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Press Pack

Page history last edited by Tim Martin 10 years, 5 months ago

Type Museum Society


Press Pack


Campaign to save and develop the collections


of the Type Museum • London



This is a working document. Please add and edit!

News Release




Tim Martin

124e Lyham Road




m: 07932 142793

f: 0870 706 1576




London, June 10, 2006


One of the world’s best typographic collections may not be here to stay.


That’s because just three weeks ago, on Monday the 22nd, the Type Museum of London was forced to close its door from lack of funding. Its staffs were also laid off immediately. Supporters of the Museum fear that the majority of it's collections, which encompass the evolution of type design and production from the sixteenth century, may be put into storage – unlikely to see the light of day again.


Tim Martin, a former member of staff and volunteer at the Museum sent out an appeal calling for a meeting of friends and supporters in the name of the Type Museum Society. More than forty people attended meetings held on the 24th and 31st, and continue to support the Society in its Google Groups site <http://groups.google.com/group/TypeMuseumSociety>. Much of the online support also came from the rest of the world, however.


The Society believes that the Type Museum has all the potential to be the future’s living, breathing and inspiring window into the architecture and power of language and a pre-eminent world resource centre for type design – the potential that can only be unlocked when the Type Museum is allowed to open its doors without financial worries.





Fact Sheet


The Type Museum • London • Founded 1992 - Closed 2006

The Type Museum is a unique and massive collection of the majority of the legacy of type founding in England. These famous foundries and composing systems supplied the world with type in all languages. The Type Museum is the final repository of many of the original forms (punches and matrices) which originated the literature in those languages. The skills have also been preserved in this working Museum which manufactures matrices for letterpress printing as a part of the Museum with which the public could interact. The Museum has become a valuable educational resource for many Colleges. The historic collection of presses was being assembled in order to satisfy the demand for an educational and experimental type workshop. The punches, matrices and patterns of some of the most famous and successful metal and wood type foundries held at the Type Museum represent somewhere between five and eleven Million artefacts. Much of the work of cataloguing this vital aspect of the national heritage has only begun. The collections are particularly unique in being the only location in which successive generations of the technological development in the art and crafts of type design and manufacture (from hand foundry and machine composition through wood type, photo & film setting which laid the foundation for the digital typography of today. This is a collection of a vital heritage and international cultural importance that should it be dispersed, will be impossible to assemble again. The Museum has suffered financially from failing to find a site and a building sufficient to display the wealth of materials that the Museum has successfully collected over the last fourteen years. That this might cause the loss of access to these collections has galvanised the typographic community and the members of the wider media and communications industries in support of this now locked and hidden jewel of global cultural history.


Further images from the vaults and documents.


The Museum’s major collections include: The Stephenson Blake Collection of English foundry type with industrial and hand casting equipment FoundryTypeAncestry.pdf| The ancestry of the Stepehenson Blake collection at the Type Museum. The Monotype Collection covering the entire history of Monotype Corporation’s global supply of fine letterpress machine composition in almost all languages. The Robert DeLittle wood type manufactory - the last specialist English wood type manufacturer.



100 Hackford Road

London SW9 0QU

(020) 7735 0055

This involves the following entities the Type Museum Trust which is a

Registered Charity 1009198 & Registered Museum 1101

and its subsidiary The Type Museum Limited Registered Company 3677895 (trading as Monotype Hot-Metal).



Monday 22.05.2006

Staff at the Type Museum informed they would be laid off with immediate effect and the Museum closed because of lack of funding.

Tuesday 23.05.2006

Tim Martin, a former member of staff and volunteer at the Museum sent out an appeal calling for a meeting to friends and supporters of the Museum in the name of the Type Museum Society. Appeal

Wednesday 24.05.2006

Forty people opposed to the closure and interested in the preservation of the collections and continued access to them met at the Type Museum Minutes The first of many messages of support from all over the world were on display Digest. A 'google group' was set up as a forum for supporters and this quickly demonstrated the widespread support for the Museum.

Wednesday 31.05.2006

Second meeting.

Friday 02.06.2006

The Chair of the Type Museum Trust issues the following statement to the Type Museum Society for publication:


The trustees of the Type Museum recognise the concern expressed among

its community of friends and well-wishers regarding the future of the

Museum, and wish to make it clear that, although it has been necessary

to close the Museum for legal reasons, the trustees, staff and other

responsible bodies all remain committed to the Museum's well-being.

