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

Type Museum Blog


The former blog of the Type Museum existed at http://typemuseum.myblogsite.com, but it is no longer active. Following is an incomplete archive of posts to that blog.








Collected Letters: Looking again at the Type Museum

by typemuseum on 06:34:00 PM BST


Checkout Tom De Gay’s featured article on the Museum in the current issue of Building Letters Three (The Tsunami Edition) http://www.buildingletters.org/






Type Museum Cleanup

by typemuseum on 11:25:00 AM BST


We have put out a call to volunteers to assist over the next two weeks and particularly the bank holiday weekend.

If you would like to commit some time please visit our activity calendar at: http://www.my.calendars.net/typemuseumactive/ or email: tm@typemuseum.org






The Type Museum achieves MLA Registration

by typemuseum on 09:24:00 PM BST


The Type Museum has achieved the standards required by the Council for Museums, Libraries, and Archives (MLA) Registrations Scheme. The Scheme which is national and voluntary, sets out minimum standards for museums in collection care, public services and museum management.

The Director, Howard Bratter commented “The achievement of full registration with the MLA demonstrates the commitment of the Type Museum to adhere to the Council for Museums, Libraries, and Archives (MLA)’s Code of Ethics and Rules of Conduct in the care of our world class collections. The Type Museum is the last great repository of English typefounding in all its aspects.”

The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) is the national development agency working for and on behalf of museums, libraries and archives and advising government on policy and priorities for the sector.

The Registration Scheme was launched in 1988 and a second phase, with enhanced standards and updated guidelines, was introduced during 1995. More than 1800 museums throughout the UK are now part of the Registration Scheme.

The Council for Museums, Libraries, and Archives (MLA), formerly known as Resource, provides the strategic leadership, advocacy and advice to enable museum, archives and libraries to touch people’s lives and inspire their imagination, learning and creativity. The MLA website can be viewed at http://www.mla.gov.uk

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William Clowes Historic Presses Return to South London

by typemuseum on 02:14:00 PM BST


In July 2004 the Type Museum became the largest beneficiary of the unfortunate and sudden demise of the William Clowes Museum of Print. The Clowes Group sold its seven-acre site in the centre of Beccles to Tesco. A generous grant from the National Printing Heritage Trust, along with a matching grant from the Prism Fund, enabled the Type Museum to acquire a Double Crown Columbian, a Super Royal Albion, one of only three known Lion Presses, an automatic Falcon Press, a British Thompson Automatic Platen, and a Wharfedale Defiance recently restored by Bryan Hubbard. In addition to the presses, the Type Museum acquired two cabinets of Chinese Type and an historic composing frame originally from Oxford University Press, a portrait of William Clowes, some very early phototypsetting machines, and a range of very serviceable hand bookbinding equipment.


Early in 2005, Mr Ian Mortimer of IM Imprint generously gave his time and expertise to help erect all three hand presses. Our aim is to be able to offer letterpress workshops exploring type. There is still much work to be done to make all the presses operational. If you would like to help the Type Museum in the development of our printing facilities, please contact us at enquires@typemuseum.org.





Education at the Type Museum

by typemuseum on 01:55:00 PM BST


We all come into contact with printing from the moment we wake up with the morning papers, to the moment we settle down with a book before bed. The enormous importance and educational value of the printed word cannot be underestimated. The Type Museum recognises its responsibility to participate in the education sector from primary school level through further & higher education and life-long learning. With the Government’s focus on illiteracy and the National Curriculum’s core skill requirements in mind, the Type Museum has been developing a travelling education box for primary school children. With a timely grant from the Barbara Whatmore Charitable Trust and the donated services of Mr Jeff Kessel, primary school teacher and Design & Technology coordinator for the Whitmore School in Hackney, the Type Museum will soon be field testing its education box programme. Using the ‘World of Printing’ Big Book Series, produced by the Print Education Forum (on whose steering committee the Director of the Type Museum serves) and items from the Type Museum’s collection, primary school children will be able to learn about the history and importance of printing while having fun doing some traditional letterpress printing of their own! If you would like to support the Type Museum as we start to broaden the scope of our education programme, please contact us at enquires@typemuseum.org.





Stephenson Blake Safes

by typemuseum on 01:40:00 PM BST


In 1996, a £495, 000 grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund enabled the Type Museum Trust to acquire the business archives, punches and matrices of Stephenson Black and Co. of Sheffield, the last remaining traditional typefounder in the country. This acquisition, comprising punches, matrices, paintings, unique type specimen books, business records and papers stretching back to the sixteenth century, saved for the nation the largest collection of such material for the UK.


Stephenson Blake’s matrices and punches had been stored at the firm in custom-built iron safes and wooden cabinets. Each of these safes and cabinets held between 100 and 1000 numbered metal or wooden trays and drawers. Some of these safes predated the Sheffield firm’s establishment in 1819, having been bought, with their contents, from typefoundries by Stephen Blake during the course of its 185 year history. In 1996 the contents of all the safes and cabinets was brought to London. With two exceptions, it was not possible at the time to remove all the safes and cabinets from their traditional subterranean home at the Stephenson Blake foundry, affectionately known as the ‘Tomb’.


