National Print Museum
- Rainy days
The collection is made up largely of letterpress printing equipment. Letterpress is a form of relief printing, which was invented by Johannes Gutenberg in 1439. The invention is one of the greatest known to mankind. It was the chief manner of printing which prevailed for over 500 years before becoming obsolete, in the commercial sense, in the mid-twentieth century.
The main collection is not behind glass or rope, but is instead an example of a working collection. The collection consists of fully-operational letterpress printing equipment displayed and organised like a traditional 1960s print-shop. All visits include a printing demonstration and letterpress keepsake.
The panel of retired printers and compositors who founded the Museum continue to play a vital role in preserving the collection and the craft. A major challenge is preserving their knowledge and skills, and passing these on to future generations.
The Museum has an exhibition entitled A photographic celebration of the Chapel. The Chapel is a collective term for members of a print union, and here it refers specifically to those printers and compositors dedicated to sharing the nation's printing heritage.
The collection can be experienced with a guided tour. The tours run at 12:00 and 14:00 Tuesday to Friday and at 14:00 on Saturday and Sunday. Places are limited to five people, so booking is advisable.
Facilities include the Press Café.
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