100 Hackford Road, London SW9 0QU
Holdings include a large amount a material from the Stephenson Blake and Co., Wood type from Robert DeLittle, York and hot metal from the Monotype Corporation as well as the working papers of Walter Tracy.
In May 2006 this Museum was closed due to lack of funding. A campaign and supporting Type Museum Society has been launched which you are invited to join.
July 2008 After two years of closure and no public discussion the NMSI has apparently proposed a plan to the trustees to put some or all of the Type Museum’s collections into storage at the NMSI facility at Wroughton in Wiltshire. Supporters of the museum are campaigning against this in the belief that this will spell the end of hopes for a full development of the educational potential of this incomparable type collection.
Sue Shaw (a Museum Trustee, the Founder and first Director) launched a petition and comments in a local newsletter article downloadable from http://www.stockwellpark.com/pdf/spark-2008-05.pdf
In addition there are two online petitions running against these developments please support them both:
On the Number 10 website:
“We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to stop the
proposed move into storage of the Type Archive, from its
present home at the Type Museum, London
The Type Museum has successfuly collected a large proportion of
all the definitive historical materials relating to the art,
design & manufacturing production in Britain of the typefaces
in which the world’s languages are communicated and recorded.
This collection has been closed for two years and needs
re-opening to public access, educational and scholarly use –
not broken up or put into storage as is curently being
proposed. The Type Museum’s collections need exhibiting,
curatorial & conservation development and educational workshops
- not storage. This legacy is vital for the quality of
education of future generations of communicators in which
Britain has frequently led the world. We appeal for resources
to restore and safeguard educational access to these
There is of course the pre-existing online petition to the Trustees which has gathered upward of 680 signatures:
“The London Type Museum is the most comprehensive type museum in the world. Its collections are vast, representing nearly all of the world’s written languages in their historic printed form. It is a timeline in letters, a record of printed history from the earliest days through the present. It is also the last place where Monotype technicians continue to manually cut typefaces.
Visitors to this unique working museum have been able to watch as type is cast, view presses in action and engage in hands-on workshops. The importance of the museum as an educational resource and source of inspiration for today’s designers is immeasurable.
These valuable collections are now in danger of being broken up and dispersed to the Science Museum and the V&A, where they will likely be placed in storage.
This petition will be presented to the Trustees of the Type Museum as evidence that the public does not want to see this unique museum closed.
Please show your support!”
A Freedom of Information Request to DCMS reveals 2006 Consultants Report for NMSI entitled ‘Type Museum Otions Appraisal’ Delineates many of the Type Museum Society’s supporters fears. DCMS points out it is out of date and implies NMSI has to be approached to find out what is currently planned. But it remains as one of the most detailed documents discussing the options being considered for the Museum - That it needed in 2006 a gift of a £1M and an £8M Endowment to secure a future but that this would probably require an enhanced trust management.
The report vindicated the value of the collections. It is particularly noted that the authors suggest an intensive documentation project option. To be conducted before any shutdown, removal or dispersal of the collections - and in particular emphasises the need for some sort of documentary/oral/process history approach to record the skill and knowledge embodied and still practised by the Monotype engineers who continue to work on site.
“It is museological, culturally, and professionally unethical to allow these intellectual assets to be lost, even if the museum has to close.”