Fleet Street’s St Bride Foundation, which cares for a collection covering print, design and typography has started a digitisation project in advance of its 125th anniversary.

It’s part of a wider project to open up its huge collection to a wider audience and open their off-Fleet Street centre to more visitors.

The library houses a huge collection, including artwork for Edward Johnston’s London Underground designs and scale models for Margaret Calvert and Jock Kinneir’s UK road signage.

That’s alongside rare 15th-century books printed by William Caxton, original woodblocks by Robert Gibbings as part of over 200 special collections and many physical objects from the history of printing and type-founding.

Volumes on the history of printing, typography, newspaper design and paper-making jostle for space alongside one of the world’s largest and most significant collections of type specimens. The printed, written, carved and cast word may be found at St Bride in its myriad forms. Architectural lettering and examples of applied typography in many media, together with substantial collections of steel punches and casting matrices for metal types are also held in this eclectic collection.

Housed in a Grade II listed Victorian building, St Bride Foundation was originally set up to serve the burgeoning print and publishing trade of nearby Fleet Street, and is now finding a new contemporary audience of designers, printmakers and typographers who come for the programme of design events and workshops.

The St Bride Foundation doesn’t receive any core funding from the government – over 90% of their income comes from venue hire and the neighbouring theatre with the rest generated through fundraising.

They aim to mark their 125th anniversary with a project to open up the library to more young people to gain work experience, developing new workshops, expand conservation – and of course, putting more of the collection online for anyone to virtually visit.

They’re seeking to raise £50,000 towards the project, and have set up a crowdfunder.

  • £10 – St Bride Enamel Pin Badge
  • £20 – A set of custom postcards
  • £30 – St Bride Tote Bag
  • £50 – A denim printers apron
  • £100 – ‘We Are Type’ letterpress poster

To learn more go here.

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One comment on “A typography library looking to digitise its collection
  1. Alistair Twiname says:

    I wonder if they own the rights to sell any of these digital fonts etc? Would seem to be a good fundraiser…

    I mean for people to use rather than just see.

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