This page is powered by the Textpattern content management system.
Museum of Printing acquires Charles Francis Library
From the 1880s to the 1930s, the Charles Francis Press was one of the largest American printers. Mr Francis was the major tenant in the Printing Crafts Building, 461 8th Ave in New York City (now 5 Penn Plaza), the first building designed for multiple printing industry tenants. Symbols of historic printers are still present above the main entrance.
With Theodore De Vinne, Francis helped to establish the predecessor to PIA and wrote several books on printing company management.
Mr Francis collected books and artifacts about printing history which he donated to the New York School of Printing, which was also a tenant. In 1956, the school moved into its own building on 49th Street and 10 Avenue and was re-named New York City High School of Communication Arts.
Most of the library was packed in boxes and stored away for 50 years. In 2006, RIT Professor Frank Romano and a small team of volunteers organized the collection. But the City of New York converted the building to a Gateway School for technical subjects and print was reduced to one small set of courses.
They gave some of the Francis Bibles and other personal items to Fordham University and the balance to the Museum of Printing, including the large brass memorial to Charles Francis. Letterform expert Paul Shaw acquired certain duplicates on art and design.
The Museum will have an exhibit of the Francis Collection in 2012.
The Museum of Printing in North Andover, Mass. preserves the past of printing, primarily letterpress, but also has the only collection of phototypesetting systems in the world.