Association of European Printing Museums

Annual general meeting 2018

The annual general meeting was held at the Imprenta Municipal – Artes del Libro, Madrid, Spain, 26 May 2018.

List of members present

Joseph Belletante (Musée de l’imprimerie et de la communication graphique), José B Bermejo (Imprenta Municipal – Artes del Libro (Madrid, Spain), Jürgen Bönig (Stiftung Museum Hamburg, Germany), Robin Boone (Miat Industrie Museum, Ghent, Belgium), Martin Ciolkosz (Impressed Heracles Workshop, South Africa), Robert Clerebaut (Brussels, Belgium), Anna-Lena Eriksson (Rosenlöfs Tryckerimuseum, Kungsgården, Sweden), Claudio Galleria (Musée Médard, Lunel, France), Aranzazu Guerola (Museum of printing, Valencia, Spain), Charles Hull (British Printing Museum, United Kingdom), Sandra Hull (British Printing Museum, United Kingdom), Elia Koumi (Museum of Typography, Chania, Greece), Karl Krantz/ Rosenlöfs Tryckerimuseum (Kungsgården, Sweden), Pascal Fulacher (Atelier du livre d’art et de l’estampe, Paris, France), Patrick Goossens (Antwerp, Belgium), Alan Marshall (Lyon, France), Stefan Soltek (Klingspor Museum, Offenbach, Germany), Inga Surgente (National Library of Latvia, Riga, Latvia).

Excused: Guy Hutsebaut (Plantin Moretus Museum, Antwerp,Belgium), Andréas Schweitzer (API, Geneva, Switzerland), Frédéric Terrier (Les mille univers, Bourges, France).

Approval of the minutes of the last annual general meeting

After a brief introduction of the board members present, the chair receives unanimous approval for the minutes of the previous annual general meeting in 2017 in Chania, Greece, which were sent out by mail to all the members together with the invitation for this annual general meeting.

President’s report

The chair of the AEPM, Alan Marshall, reports that 2017 was a year of consolidation. Resources have been steadily growing over that few years and finances are currently solid.


Membership is increasing by 10 to 15 new members per annum. We expect to have around 110 members at the end of 2018. Of course, we lose some members each year, but late payment does not immediately lead to the striking off the member who as often as not catch up on their fees in due course.

Renewal of the board

The last board meeting in Chania 2017 was also election term for several board members. The growing activities of the organization implies more responsibilities and more work. Some retired (Robin Boone, Rickey Tax, Rolf Demmerle), some were re-elected, and several new members joined the board. (Pascal Fulacher, Guy Hutsebaut, Patrick Goossens). Mid-term, Andreas Schweizer had to resign for professional reasons. His resignation is put to the AGM for approval. The tasks of treasurer have been assumed temporarily by the chair, Alan Marshall. This situation can now be resolved by asking the members present to approve the nomination of Patrick Goossens to the post of treasurer.


Being a network among many networks action has been taken to improve the presence of the AEPM on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Flickr and of course the Association’s website. The world of printing museums can feel lonely sometimes, being in the margins of the museum world. There is contact with institutions such as art museums, libraries and university special collections, but the need to break the isolation remains great. Many exhibitions in such allied institutions deal with print, print related matter, engravings and so forth, touching the core business of printing museums. Unfortunately, these institutions do not usually identify themselves with us. Debates relating to questions like ‘what print culture is today?’ and ‘the end of print’ and ‘the end of the book’ can be regarded as an opening to mutual cooperation. It is all a complex matter, but opening up to typographers, designers, publishers, scholars, librarians, and printers remains an ongoing task.

The mailing list continues to attract new subscribers; the website receives about 6,000 visits per month, the Flickr gallery now offers over thirty photo albums of printing museums and member museums are encouraged to send photos to have their own album.

On the Website the offer for machines seems to be quite effective in placing and exchanging equipment, and the ‘Museum finder’ interactive map of printing museum is a great success.


A lot of work has been done to follow up on previous decisions to publish, on paper, a selection of conference communications and the project is now getting off the ground.


The AEPM took part in the eighteen-month project co-organised by Jim Mussell, of the Centre for the Comparative History of Print at the University of Leeds, and Caroline Archer, of the Centre for Printing History and Culture entitled ‘Letterpress, printing past present and future’ ( Three workshops were held in Dublin, Birmingham and Bath, where presentations were given by Patrick Goossens and Alan Marshall relating to the printing heritage. A final conference will be held in Leeds in July 19-20, where Patrick Goossens will present the AEPM activities based on a text written together with Alan Marshall. See:

The AEPM was also associated as a partner with the conference on the work of the type designer Ladislas Mandel which was co-organised by Joseph Belletante, board member and director of the Musée de l’imprimerie et de la communication graphique (Lyon), and the Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal (Paris).

