Lancaster, PA

Heritage Press Museum - Keeping the Craft of Letterpress Printing Alive in Lancaster, PA

Melissa Frost

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Photo by Sara Melissa Frost

Located in the beautiful area of North Queen Street, you'll find Heritage Press Museum. Founded in 2004, this spot is a local gem in terms of letterpress history. Inside these doors, you get to basically step back in time to a recreated printing office from the 1920s and see demonstrations of working letterpress printing.

Hands-on demonstrations

The volunteers offer hands-on demonstrations for all ages where you get to print your own letterpress souvenirs to take home with you. Every now and then, the museum has attracted not only local but out-of-towners and international tourists to participate in one of their live printing history demonstrations on-site.

The local Boy Scouts club also complete their printing merit badge at the Heritage Press Museum. From time to time, local schools and educational institutions visit the museum to show students a history lesson outside of the classroom.

Name change

Depending on your age, you might know this museum by a different name. Before moving to North Queen Street, what was then known as The Heritage Center Print Shop Museum, was located at 5 W. King Street, Lancaster. When the Heritage Center closed a little over a decade ago, the Print Shop Museum was offered free space as part of Building Character downtown, which the museum gladly accepted. You can enter the museum from their main entrance, and with the establishment of this location and its name, Heritage Press Museum is still able to offer the community a place to visit and experience a historic treasure in the heart of Lancaster City.

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Photo by Sara Melissa Frost

The museum on North Queen Street is free to enter, but they state on their website that they appreciate donations or purchases of items printed at the museum.

Run by volunteers

The museum is fully run by volunteers from Lancaster's .918 Club, all of them with a passion for letterpress printing and for preserving the tradition by educating the local community.

The club includes men and women with a large variety of printing experiences. They all plan, design, and print jobs, as well as collecting donated equipment and restore it to working order. They always welcome new members with relevant experience, and people interested are welcome to join The .918 Club on one of their monthly meetups in the Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology Branch Campus Building, 1100 East Orange Street, Lancaster, PA.

For those that enjoy letterpress printing history, this museum is a must-see.

Address: Heritage Press Museum is located at 346 North Queen Street Lancaster, PA 17603.

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