British Museum of Printing

The British Museum of Printing : exciting new UK 'virtual' museum project

On 28 October 2020, the Printing Historical Society (PHS) Committee approved a proposal, presented by the National Printing Heritage Committee (NPHC), for a web-based ‘virtual’ British Museum of Printing (BMoP).

The objective of the Museum is to ‘bring as much of the nation’s printing-historical resources as possible together on one virtual collective museum site.’ The site will be a platform for print historians, practitioners, and heritage professionals across the nation to contribute data, images, video, and narrative relating to their collections.

This concept, developed by Lee Hale, of Winterbourne House, University of Birmingham, is entirely new and will allow for improved connections, knowledge transfer and potential education and training opportunities. Most importantly, Museum visitors will engage not just with one virtual museum, but with a range of physical collections from all over the country, many of which would otherwise be inaccessible.

The Museum is a project of the National Printing Heritage Committee, chaired by Dr John Hinks. It will be owned and operated by the Printing Historical Society, with the Centre for Printing History and Culture (CPHC), the Baskerville Society and the Bibliographical Society on the masthead as official ‘Founding Sponsors.’

The project is being led by Lee Hale, the BMoP Steering Group Chair. The BMoP Steering Group is working with Heritage Creative, a website design company that specialises in the heritage sector. Parameters and protocols for contributing content to the site are being developed by Dr Paul Nash, PHS Journal Editor, bibliographer and librarian, and Georgina Grant, Senior Curator at Ironbridge Museums Trust.

We are delighted to announce the organisations signed up as BMoP content contributors as of August, 2021 are:
St Bride Library, Fleet Street, London
British Printing Museum, Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire
Ironbridge Gorge Museum, Shropshire
Winterbourne House and Garden Print Workshop, Birmingham
Gray's Printing Press, N. Ireland
Norwich Printing Museum

Financial sponsors of the project as of August 2021 include:

Heritage and HE Sector Sponsorship:
Baskerville Society, Birmingham City University
The Bibliographical Society
Centre for Printing History and Culture, Birmingham City University
National Printing Heritage Committee, Printing Historical Society
University of Sussex

Corporate Sponsorship:
Micropathology, Ltd.

Individual Sponsorship:
Private donations to date totalling £2,050

Membership of the BMoP Steering Group as of August 2021:

Prof. Caroline Archer, representing the CPHC and Baskerville Society;
Giles Bergel, Digital Humanities Research Officer, Oxford University, representing the Bibliographical Society;
Georgina Grant, Senior Curator, Ironbridge Museums Trust;
Lee Hale (Chair), Head of Winterbourne House Museum, University of Birmingham;
Dr John Hinks, Chair of the NPHC;
Katie Leigh-Lancaster, MA Literature and Culture student, University of Birmingham;
Dr Paul Nash, bibliographer, librarian, printing historian and editor of the PHS Journal;
David Obaldestin, PHS Treasurer;
Dr Rachel Stenner, Lecturer and Director of Centre for Early Modern and Medieval Studies, University of Sussex;
Holly Trant, Assistant Librarian, Archives and Local Studies, Bath Record Office and Secretary, NPHC;
Dr Shijia Yu, art historian, incoming Associate Research Fellow at Birkbeck, University of London and incoming Associate Lecturer at Courtauld Institute of Art

The Steering Group is currently collecting the names of individuals and organisations who would like to become site contributors, donors, and sponsors, as well as names of individuals and or organisations that have a general interest in the project. There are many opportunities to become involved and help promote this exciting new PHS initiative. For more information about the virtual British Museum of Printing project, or to discuss becoming a donor or sponsor, please get in touch with the NPHC Secretary, Holly Trant, at