Careful consideration of the issues involved takes

place continuously as part of the normal activities of the Museum. Because these

discussions are continuing, it is not possible to determine the

specific resolution to which they will come. Until the completion of

these discussions, any conclusions drawn by those not taking part are

necessarily premature and speculative, and could be prejudicial to

their outcome.


The trustees welcome the present public interest in the Museum and

acknowledges the depth of support elicited, but they also hope that

credence will be reserved for those officially appointed and legally

entrusted with the duty of safeguarding and preserving the Museum and

its collections.


Wednesday 21.06.2006

Meeting of the Type Museum Society (Supporters and friends of the Type Museum)



The Performing Arts Lab

Stevens Building

Royal College of Art

Kensington Gore

London SW7 2EU 


The Type Museum Society meeting last night 21.06.06 at the RCA was attended by

23 many of whom were new supporters but there were also former members

of staff, volunteers and educational supporters of the Museum

present(over 40 other people sent apologies supplying details and

asking to be kept informed and involved in the campaign).


Sue Shaw the Founder and first Director of the Museum did not attend

but phoned a message at the start of the meeting, reaffirming in her

role as Director of Monotype Hot Metal (the trading name of The Type

Museum Limited), that while the Museum was not open to the public,

Monotype business was continuing as normal and individual research

requests for access would be considered.


Piers Rodgers a former director and trustee of the Type Museum spoke

arguing for the unique importance of the collections and supported the

campaign to relaunch the Museum.


Celia Stothard argued in support of ambitious campaigning for the

Museum drawing on her experience campaigning successfully against

closure of local libraries in Lambeth and pledged her support.


The recent resignation of Howard Bratter as Director was reported and

his commitment and knowledge was noted as a great loss to the Museum.


The Meeting agreed to support further consolidation of the Type Museum

Society and discussed immediate practical tasks to pursue the




Keeping the collections together

Maintaining access

Finding a new home for the Museum

Rebuilding the Museum organisation

Making the case & publicising achievements

Building a support organisation



Incorporated Charity status

Educational, industry and research sponsors and partners.

Public campaigning

Funding for a development programme




Constitution for Society

Membership records and organisation


Research projects

Educational programme

Steering Group(still needs volunteers) focussing on:




Research Projects




Web Services

January 2007

Susan Shaw the founder of the Museum has been appointed as an additional Trustee.

All requests for educational visits to the Museum are now to be declined.

Thursday 22.03.2007

The freehold of the property at 100 Hackford Road currently housing the Type Museum's collections has changed hands. The Museum did not exercise it's option to buy the property back.

Saturday 24.03.2007

The Type Museum Trust have begun winding up the subsidiary limited company

Monotype Hot-Metal. Remaining staff are told that they will no longer be permanently employed. Orders for matrices may continue to be fulfilled on an adhoc basis.

No public statement has yet been made about future access to the collections.


March 2011


The Type Museum Trust declared "In recognition of changing priorities in the arts and heritage and
academic communities which the Trust was established to serve, it was decided in June 2010 to
change the name of the organisation to The Type Archive with effect from year ended 31 March
2011." from:


The Type Museum Trust
Trustees’ Report
Year ended 31 March 2010
The Type Museum Trust’s priorities are:
a) to acquire and preserve for future generations significant artefacts and documents
relating to the past, present and future of printing, communication  and language;
b) to keep alive the artistic appreciation, technical skills and industrial processes
associated with the manufacture and use of language.  Promoting lettercutting,
typefounding, typographical composition and digital type display enables the museum
to fulfil its role as an international resource and centre of excellence for graphic
c) to develop the Museum’s tremendous educational and research potential.
Structure, Governance and Management
The Trust operates under a trust deed dated 20 January 1992.  It was registered with the Charity
Commission of England and Wales on 4 March 1992.  The Type Museum was awarded
Registered Museum status (no. 1101) on 29 March 2005.   Given the temporary reduction in the
level of the Museum’s public activities over the year this status was suspended in February
2009.  It is the trustees’ intention to reclaim full status by the end of the 2011-12 financial year.  
In recognition of changing priorities in the arts and heritage and academic communities which
the Trust was established to serve, it was decided in June 2010 to change the name of the
organisation to The Type Archive with effect from year ended 31 March 2011.
The trustees are appointed by majority vote of the Board of Trustees.  New trustees are sought
when appropriate to cover identified gaps in the skills and experience of existing trustees and to
achieve an appropriate balance on the board.  New trustees are given a full briefing on the
trust’s objectives and operations and on the role of trustees.






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