Over the last five hundred years the printing trade has played a crucial part in the development of society, and continues to have a vital role, providing the printed matter which serves the high (and low) ambitions of individuals, organizations and governments. Printing survives in Britain and elsewhere as a commercial activity only because it has undergone a radical transformation. The pace of change has been so fast that many machines and other kinds of equipment used in the past to produce our books, newspapers and ephemera have disappeared. Some historical printing equipment has found its way into storage and some is still being used by fine presses, artists and amateurs. Other items have been conserved by museums. The majority have simply been scrapped, however. The National Printing Heritage Committee of the Printing Historical Society is the successor to the National Printing Heritage Trust (which operated between 1990 and 2015) and aims to preserve as much the nation's printing heritage as possible. Its concern is primarily with Britain’s contribution to the printing trade and specifically with preserving the evidence (machines, equipment, materials and archives) which will help us to understand how printing was done in the past. The Committee's three main aims are to secure significant printing machinery, equipment and records that are in danger of disappearing, to help museum-curators look after and display what they already have, and to lobby for the creation of a National Printing Museum for the United Kingdom.


Printing Historical Society, St Bride Library, Bride Lane
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44 01608 654349