In late 2004, with funding from the friends of the Type Museum, the University of Sheffield, and matching funding from the Prism Fund: and with the expertise of Mr Terry Harrison and the crew from T. Harrison Printer’s Engineers and Mr Ian Dawson of Par Four Services, together with the generous cooperation of Mr T.J. Blake, Managing Director of Stephenson Blake Ltd., 19 of the original safes and cabinets were brought to the Type Museum. Work has begun by staff and volunteers to rehouse as much of the material as possible in its original safes and cabinets. Thus for the first time in over 7 years, it is now possible to access this unique and historical collection, and allow easy retrieval of material for scholars, students and enthusiasts.


Funding is urgently needed to preserve this unique collection - some of which has not seen the light of day in over a century. If you are interested in supporting this historical enterprise, please contact us at enquires@typemuseum.org.





Friends of the Type Museum

by typemuseum on 01:18:00 PM BST


Now it's even easier to join the Friends of the Type Museum with our new credit card facility through WorldPay. Since its inception in 2004, membership of the Friends has, for example, provided funding for the acquisition of the historic Stephenson Blake safes and a replica Holtzapffel & Co. Cowper Parlour Printing Press for our travelling education box on printing for primary school children.


Support is urgently needed for our future programmes, and your £25 membership will be put to good use. Please contact us at the Type Museum, 100 Hackford Road, London, SW9 0QU for a membership brochure or email us at enquires@typemuseum.org.





Stephenson Blake Working Equipment Secured

by typemuseum on 01:11:00 PM BST


In February 2005 the last of two truckloads of typefounders equipment, generously donated by Mr T.J. Blake, Managing Director of Stephenson Blake, arrived at the Type Museum. It comprised almost the entire range of equipment and tools used in the ‘Battery’, or electrodeposition department, for growing copper and nickle matrices, two historic Fly Presses used for driving punches, two purpose-built carts, ‘setting-up’ sticks, type boxes, fonting galleys and other ancillary equipment and tools used at the Stephenson Blake foundry in Sheffield. This donation, which compliments the Type Museum’s holding of Stephenson Blake-built type casing machines and matrices, will now enable the Type Museum to recreate on a small scale an entire working traditional typefoundry. Plans for making the typefoundry operational are in hand, and funding is urgently needed. If you are interested in supporting this exciting project, please contact us at enquires@typemuseum.org.





Computer Typesetting at the Type Museum

by typemuseum on 12:46:00 PM BST


Contrary to popular belief, the Type Museum isn’t only about metal type! Under the guidance of our late Curator, Justin Howes, the Type Museum embarked on a programme of acquiring early phototypesetting and computer typesetting equipment to document and demonstrate the production of the printed word through to the present day. To compliment the ‘Monotype’ Filmsetter, Diatype and Marissawa typesetting machines already in its collections, the Type Museum is proud to announce the recent acquisition of Berthold and Compugraphic typesetting systems.


On long-term loan from Mr Stewart Hasted, this extraordinarily complete working kit, originally costing over £250,000, fills a very important gap in our collections. These machines cover a time in the late 1980s and 1990s, preceding the advent of desktop publishing which saw the transformation of almost the entire typesetting industry. We are very keen to have these systems operational again; and if you would like to help with time, funds or expertise, please contact us at enquiries@typemuseum.org.





Visit from Germany

by typemuseum on 12:33:00 PM BST


In late March, the Type Museum was happy to host a visit from Dr Juergen Boenig of the Museum der Arbeit in Hamburg. The Museum’s collections, that comprehensively cover the production of the printed word, also contain wood type manufacturing machinery from Diller of Bamberg similar to the Type Museum’s holdings from Delittle of York. Dr Boenig, who had never visited the Type Museum before, thought the collections were ‘marvellous’ and strongly encouraged his staff and volunteers to visit the Type Museum.


In conjunction with research for a possible exhibition, the Type Museum was able to provide Dr Boenig with unique information about J.J. Augustin, a German printing firm founded in 1632, that specialized in foreign language typesetting and printing. Still in operation today, J.J. Augustin has a very large operation that utilises Monotype’s large library of non-Latin typefaces including Thai, Greek, Arabic, and Georgian.


Information gleaned from the Monotype Corporation’s exhaustive and meticulous customer records preserved at the Type Museum, provided a unique insight into the growth and spread of an entire enterprise throughout most of the world.






Recent Donations and Support

by typemuseum on 10:55:00 PM GMT

Pilgrim Trust

Radcliffe Trust

Prism Fund

National Printing Heritage Trust

Eleanor Rathbone Charitable Trust

Department for Culture, Media and Sport





Recent Visiting Groups

by typemuseum on 10:27:00 PM GMT

Alembic Press

Canterbury College

Camberwell College of Arts

Eric Ravilious Association

HMSO Retired Staff Association

London Appreciation Society

London College of Communication

London Print Studio

London Printworks Trust

Monotype Imaging

Museum de Arbeit, Hamburg

Reading University

Southampton Institute

Westminster College

Wolverhampton University

Woodington Press






Justin Howes 1963 - 2005

by typemuseum on 08:15:00 PM GMT

The trustees, staff and friends of the Type Museum wish to extend their deepest condolensces to Justin’s family and friends on his unexpected and untimely death. He died shortly after leaving his post as Curator to take up a research post at the Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp. The type community has warmly remembered Justin’s contribution to type and type history online and in print and we also wish to honour the contribution that Justin made to the development of the Museum.




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