The Type Archive holds the National Typefounding Collection, purchased with grants from the National Heritage Memorial Fund; broadly comprising 1. the typefounding materials of the Sheffield typefounders, Stephenson Blake; 2. the hot-metal archive and plant of the Monotype Corporation; and 3. the Woodletter pattern collection and plant of Robert DeLittle.


While our grants to date have been very successful in preserving the irreplaceable machinery of historic typography, there is an ongoing need to preserve the skills needed to use it.

We are keen to offer apprenticeships in a number of crucial areas, or we risk a break with centuries of typographic engineering skill.

Women engineers have always played a key role in the Monotype Salford's factory, which had an engineering union favourable to women. This was not the case in the printing industry union. Today the government and industry are greatly concerned by the lack of young women moving into science and engineering.

The skills we offer at the TA can inspire both young men and young women to enter these fields, through a fascinating experience/training with our unique precision engineering machines, to be found nowhere else in the world.

Time here may not result in a job with us, but our informal certification can impress future employers with a student's fundamental engineering skills and the disciplines required to achieve them.

That can be invaluable in any walk of life.

In addition, the awareness of graphic design, from its earliest days, which is ever-present on our site, cannot be found elsewhere.

Our collections belong to the Science Museum, with whom we have close ties.

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