Edinburgh City of Print

Edinburgh City of Print is a 15 month initiative, completed and launched in January 2010, jointly funded by Museums Galleries Scotland and the AHRC. The project is a partnership between SAPPHIRE and City of Edinburgh Museums. SAPPHIRE has had a long working relationship with the City Museums in salvaging the industrial history of Edinburgh. The City of Edinburgh Museums has collected artifacts, while SAPPHIRE has collected oral testimonies and paper and photographic records of the history of the printing, publishing and allied industries in Scotland.

Edinburgh City of Print provides online access to the print and publishing collections of the City of Edinburgh Museums. Physical access to the collections is restricted by opening hours and the physical location of the objects in the Edinburgh City Museums stores. There is no current photographic record or detailed description of the wealth of material stored there. The physical size and nature of many of the artefacts prohibits their permanent display. Knowledge of how they were used is in danger of being lost as the industries in which they were common are swept away in the digital revolution. The project proposes to exploit the technology of that revolution to catalogue and provide a virtual display, including descriptions of working practices, of the City’s key collections in this area.

Online provision of a catalogue and more detailed descriptions will:

  1. provide 24-hour virtual access to the collections;
  2. promote widely the existence of the print and publishing collections;
  3. stimulate the curation of on-site exhibitions; and
  4. lead to an increase in visitors who wish to view the collections as physical artefacts.

For further information about the project please contact Sarah Bromage by email at sapphire@napier.ac.uk

This project is timely given the Scottish Executive’s designation of 2008 as the Year of the Printed Word and the celebrations throughout 2008 of 500 years of printing and publishing in Scotland.

Funded by

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