The Penrith Museum of Printing
Sundays from 10 am or by arrangement and for groups during the week (please contact us first)
Tour bookings will be taken
either on line or phone
contact us: 0408 412 708
Sydney Rare Book Week
The Penrith Museum of Printing recently marked a significant milestone in the world of literature and printing. On 26th October 2023, the museum celebrated the 400th anniversary of the first printed edition of Shakespeare's Folio book. This monumental event was a part of the illustrious Sydney Rare Book Week, and the museum was honoured to be a significant contributor to the celebrations.
Under the watchful guidance of the museum's dedicated president, Bob Lockley, the event was a grand success, drawing an impressive crowd of over 40 literature and printing enthusiasts. These attendees were treated to a meticulously curated interactive tour, aptly named "Experience the Living History of Printing." This tour was not just a walk down memory lane; it was a journey through the evolution of printing, narrated by the distinguished printing industry publisher, Andy McCourt. His engaging talk shed light on the fascinating history of the earliest editions of William Shakespeare's timeless works.
One of the standout features of the event was the hands-on experience offered to the attendees. They were given the rare opportunity to engage with traditional printing methods, setting their names manually. These names were then printed using the iconic replica Common Press or the vintage 1864 Albion. The event also showcased live demonstrations of various historic printing machines, each with its unique story and contribution to the world of printing.
The museum's passionate volunteers were the unsung heroes of the day. Their expertise and dedication ensured that every guest was given a comprehensive tour, highlighting special collections. These included the revered first folio Shakespeare books, meticulous replicas of the Gutenberg Bibles, James Wallace's detailed account of NSW from 1821, and many more invaluable pieces of history.
A heartfelt note of appreciation goes out to Andy McCourt, Stephen Hannan, Stephanus Peters, and the Visual Media Association. Their collaborative efforts ensured that these rare and invaluable books were not just preserved but also made accessible to the public for viewing and appreciation.
In conclusion, being an integral part of the Sydney Rare Book Week 2023 was not just an event; it was a testament to the museum's commitment to preserving and celebrating history.
We look forward to many more years of sharing, learning, growing with our community and participating in the 2024 Sydney Rare Book Week.
President, Penrith Museum of Printing.
Historic Dorrigo Gazette Press Finds Permanent Home
On it's place in the museum
The captivating journey of The Dorrigo Gazette Press, a relic of printing history spanning over eight decades and three continents, has reached its ultimate destination at the Penrith Museum of Printing. This extraordinary press, which originated in the renowned Heidelberg factory in Germany in 1939, has now settled into its retirement haven where it will continue to captivate and educate generations to come.
The press embarked on its storied voyage from the esteemed Heidelberg factory, where it was meticulously crafted with dedication and precision. Its production was briefly halted during World War II as the factory shifted its focus to support the war effort. Nevertheless, this remarkable 84-year-old artifact stands as a testament to an era steeped in rich history.
Following the war, the press found in 1951 a home at the Automatic Press in Port Pirie, South Australia. From 1971 onward, it embarked on a new chapter, relocating to Dorrigo and becoming an integral part of The Don Dorrigo Gazette. With unwavering commitment, it tirelessly produced every edition until June 30, 2023, marking the end of an era as the final letterpress-produced newspaper in Australia.
Starting August 18, 2023, The Dorrigo Gazette Press takes its place of honour at the Penrith Museum of Printing, nestled amidst a collection of esteemed historical printing wonders. This press now shares company with other operational presses, including the Columbian, responsible for printing the Carcoar Chronicle from 1872 to 1939, and the Wharfedale, which faithfully served The Nepean Times from 1882 to 1962. The Heidelberg “Zylinder” assumes its rightful place among these icons, a symbol of enduring craftsmanship. It's important to mention that these three printing presses produced their publications until they discontinued the newspaper and now continue to exist in the museum.
The Penrith Museum of Printing has undergone a transformative redesign, creating a seamless layout that invites visitors to embark on a journey through the evolution of printing from its inception in 1450 to the 1970s. The museum proudly showcases an impressive array of type cases, wooden type, Linotype/Intertype machines, Ludlow’s for headings, hand-operated presses, treadle presses, and powered presses. This collection stands as a living testament to the evolution of printing craftsmanship.
The arrival of The Dorrigo Gazette Press at the Penrith Museum of Printing not only signifies the end of a remarkable journey but also heralds the continuation of a legacy that honours the artistry and science of printing.
Bob Lockley, museum President.
ASOOF printing industry visit
ASOOF-visit 20 June 23 Bob explaining the Intertype
We had a truly enlightening day at the Society of Old Friends event on June 20th, 2023. The Penrith Museum of Printing put on a captivating display of operational printing pieces, which was greatly appreciated by a passionate group of print industry enthusiasts.
This event and presentation are made even more special by the generous donation of an amazing Boxwood sample and proof by Neil Muleveny. We are eager to deepen our understanding of this remarkable craft from the Victorian Age. The displayed samples, dating back to the late 1800s, sparked fascinating discussions. The knowledge gained from this experience will undoubtedly enrich the stories we share during our tours and inspire future generations interested in the incredible journey of the printed word.
Registration for our last courses Poster Typography and Letterpress Printing this year, the December registration is now open! Secure your spot and we'll schedule dates based on the availability of interested participants. Don't miss out!" immerse, and master the ancient craft of letterpress printing. Our courses delve deep into the rich history of printing that dates back to 1450. Dive into the world of poster-making using authentic wooden types. Experience the meticulous process of setting words with individual metal letters, a technique preserved for over four centuries.
To avoid disappointment please send us a email or call for bookings, 0408 412 708 or
Your assistance is invaluable! Preserving this 1939 Heidelberg press poses challenges due to the vast geographical distances in Australia. Any pledges to back our cause would be immensely cherished.
Click here for the donation link
Click on the image above to hear the history of printing and our museum