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Locks’ Press was a private press, owned and operated by Fred and Margaret Lock in Kingston, Ontario. The press was originally established in 1978 in Brisbane, Australia, where the Locks’ resided from 1974 to 1987. The first book from the press was published there in 1979 and by 1987 when they moved to Canada, the Press had produced seven books. In Kingston, Fred Lock received an appointment as Professor of English at Queen’s University. The Locks’ bought a house and have since worked out of their home, where they have turned their kitchen into a press room and two bedrooms into a studio and bindery. By 2001, they had printed eleven books, fourteen pamphlets, and twelve broadsides, most of them with illustrations by Margaret Lock. Though the Press ceased book publication after 2000, it continued to produce broadsides. In 2013, Locks’ Press ceased operations and Margaret and Fred Lock moved to England.
Margaret Lock was born in Hamilton in 1950 and graduated from McMaster University in Fine Art in 1972. She later studied printmaking at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Fred Lock was born in England in 1948 and moved to Canada in 1971 as a graduate student in the Department of English at McMaster. From 1974 to 1987 he taught in Australia, at the University of Queensland. Fred has a special interest in Latin, medieval and eighteenth-century English texts. He acts as editor and has also provided translations for about a third of the titles. Margaret designs the books and does the typesetting, illustrating in woodcuts, printing and binding. The type is handset, and printed one page at a time in a proofing press. The paper is hand-made, and the books are in small editions, bound by hand. The Locks’ aims are to publish literature before 1900, in order to reflect their personal interests and provide an opportunity for Margaret’s woodcut illustrations. Locks’ Press has been represented in many group and solo exhibitions, in Australia, Canada and the United States. The Locks have won awards for their excellence in the book arts.