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Historic Bow & Arrow Press Will Move to Lamont Library Following Adams House Eviction

The Bow & Arrow Press was formerly located in the B-entryway of Adams House before it was permanantly removed in May 2023.
The Bow & Arrow Press was formerly located in the B-entryway of Adams House before it was permanantly removed in May 2023. By Ariana-Dalia Vlad
By Elyse C. Goncalves, Crimson Staff Writer

The Bow & Arrow Press, a student-run letterpress printing studio, will move to Lamont Library following its removal from Adams House last year, Harvard Library announced on its website Wednesday.

Bow & Arrow will be run by Houghton Library’s Printing and Graphic Arts department with staff hosting workshops and studio hours in the space, though the library has not yet announced a timeline for when operations will begin.

The Press was permanently evicted from Adams House in May 2023 amid House Renewal construction. The basement space that had housed the studio since its founding in 1978 will become a common room, Adams House Faculty Deans Mercedes C. Becerra ’91 and Salmaan A. Keshavjee revealed in April 2023.

The move drew criticism from some Bow & Arrow and House affiliates, who said they had been misled or left out of conversations about the Press’s future, while Becerra and Keshavjee said they were working on rehousing the Press elsewhere at the University.

Since its removal, the Press has ceased operations and stored its equipment in a parking garage along with other items displaced by the renovations.

Former managers of Bow & Arrow Press Heather Hughes and Ted Ollier have since continued to host monthly printing events for friends of Bow & Arrow Press at Reflex Letterpress in Charlestown, Mass.

“We both care really intensely about what the Bow & Arrow meant to us and to so many of the people that we’ve seen go through the space, or have talked to who were there before us, so it was important to us to continue that community in some way, shape or form,” Hughes said.

With its new space in Lamont, Harvard libraries will provide “space, oversight, and general financial support” as the Press continues its operations, according to the Library website. The College will also fund a half-time studio manager position to work in and organize events with the Press.

Molly Schwartzburg, the curator of printing and graphic arts at Harvard Libraries, wrote in an email that more details — including a timeline — were forthcoming.

“We are working actively on a plan to create a physical space for Bow & Arrow’s equipment and programs, and will share details as soon as they are in place,” Schwartzburg wrote.

Hughes said she is “cautiously optimistic” about Bow & Arrow’s move to Lamont, explaining that she expects to see changes to the Press after the transition.

“I’m really thrilled that there’s a plan in place, but there is a part of me that feels that the Bow & Arrow chapter has closed,” she said.

“This is a new chapter opening, and I don't know that it's going to feel like the Bow & Arrow,” Hughes added.

In addition to moving the Press into Harvard Libraries, Houghton Library will also host an exhibition on its history. The exhibition will show works printed at the Press over the past 46 years since its founding, according to the library’s website.

Hughes added that she hopes to come back as part of operations once they begin again.

“I’m truly excited for things to come back online, and for more people at Harvard to have the opportunities to get their hands on this stuff,” Hughes said.

—Staff writer Elyse C. Goncalves can be reached at Follow her on X @e1ysegoncalves or on Threads @elyse.goncalves.

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