International Association of Printing Museums 

Regarding the foundation of the IAPM in Korea a working group was set up in 2017 (including AEPM members Guy Hutsebaut, Frédéric Terrier, Alan Marshall, Stefan Soltek) to work on the details of how the IAPM will work. In October of the same year the working group met in Cheongju (South Korea) and made good progress. Many members of the AEPM have now received a new offer to join the new Association, the founding meeting of which will take place in Cheongju, Korea early in October 2018. It was emphasized that the AEPM and the IAPM are, and will remain, two quite distinct organizations. The AEPM focuses on Europe where it is able to promote and support the growth of a solid network for all members and organize an annual conference.  The IAPM will operate on a much larger scale and there is no question of the AEPM being dissolved in this worldwide organization.

The previous Korea meeting in 2016 was attended by 30-odd members of the AEPM, all of whom felt the meeting to have been very fruitful. And thanks to the firm commitment on the part of the South Korean organizers as part of their own political and historical agenda, the budget of the IAPM is quite substantial. The fact that it has been initiated and so strongly encouraged by the South Korean community raises many questions however as to how and when the new worldwide organization will become independent of its initiators and evolve in a truly international fashion with an international array of active members.

AEPM supports the initiative but will remain focused on its own mission in Europe. Currently a lot of the information put out by the AEPM is also to be found freely on the Association’s website. The fact that so many organizations and individuals are willing to pay a membership fee encourages us in our conviction that the building of a network is the core business of the AEPM.


Andreas Schweitzer’s retirement as well as the nomination of Patrick Goossens as treasurer are approved.

The president’s report was unanimously approved by the members present.

Auditor’s report

Andréas Schweizer having stood down in mid-term Alan Marshall gave the auditors report as ‘acting treasurer’. (All figuresare given in Euros.)

Income around 7,000, of which 4,800 from membership fees, the rest from conference fees. Outgoings were 3,750 for the 2017 conference. Needless to say this sum did not cover the full cost of the conference and we take the opportunity again to thank our hosts in Chania, the Museum of Typography, for their excellent organization of the event and for taking on all the additional costs. All hosts of past conferences topped up the conference fees and contribution of the AEPM from their own resources.

Costs for general administration ran to 2,000. (hosting and maintenance of website, postal costs, bank and auditor’s charges, …)

The result was an increase of the Association’s reserves of about 1,000 (as in previous years).

Projects and investments planned for 2018, will result in a lower reserve next year.

No questions or additions were made, and the auditor’s report was unanimously approved.

Approval of the accounts for 2017

The accounts were made in accordance of all legal requirements and presented to the members.

They were approved by the AGM.

Fixing of the membership fee for 2019

The board’s proposal not to increase the fee in order to encourage smaller organizations to join or stay members was approved. The option for a more substantial membership fee becoming a ‘supporting’ member is, and was, still available, resulting in some positive results.

The proposal was adopted.

Granting of discharge to the auditor for 2017

See report dating March 2018, by Cédric Bergamini.

The request for discharge was unanimously adopted.

Renewal of the auditor’s mandate for 2018

Renewal of the auditor’s mandate for 2018 was unanimously adopted.

Granting of discharge to the members of the board for 2017

The board members were discharged for 2017 with no objections, the president expressed a word of thanks for the confidence expressed by the members.

Budget for the current year

Planned publication costs will be of the order of 4,000

The upgrading and improving of the website is estimated at 6,000, including the automation of the Museum finder interactive museum map (1,000) by linking it to the existing data base.

Grants for smaller institutions to help them in attending the conferences: 1,200

During the discussion Jürgen Böning proposed that all of these projects should be undertaken.

Other projects will be discussed in item 11 of the agenda.

Program of activities for 2018

The board emphasizes that, in the past, conference themes have related to pre-press and printing techniques, and the present conference on bookbinding is a welcome extension of the domains covered. Previously, attention was focused more specifically on typography, lithography and so forth, always in relation to museums and heritage workshops. Though it has to be borne in mind that the discussions before and after the presentations are always much broader than the ‘theme’, emphasizing the importance of the conference as basis for ‘the network’.

