About “A Tetrad”

In 1969, the John M.Kelly Library first opened its doors. Fifty years later, we celebrate middle age with the release of a chapbook designed and produced in our Print Studio.

This chapbook honours Marshall McLuhan, a St. Michael’s College professor who rattled the world with his take on the influence of media and technology. The chapbook is called “A Tetrad” is both a digital and a hand-printed instance of McLuhan’s tetrad concept.

“A Tetrad: Measuring McLuhan’s Impact” is a hand-printed, hand-sewn and bound Coptic-stitched letterpress chapbook.

Imprint Launch

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Order your collectible “A Tetrad” chapbook

One Chapbook, Two Editions

Signed by Michael McLuhan, the chapbook comes in two numbered editions: a pamphlet-stitched version of 125 copies and a Coptic-bound version in a run of 25. Both editions are letterpress printed from plates on 100% cotton paper and are die-cut and hand-sewn.

Pamphlet-stitched chapbook: $75 plus $20 shipping and handling
Coptic-bound chapbook: $225 plus $20 shipping and handling

Please email us at kellylibrary.administration@utoronto.ca to arrange for payment and delivery.

A tetrad

What is a Tetrad?

A tetrad means a set of four things. Marshall McLuhan’s tetrad refers to a set of four media laws he believed you could apply to any human creation, from ideas to artefacts. When a new brainchild appears, McLuhan says, it affects existing culture in four ways: it Enhances, Reverses, Retrieves, and Obsolesces.


By galvanizing a new possibility


By taking a new possibility to such an extreme that it eclipses its original intention.


By dipping into the historical-cultural bank of human experience to adapt an old idea.


By nudging aside current ways of thinking.

A Digital Tetrad

The following notables contributed to the Kelly Library’s Digital Tetrad to honour the launch of the “A Tetrad” imprint at the Canadian Fine Press Exhibit.