Sad Days for Typesters

The site’s still up, but are the items still there? Found, by way of Things Magazine, is this e-mail that went out by a member of The Type Museum, who sent out the message asking for help, ideas, and money, to keep the site/collection alive. There’s little information in the letter itself, reposted for the world to see on a Google Group. They had a meeting about the closure on May 24th in England, than another on the 31st. No word on what went down on that second meeting, but a poster on Typophile who attended the first had this to say:

Trustee Chairman Nicolas Barker has asked me to circulate the following clarification.

“The facts are that as the Museum has insufficient funds to cover its running costs, it is legally obliged to close while its trustees explore other options for keeping it going. When this process is complete, a public announcement will be made”.

The first meeting of the Type Museum Society took place at the Museum last Wednesday, well attended on a wet and windy night at almost no notice. 30 people left their contact details, a group will liase with the trustees. A second meeting will take place tomorrow Wednesday 31.05.2006 18:30 to carry the campaign forward.

On Allan Haley’s quote – The terms of acquisition of the elements of the collections vary. His point truly refers to the Monotype Corporation machine composition and matrix making collections. The Stephenson Blake and older hand-foundry materials would largely transfer in rights to the V&A. The DeLittle Wood Type Collection may prove to be still partly owned by the surviving Mr Delittle. The materials acquired from the former Clowes Museum & the Austen Composition collection both of great type language importance may have other safeguards built in (or not). This is only if the Type Museum fails as an entity in its own right and the collections cannot be kept accessibly together.

The principal concern is having gathered these materials and begun to see the profound educational value of having the processes side by side it is this very synergy that is at risk.

The staff were laid off last week. And I am receiving communications that indicate that the Museum is closing to the public.

Very sad indeed.

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