It is proposed that the next conference will go back to letterpress and the transmission of intangible heritage. The disappearance of knowledge is going faster and faster. (See item 12.)

Other projects are:

  • June 11, Ladislas Mandel conference in Paris
  • July 19-20, Letterpress past present and future conference in Leeds
  • Finalizing the publication project.
  • Website: new updated design; increased capabilities as a collaborative tool for managing the AEPM, thus facilitating communication between the board members who are based in several countries; automation of the interactive printing museum map; enhancement of the visibility of the online publications.
  • Preparation of the 2019 conference.


Jürgen Böning suggests all items proposed in the provisional budget be undertaken, starting with the website. Also, the paper publication. There is no need to build up funds.

Elia Koumi points out that Europe grants funding for projects relating to ‘cultural roots’.  She asks ‘do we have cultural roots?’.  We should try and find out if the AEPM or their members would/could apply such funding.  She adds that ‘historical café’s’ seem to be able to get the funding, so why would printing museums not qualify.

Robin Boone supports the idea of undertaking all the proposed projects. He believes an even better website and the paper publication will bring in new members. It is an investment in the future.

Stefan Soltek however points out we should be careful and look thoroughly in to the problems surrounding picture rights and possible limitations to distributing the printed book because of language issues.

Alan Marshall replied for the board that the website is largely in English, but many parts are also in French, German, Italian and Spanish. Illustrations will only be used if all rights issues are resolved, and that needs to be done in advance by the authors. Although the editing is a large task, the workgroup on the publication is tackling it, and it will get done. The workgroup is reinforced by Alan Marshall’s wife, Denise Pierrot, an experienced editor of academic publications who has volunteered to help on the publications project (both paper and online).

The online publications are not currently being strictly ‘edited’. Rather the English is ‘cleaned up’ but not re-written. That is normal and acceptable for such kind of postings. Article for the paper publication will go through the usual strict editorial procedures. The aim of the publications is not just to publicize the AEPM, but also to leave a trace: in a sense it will be a ‘history’ of the AEPM through the various articles.

Regarding the ‘cultural roots’ a book cultural route was initiated by the Consortium of European Printing Libraries with the collaboration of the Lyon-based Institute d’histoire du livre related in 2001. There was also a proposal to set up Armenian book cultural route. It would be useful to look into these projects.

Another question related to the publication whether it would be for members only. Alan Marshall replied it would certainly be sent out free to members but could/would also be available at a discount to be sold in museum shops, or via another channel. Talks with a bookdealer experienced in antiquarian books and new editions around that subject are already undertaken. It would thus be easily obtainable via their website.

Martin Ciolkosz asks if the publication will be annual? Alan Marshall’s reaction is ‘no’, but ‘perhaps’… Pascal Fulacher, from the working group adds that they will aim at a bi-annual publication. It will be evaluated after the first edition is out.

Jürgen Bönig asks if any initiatives could be taken for the preservation of intangible heritage. In many countries national lists and protective measures have been undertaken, certainly in Germany.  Pascal Fulacher adds that Nelly Gable has managed to have the ‘gravure des poinçons’ recognized by the French authority. It is a long and hard process. Alan Marshall informs the members that at the first board meeting of the new board in Antwerp in 2018 Guy Hutsebaut already put that matter on the agenda, alas due to his unfortunate and hopeful temporary absence the project awaits his return. Jürgen Böning proposes a helping hand in this project, adding that we must get this issue on a larger agenda, worldwide at best. Alan Marshall suggests that Jürgen, if willing, be co-opted onto the board to help in this important matter.

After this debate the president repeats his question whether we can thus ‘empty the coffers’, i.e. undertake all the proposed projects at the risk of leaving the Association with little in the way of reserves for several months at the beginning of 2019. The AGM approves all the projects with the proviso that the situation be monitored closely to avoid any risk of over-spending.

Venue and date of the next annual general meeting

The next general meeting of the AEPM will be held in Turnhout Belgium prpbably at the end of May 2019.  It will be the venue of the next conference. Program and invitations will be sent out in due course.

Any other questions

Stefan Soltek emphasizes that besides the conferences the possibilities of individual members meeting up in each other’s institutions or workshops should be promoted. This can be done by simple individual contact, relating to AEPM membership as a ‘door opener’.


Alan Marshall thanks the organizers of this successful conference in Madrid and all the members present, and closes the meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 10.30.

Patrick Goossens, treasurer,
secretary ‘ad interim’
in the absence of Guy Hutsebaut.