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New Book Release


The Encyclopedia of Printing, Photographic and Photomechanical Processes, second edition.



“This extensive work continues the tradition of exhaustiveness Nadeau has staked out in earlier books ...”
Print Collector’s Newsletter

“Luis Nadeau has rendered a service to the international community of photohistorians. Indeed, no comparable guide through the terminological maze is now in existence, as far as is known.”
History of Photography


The Second Edition:

This encyclopedia is the culmination of over 30 years of research on Printing, Photographic and Photomechanical processes. It seeks to clarify the confusion which has resulted from the invention of several hundred such processes. Name any one of them then ask the following questions: WHAT is it? WHO invented it? WHEN? WHERE do you go to find full technical details about it? This encyclopedia, with nearly 2,000 entries and 6,000 references in six languages, provides the answers.

Here is a sample of the questions answered by this encyclopedia: What is the difference between a CALOTYPE and a COLLOTYPE? What are the most permanent color photographs ever produced? What technologies have been used to make fakes, facsimiles, and counterfeit money? Are INKJET prints real photographs?

What is the difference between a SERIGRAPH and a SILKSCREEN? What is X-Ray Lithography? What is the difference between Woodcut and Wood Engraving, and what is the French or German translation of each term? When was KODACHROME film introduced and for what other process was its name used? Where does one find full technical details on the DAGUERREOTYPE or WOODBURYTYPE processes and who is still using them today? Which Canadian invented the first practical HALF-TONE process? When? When was NITROCELLULOSE film last commercially available? What was the TEA PROCESS of the 1870s and why was it so popular?

Who will use this encyclopedia? Archivists, map, engraving and photograph curators, rare books and special collections librarians, print collectors, historians, visual arts students and teachers, print dealers, auctioneers, visual arts writers, critics, catalogers, conservators, translators, forensic document examiners and trademark specialists will all find this work an invaluable reference tool.


Few people would be more qualified than Luis Nadeau to write such a book. With over 30 years of experience and research in the fields of history of technology and conservation of photographic materials, and  with one of the largest collections of identified reproduction processes in the world (over 400), Luis Nadeau has trained the staff of many of the best known archives, museums, and libraries, from more than 15 countries in Africa, Europe and North America.

A private scholar who has worked without grants or institutional support, his enthusiasm led, after some eight years of research, to his first book, History and Practice of Carbon Processes, in 1982, followed by his acquisition of the only Fresson lab outside France. Then came History and Practice of Platinum Printing in 1984, (2nd rev. ed., 1986; 3rd, 1994 –also available in German) followed by History and Practice of Oil and Bromoil Printing in 1985, Modern Carbon Printing, in 1986, and Gum Dichromate and Other Direct Carbon Processes from Artigue to Zimmerman,  in 1987. These books are widely recognized as the most exhaustive in their respective fields and are now used as texts and reference manuals by more than 100 American universities and other institutions in over 30 countries.

Luis Nadeau has also lectured and taught at various institutions, including the Maine Photographic Workshops in Rockport (USA), the International Center of Photography, in New York City (USA), the Musée du Louvre and the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris (France), the El Centre de Recerca i Difusió de la Imatge (CRDI) in Girona (Spain), and the Benaki Museum, in Athens (Greece), among others. More information on the availability on Nadeau's books can be found here.

— Michael Christopher Lawlor

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