30 years of Druckladen – a reason to celebrate

Digital anniversary celebration

Mainz. The Druckladen, the educational department of the Gutenberg Museum, is celebrating its 30th birthday this year. Due to the pandemic, this anniversary will be celebrated digitally.

Who doesn’t know the Druckladen, the Gutenberg Museum’s educational hands-on workshop? Here, printing under expert guidance becomes an exciting experience for young and old, amateurs or experts, alone or in a group.

The print shop can look back on its 30th anniversary this year. The 30th wedding anniversary is pearls and one can justifiably claim that the print shop is the educational jewel of the Gutenberg Museum.

Marianne Grosse, head of the Department of Culture, is proud of the anniversary: ‘The print shop of our Gutenberg Museum is indeed as precious as a pearl. For the most important concern of the museum’s educational department is to combine the historical significance of Johannes Gutenberg’s invention with practical printing through its educational offer, enabling visitors to immerse themselves in the fascination of the art of printing.’

Since there can be no celebration in times of Corona, the anniversary will be digital: A quiz and videos produced by print shop staff on the occasion of the birthday will highlight the special features and activities of the print shop. These digital offers will be published on the museum’s website and social media channels. It’s worth taking a look.

In times of digitalisation, the hands-on workshop serves as a practical place for the art of printing, giving anyone interested the opportunity to create their own printed works and thus gain insights into the techniques and feel of letterpress printing and hand typesetting. Here, printing takes place with all the senses, arouses curiosity and forms an introduction to the contents of the museum. Especially in today’s age, which is dominated by ephemeral electronic media, the value of working with handmade objects should not be underestimated, even for young people and children. The increasing number of visitors in recent years proves the worth of the concept: in 2019, a total of 19,000 people visited the print shop.

The museum team has just developed the new ‘#drucklust’, the events programme that shows all the activities at a glance, and published it as a brochure. Anyone interested can pick up a copy at the entrance to the Druckladen or download the programme from the museum website to get an overview of workshops, guided tours and other individual activities.

There is much to discover. Formats range from the popular Family Sunday, holiday programmes, guided tours for children and adults, combination packages for school classes, two-day workshops where experts teach book and printing skills, and the possibility of celebrating children’s birthdays or other festivities in the print shop.

The staff of the print shop is also happy to accept print orders. By individual arrangement, unique printed products of high quality can be produced, such as invitation cards, certificates or business cards. The costs for these printed items are calculated according to the time and effort involved and are used to maintain the print shop.

Museum Director Dr. Annette Ludwig on the print shop and its milestone birthday: ‘Our print shop thrives on volunteers. I am proud of my team with the many volunteers who have been creating great things for 30 years. The artistic printing techniques were included in the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2018. Visitors can experience these techniques live and try them out for themselves every day we are open. In this way, we ensure that these valuable cultural techniques are also passed on to future generations. For 30 years, exhibition and outreach activities have cross-fertilised to promote the cultural heritage that has been entrusted to us.’

Liebfrauenplatz 5
55116 Mainz