A.B., Bryn Mawr College; M.F.A., University of Alabama, Ph.D. Simmons College
Book Studies & Book Arts Program Director
Expert in letterpress printing, bookbinding, and papermaking, combined with various aspects of the liberal arts.
Katherine McCanless Ruffin is the Book Studies and Book Arts Program Director at Wellesley College. She holds an A.B. in Philosophy from Bryn Mawr College, an M.F.A. in the Book Arts from the University of Alabama, and a Ph.D. in Library and Information Science from Simmons College. Her dissertation was titled “Carl Purington Rollins and the Bibliographical Press at Yale University.” In 2014, she gave the fourth annual Charles A. Rheault lecture at Boston’s Society of Printers on this topic. Katherine’s research interests include book studies in the liberal arts curriculum, pedagogy for the book arts, and the history of the book, particularly typography and printing.
Beginning in fall 2014, Katherine became the coordinator of Wellesley’s library-based Book Studies activities. Katherine has been teaching in the Book Arts Lab in Clapp Library at Wellesley College since 2000 and her teaching practice is focused on incorporating letterpress printing, bookbinding, and papermaking with various aspects of the liberal arts. In addition to teaching classes and workshops in the Book Arts Lab and the Papermaking Studio, she oversees the activities of the Annis Press, which is the imprint of the Book Arts Lab. Katherine regularly teaches ARTS 222 Introductory Print Methods: Typography/Book Arts for the Art Department in the spring of even years.
Katherine teaches a class on the History of 19th and 20th Century Typography and Printing at Rare Book School with John Kristensen of Firefly Press. She also teaches the book arts in the Masters of Art Education Program and Printmaking Department at the Boston University College of Fine Arts. In February 2015, she held a Mellon Creative Residency in the John B. Hurford ’60 Center for Arts and Humanities at Haverford College.
Katherine has published limited editions under her own imprint of Shinola Press since 1994 and broadsides and books from the press are held in many collections in the United States and the United Kingdom. She has taught letterpress printing at the Center for Book Arts in New York City, Penland School of Crafts, and the Wells College Book Arts Summer Institute. She is currently a trustee of the American Printing History Association and a member of the editorial board of Openings: Studies in Book Art, the journal of the College Book Art Association.