Penrith Museum of Printing hosts tour to commemorate Shakespeare’s first folio

The Penrith Museum of Printing is hosting an exclusive interactive tour on 26 October 2023 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the publication of Shakespeare’s first folio in 1623.

The tour, entitled “Experience the Living History of Printing”, will be held in cooperation with Alia Rare and the State Library of NSW.

Two 19th-century copies of the folio will be on show during the tour, one lavishly illustrated with images of Shakespeare and scenes from his plays. 

Attendees will experience the living history of printing in this live interactive tour and feel as if they have stepped back in time as they discover how, in the days of letterpress, books and newspapers were crafted by artisans in multiple trade disciplines.

The tour will include live demonstrations of hand and machine typesetting, as printing presses come to life. These include the 1841 Colombian Press that produced the SMH in the 1800s, the Wharfedale Press that printed the Nepean Times, and the 1939 Heidelberg Zylinder Automat that printed Australia’s last letter press newspaper, the Don Dorrigo Gazette (pictured above).

A ca. 1700 hand lever press, the closest to the type of press that would have been used to print Shakespeare’s folio in 1623, will also be on display.

Visitors will have the opportunity to create a movable text line of type, just as Johannes Gutenberg did in the mid-15th century. His invention revolutionised the production of books, as did the Intertype/Linotype hot metal typesetters of the early 1900s, two of which are on display.

Registration is essential as the museum’s capacity is limited to a group of 70. The tour will be conducted at the Penrith Museum of Printing on 26 October 2023 from 10:30 to 12:30.

To book this tour, click here.

Comment below to have your say on this story.

If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at  

Sign up to the Sprinter newsletter

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.