The richness of its collections make the Musée de l’Imprimerie unique in France, and one of the great European museums in its field. It has been classified as a Musée de France since 2005, and it maintains close ties with international networks dedicated to the history of books, printing and graphic communication.
Located in the Hôtel de la Couronne, the site of Lyon's first town hall, the Musée de l’Imprimerie offers tour of the world of printing, from the first printers to the invention of photocomposition, with sections on books, objects, machinery, and rare and one-of-a-kind documents, all of which help the visitor to understand the history of graphic communication.
The Musée de l’Imprimerie offers tour of the world of printing, from the first printers to the invention of photocomposition, with sections on books, objects, machinery, and rare and one-of-a-kind documents.
Several rooms are devoted to the history of the printed image, from Gutenberg to the modern era.
The museum organises three exhibitions a year, and offers activities for all ages. Every Thursday morning, a former Linotype operator comes and works a linecasting machine from the 1900s. On certain Sundays, families are invited to watch a 19th-century hand press in action, or to observe an illuminator, calligrapher, illustrator, writer or typographer at work. Type designers offer chances to learn about characters and words.
The Musée de l’Imprimerie welcomes more than 12,000 student visits per year, from kindergartners all the way up to those studying graphic design at the university level. It also offers training courses and workshops in a number of areas, led by professionals from their respective fields (calligraphy, illumination, engraving, binding, illustration, typography, artists' books, etc.). Researchers may draw on a rich documentation centre on printing history and techniques, including digital resources thanks to the Ministry of Culture's national digitisation plan.