Head, Heart, Hand: Roycroft Campus Print Shop Revives Historic Press Run

After decades of silence, the historic Print Shop at The Roycroft Campus in East Aurora is back up and running. Since the early days of the campus, the Print Shop was a cornerstone of founder Elbert Hubbard’s vision that was, and still is, dedicated to the American Arts & Crafts Movement.

Hubbard’s vision for a dynamic Arts & Crafts campus was solidified in 1897. Soon after, the campus became a hotbed for Roycrofters that excelled at producing furniture, textiles, and printed materials. As for the printed materials, Hubbard himself hit a homerun with his essay “A Message to Garcia,” which became a nationally acclaimed work – the third best-selling book of its time – when it was published in 1899. Selling millions of copies, the essay would help the Roycroft Campus to establish itself as a prominent fixture in the eyes of arts and crafts enthusiasts. Hubbard’s heralded essay remained in print until 1938, when the Print Shop shuttered its doors.

Hubbard’s philosophy, “Head, Heart, Hand,” continues to guide Roycrofters to this day. That said, the long–shuttered Print Shop, which ceased to operate 86 years ago, has long been on the minds of members of the Roycroft Campus Corporation (RCC). Therefore, it is with great pride that RCC has announced that the Print Shop is once again operational.

This revival presents a significant opportunity to not only preserve the Roycroft legacy but also generate revenue to support the ongoing restoration and maintenance of the Campus, ensuring its future for years to come.

“[The Print Shop has] been meticulously restored, and the rhythmic clack of the presses has returned. For the first time in 86 years, ‘A Message to Garcia’ is once again being printed on the hallowed grounds of the Roycroft Campus.” – RCC

This is certainly welcome news for anyone and everyone that ever wondered about the campus and possible revival of the dormant print shop. Now, the RCC team, led by Resident Printer Necole Witcher, beckons a new day, by restoring the traditions of the Print Shop, starting with the production of a fresh edition of “A Message to Garcia.” The painstaking endeavor is a meticulous recreation of the work, including paper, ink, and binding methods.

From RCC: The first run of the revived “A Message to Garcia” was released in March 2024, coinciding with the essay’s 125th anniversary. All editions are available for purchase at the Copper Shop Gallery located on the Roycroft Campus (Tuesday-Saturday, 11 am – 5 pm). Standard editions are available alongside one-of-a-kind, handmade bindings created by Roycroft Renaissance Artisan Diane Bond. The limited-edition prints offer a range of options for collectors and enthusiasts.

Roycroft Campus | 31 S Grove Street | East Aurora, NY 14052 | (716) 655-0261

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