But he’s just as excited to let the collection inspire new art objects, created on his R. Hoe. Within the year, he will hand-print limited runs of historic images from his collection and create a series of books, the first exploring and documenting ways in which women are represented in Eliza Jane Nicholson’s choice of iconography. To that end, Makkos is currently at work recreating print blocks that feature illustrations from the Victorian-era newspaper. “You couldn’t reproduce it like this off of microfilm,” he says. “Having these originals is the only thing that makes this possible.” On his 1870s proofing press, Makkos will combine his new photoblocks with the old lead typefaces he shoveled out of Laborde’s, to recreate important parts of the Eliza Jane Nicholson Collection, using the same methods that created the original newspapers in the mountain of tubes and boxes that today fill his studio, and his life. 

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Michael Patrick Welch is a New Orleans-based journalist and author of four books. His work has appeared in Salon, McSweeney's, The Oxford American, and Vice, among other publications. Follow him at @mpatrickwelch.