General Access

Members of the Penn community may access Common Press during scheduled workshops and studio hours. You may use the Common Press facilities during Open Hours only if you have completed workshops in Setting Type and Press Use.

Common Press Main Page Common Press Event Calendar

Accordion List

Up to 10, depending on the project

No food is allowed in Fisher Fine Arts Library. Beverages in covered containers are allowed.

Schedule Studio Time

For classes

Inquire about a Common Press experience for your cohort, class or staff.

For individuals

After completing the Intro to Letterpress workshop, schedule time to use the Common Press during open hours.

Location and Accessibility


For Wheelchairs

  • Sufficient doorway & hallway clearance
  • Clearance to approach table

Nearby Bathrooms

Men's and women's accessible bathrooms are on the Lower Level, in the Duhring Wing of the building.

For access, please find a staff member or call 215-898-9870. The door between Fisher and the Duhring Wing is alarmed and will summon campus police.

Accessible Entrance

Fisher accessible entrance

Directions to the accessible entrance:   Word   |   PDF