In January 2017, Pacific Lutheran University was the benefactor of the Thorniley Collection by WCP Solutions (formerly West Coast Paper). The collection of antique metal and wood type and printing and binding equipment originated with William O. Thorniley (Bill), who from the age of nine, was fascinated by type when he was given a small printing press for Christmas. During his lifetime he traveled extensively in his job, and was constantly on the lookout for old fonts of type. From Alaska to New England, to the deep south where he found type used before the Civil War, to California where he obtained fonts used during the Gold Rush. R.W. (Dick) Abrams, Thorniley’s collection grew.
West Coast Paper purchased the collection in 1975, but it remained in Bill Thorniley’s possession until his death in 1979. Dick and Bill both shared a desire to have the collection kept in the Seattle area, serving as an educational resource and honoring the local graphics arts community.
The combined Elliott Press and Thorniley Collection serve as a tremendous resource for students and the community while tapping into the talents of faculty authors, visiting artists, and scholars.