James Houston aimed to create a piece of Christmas music by appropriating past Christmas gifts. “I discovered that a few had the capability for speech synthesis so the obvious next step was to figure out how to assemble a choir.” he said. “This is a process which is based on the last piece of work I did as a student at GSA.”
There is not much known about who is responsible for this collection, but it is believed to be partly the work of the design teacher, Ivar Bell. What is certain is that by 1968, the memory of the collection was no more, and the work of the unknown archivist would be left untouched for nearly 50 years. When the archive was rediscovered, it consisted of 130 cases of type (lead & wood), which were deteriorating, and a hefty cleaning process took place over a year in order to save them. They are today to be found in the Academy’s Letterpress Room, which was set up as a consequence of the rediscovery of the archive.