Type Archive, Stockwell, London

The largest and most valuable collection of type founding equipment in Britain. 

The Type Archive has been based in Stockwell since 1994 and has two main buildings and a collection of smaller outbuildings. It first opened as a veterinary hospital in 1897 and has Victorian cobbles throughout, including on the first floor. 

The Type Archive is run by the Type Archive Trust which leases the property and is made up of three trustees who are all skilled at using the original equipment. The Type Archive is an active institution which manufactures type matrices for letterpress printing and runs an apprenticeship scheme to preserve these unique skills. 

The Trust’s vision is to purchase and develop its existing premises in Stockwell so it can hold exhibitions for the public and expand the apprenticeship scheme. A café, small shop and exhibition space will provide new revenue streams. 

We became involved with the Trust in 2012 and have worked with it to strengthen its capacity for fundraising and managing the site. Since then there has been an application for the Type Archive to become a community asset for Lambeth, meaning ownership would transfer to the community because of its potential and significance. The local government has also given a 10k prefeasibility grant to help the Trust to look at their common assets and the appropriate next steps. We have recently advised the Trust on its architect's plans for a new vault in the building.