The house where Christophe Plantin, lived and worked, and where he died in 1589, was turned into a museum in 1877. The house is in a remarkable state of conservation and is largely intact, making it a unique site for presenting the history of printing and typography since the 16th century. The buildings and collections were included in UNESCO's World Heritage List in 2005.
At its peak, the Plantin firm had over twenty presses and one hundred employees.
At its peak, the Plantin firm had over twenty presses and one hundred employees. In addition to printing equipment, the museum has a unique collection of several thousand punches and type matrices. These represent the work of punch-cutters such as (for the sixteenth century alone) Claude Garamont, Robert Granjon, François Guyot, Pierre Haultin, Ameet Tavernier, Guillaume I Le Bé and Hendrik Van den Keere.
The museum's matrices include those for Guyot's roman typefaces. In addition, the museum has a great many type specimens and proofs. In 1905, a booklet of original typefaces printed from their punches was published. The British typographer Frank Hinman Pierpont was inspired to design a Garalde, which appeared in 1913 under the name Plantin. During the course of the 20th century, this revival was considered by some designers, Pierre Faucheux among them, as being more faithful to the original 16th century typefaces than some others that were marketed under the name of Garamond.