Over the last five hundred years the printing trade has shown itself to be crucial to the development of society. Despite the recent digital revolution in communication, it continues to play a vital role in our lives by providing information, encouraging debate and stimulating the mind and imagination. Printing survives in Britain and elsewhere as a commercial activity only because it has undergone a radical transformation in its methods of working and in the technologies it uses. 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 printing equipment has found its way into storage. Other items have been conserved by museums in the hope that, one day, they would be displayed for the public to appreciate and enjoy. The majority are simply scrapped. Without seeing such items, would future generations be able to understand their printing heritage?
The National Printing Heritage Trust was established in 1990 to help preserve this heritage. Its concern is primarily with Britain’s contribution to the printing trade and specifically with preserving the evidence (machines, equipment and materials) which will help us to understand how printing was done in the past.
Over the last decade the Trust’s two main aims have been to secure items of significant printing machinery and equipment that were in danger of disappearing, and to help museum curators look after and display what they already had.
None of the Trust’s work is possible without your support in terms of one or more of the following: membership of the trust, sponsorship of a project or simply making a donation. The various ways in which you can help to preserve and promote Britain’s printing heritage are set out in the 'do you need our help?' and 'we need your help...' sections of our website.