The Printing Museum ( Inc.) began life over 30 years ago when a group of enthusiasts and professional printers began collecting items of historical and industrial interest. This was at a time when the era of letterpress, the method of printing by mechanical impression that Johannes Gutenberg had perfected in the fifteenth century, was coming to an end. Had it not been for their foresight, many of these wonderful machines - some of which are now listed items of historical interest - would have been lost for ever.
Fast forward thirty years and The Printing Museum has entered a new phase. Despite digital domination, there has been a huge revival of interest in letterpress, particularly in the United States and Britain. Letterpress Museums and Book Arts Centres have sprung up in major cities around the world. While attracting enthusiasts of all ages, the new wave of letterpress and book arts devotees are often young designers and artists curious of the origins of typography and seeking artistic relief from the ubiquity of flat print.
The Museum's collection is currently in storage and the premises allow only restricted activities. The long-term vision is a combination of working printing museum, book arts centre, community workshop, specialised printery and type foundry that will be a national and international attraction. It will also be a fitting home for these national taonga - fortuitously collected and painstakingly restored over so many years. To down load a copy of our concept document, please click here.
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Wharfedale Stop Cylinder Press
Monotype Super Caster
1852 Harrild Albion Handpress
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