With the advancement in new technologies in the 1980s, letterpress printing was being made redundant. A group of like-minded printers and typesetters, spear-headed by former compositor and union official Mr Sean Galavan, fortunately had the foresight to start collecting printing equipment.
In 1990 space was acquired at union offices on Gardiner Street in Dublin’s city centre and then in 1996 the Museum was officially opened by then President, Mary Robinson, at the Old Garrison Chapel in Beggars Bush Barracks.
While traditional letterpress printing was made redundant in the commercial sense, the craft of letterpress is still very much alive. The Museum is a working museum with a panel of active retired printers and typesetters regularly maintaining and demonstrating the collection, and providing training.
In this digital age where information is at our fingertips, the National Print Museum affords the opportunity to step back in time to discover the traditional craft of letterpress printing and appreciate the importance of the invention of the printed word.
An End to a Beginning, The Story of the National Print Musem by Sean Galavan can be purchased in the Museum Shop.