The Estonian Printing Museum hosts a collection of letterpress presses, typefaces and other printhouse machinery from mid-19th to late 20th century. The soul of the museum is however the activities in workshops, from printing your own postcard to working on a linocut art print. It does not matter what age you are or whether you can draw. As longs you know your ABC, there is a lot of ways to explore your creative side and learn something about the art of printing in the process.
Officially the museum is open Wednesday to Sunday, 11:00 - 18:00. But we are here at other times too, so do not hesitate to call or email us if you'd like to come any other time. We speak English, but will also manage in Russian and Finnish. If we know in advance, we can organise for Hungarian, German, French, Persian or Arabic to be spoken.
The museum started, as many good initiatives, not from long term planning, but rather of lucky coincidences. In the spring of 2004 a couple of well-known Estonian graphic artists and printmakers Reiu Tüür and Marko Mäetamm turned to us in Kultuuritehas Polymer in Tallinn – back then a newly established center for artists-in-residence, exhibition and performance platform. Their concern was salvaging equipment from an old printing workshop in the process of merging with a more modern company. More than 20 pieces of machinery including a large format cilinder press Victoria 1040 were moved over to their present location including a full set of wooden letters and Ludlow matrices. Printing of posters was continued with only a few weeks interruption spent on reassembling the equipment. Two ladies of the original personnel were transferred to the payroll of the museum, thus enabling the Printing Museum to claim non-stop continuation of the history of the original printing company started in 1633.
During its existence the museum has aquired several collections and separate pieces of letterpress machinery, other equipment and literature from discontinued printing factories, private collections of retired printers and other organisations.
In 2008 as a result of a large donation in the town of Tartu in southern Estonia an independent collection was established there in 2008.
As a legal body the Estonian Museum of Printing was established in 2010 by two private persons daily active in the managing and leadership of the museum.
42 Kastani, Tartu, Tartu maakond, 50410, Estonia