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Print museum to reopen after $130k revamp

Wednesday, 07 November 2018
By Jake Nelson

The new foyer at the Penrith Museum of Printing features a copper plaque depicting Gutenberg’s workshop.

The Penrith Museum of Printing will hold a grand re-opening after its six-month closure, during which $130,000 was invested in expanding and revamping the facilities.

The additions include extra floor space for equipment that previously had to be kept in storage, plus a library and a new foyer featuring a copper plaque depicting Gutenberg’s workshop. According to committee member Bob Lockley, the space requirements for new equipment was a key driver for the decision to renovate. “We’re getting many more tours through now we’ve expanded our floor space. We have more equipment in and special pieces on display in the foyer, and there’s a lot of interest,” he said.

The museum is the only “working” print museum in Australia, with functional letterpress machines and courses on typography and poster-making for letterpress. “People like to print things like wedding invitations in letterpress – it’s the old-fashioned way of doing it,” said Lockley. “People want to learn how to do it, for the novelty of it. We’re preserving the past for the future.”

Aside from the heritage-value letterpress equipment, the museum’s collection includes several 100-year-old Linotype machines and an extensive collection of books on printing. According to Lockley, it gets all its revenue from sponsors including the Single Width Users’ Group (SWUG) and Club Paceway Harness Racing, and from tour fees. “We have no government funding and no other income. The place is run entirely by volunteers, and they do all the work and upkeep,” he said.

The re-opening will be held on the 21st of November, at 6pm.

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