News and Events
“Type Vault” at Museum of Printing archives Linotype type drawings collection — over 400,000 sheets
Use Helvetica or Times Roman? How about Palatino or Optima? They began life as a drawing for every glyph in a font of Linotype hot metal type. Later they were converted to phototypesetting and then to digital type. They also formed the basis for other typesetting machines and fonts from competitors who “borrowed” the designs.
This precious archive has been in the possession of the Museum of Printing in Haverhill, Mass. for over two decades. Researchers from all over the world have analyzed the large drawings for clues in the evolution of fonts by Dwiggins, Zapf, and many others.
The Museum has broken ground for an environmentally secure archive for this priceless colllection. Within the next two months, the collection will be transferred to air-tight containers from their original boxes into a state-of-the-art facility.
TypeCon 2017 – Boston
TypeCon 2017 will be held in Boston from August 23rd to the 27th. The conference is packed with how-to talks by type luminaries including Sumner Stone and Museum of Printing president Frank Romano, presentations and workshops, with an optional full day side trip to the Museum of Printing on Wednesday, August 23rd. Full information at TypeCon.com.
Letterpress Sale on Sept. 16 — all things letterpress
New to letterpress or need to add to your existing shop? The MoP is holding its very late summer Letterpress Sale on Saturday, September 16th from 10am to 3pm.
Everything letterpress — wood and metal fonts, orphans, decorations, cuts, sorts, quoins, keys, sorts, leading, galleys, sticks, type cases, furniture, ink -– on sale including a number of table-top presses.
Beginning Letterpress Workshop
Saturday, September 30, 10am to 4pm
Learn to hand set type from a California job case (many fonts to choose from) and print on one of our Vandercook or platen presses. Class runs from 10am to 4pm.
Members $75 | Non-Members $95 (online registration coming soon)
Gift Certificates Now Available
Gift certificates are now available for the Museum of Printing for use in the Museum Store, toward workshops or membership and as admission to paid events.
Purchases may be made at the Museum with cash, credit card or check, or via mail. To purchase by mail send a check to our business office at
Museum of Printing
Beverly, MA 01915
The Museum of Printing Type Libraries
Our collection of Mergenthaler Linotype drawings consists of 3,193 black boxes, specially made for storing the drawings. Each box has 100 to 140 sheets, one for each glyph. Each sheet is numbered and there is a summary sheet indicating what glyphs are enclosed. When we received the collection from the Smithsonian 20 years ago, we inventoried every box and prepared a spreadsheet with information on each box. In many cases, the source of the fonts is indicated.
From 1920 to 1960 the Linotype library dominated typeface use. There were fewer than 100 US Monotype services and only ATF and Ludlow had unique fonts, mostly for display. Then came Photon, Compugraphic, GSI, Wang, Varityper, Alphatype, Autologic, Triple-I, and many others. They all needed type libraries and stole freely from Linotype. There is no law against this.
Museum donates 480 lbs of ink to schools
The Museum of Printing in Haverhill, Mass. has donated 96 5-lb cans of ink to several schools with graphic arts programs. The ink was acquired from the many letterpress shops donated to the Museum over the course of several years.
“It is amazing how many letterpress operations are still around. Often they are in basements and garages. Museum volunteers clean them out and move them to the Museum,” said Ted Leigh, Acquisitions Director. “We move all equipment, type, paper, ink, and other materials.”
Robert Bringhurst in Boston, April 2017
Robert Bringhurst and Amelia Hugill-Fontanel at the Society of Printers 43rd Annual W.A. Dwiggins Lecture at the Boston Public Library.
Bringhurst is the noted type historian and poet who spoke on the life and work of type designer Hermann Zapf. Amelia made the trek from Rochester, NY where she is Associate Curator for the RIT Cary Collection.
Download our Letterpress Presses poster (pdf, 1.8 MB)
Download our Image Carrier Poster (pdf, 684 KB)
Programs are supported in part by grants from the Haverhill, Georgetown, Merrimac, Boxford and West Newbury Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.Top ↑