The National Print Museum was founded by members of the print industry in 1996, officially opening in Beggars Bush Barracks. It contains a collection of over 10,000 objects, of which 30% are on display at any one time, that cover the whole range of printing craft in Ireland. The collection comprises printing machinery and artifacts including printing blocks, metal and wooden movable type, ephemera, photographs, books, pamphlets, periodicals and one banner.
It is a unique museum, the only one of its kind in Ireland. On display is a representative collection of this rich centuries-old printing heritage. Highlights include an original 1916 Proclamation along with a Wharfedale Stop CylinderPress, the machine similar to that which the Proclamation was printed on. The collection is made up largely of letterpress printing equipment. Letterpress is a form of relief printing, which was invented (one of the greatest inventions known to mankind) by Johannes Gutenberg in 1439.
It was the chief manner of printing, prevailing for over 500 years before becoming obsolete, in the commercial sense, in the mid-twentieth century. The collection consists of fully-operational letterpress printing equipment, displayed and organised like a traditional 1960s print-shop. The temporary exhibitions explore the impact of print and the powerful role it played in shaping our histories. Printed artifacts capture the spirit of the age in which they were created.
During the interactive guided tour of the museum, the tour guide will accompany us on a journey of discovery, with both technical descriptions and anecdotal
tales, through the three core areas of the exhibition – the Composing Area, the Printing Area and the Finishing Area.
The RHA Friends will also be offered the opportunity to hand compose and print a poster during the tour!
Booking is essential for all Friends events. To book please email Michelle Considine, Friends Co-ordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 01 661 2558.