Printing Collections
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Printing Collections in Scotland


The collections exhibited on this website are predominantly held by the City of Edinburgh Museums.  For more information about the collections we hold relating to printing please see our Gallery page.  However, it is our intention that this site should be used as a starting point for those interested in the history of printing in Edinburgh.  To this end we are working in conjunction with the National Museum of Scotland and the National Trust to highlight their collections and to ensure that all the collections relating to printing history are accessible.

Robert Smail's Printing Works A unique example of Scotland's industrial heritage in the form of a fully operational Victorian Letterpress Printing Works in the Borders town of Innerleithen.  This National Trust property includes original shop, office, paper store, caseroom and machine room.  The museum is still producing commercial work today.

National Museum of Scotland The National Museum hold extensive collections which trace the industrial heritage of the printing industry in Scotland.  On display in the Chambers Street Museum is a Columbia printing press, made in Edinburgh in 1865, and the world's first successful rotary press, invented by Thomas Nelson in Edinburgh in 1850.  Also on display relating to the papermaking industry in Edinburgh is a scale model of a fourdrinier papermaking machine.

This site should hopefully provide a jumping off point for access to information about printing history in Scotland.  If you know of any resources that are not mentioned within the site please email us at and we will add information to the site.