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The Documentation Center

The museum’s documentation center is a wealth of iconographic ressources with more than 5,000 works about the history of printing, of book and paper, a hundred series of periodical publications, 20,000 specialized documents, 3,000 illustrations and a digital library of 21,000 images. 

The documentary collection of the museum both continues and completes its permanent exhibition. When it comes to the history of printing and books, there is no clear distinction between document resource and the very stores of the museum. The documentary collection includes ancient and modern works whose interest stems both the shape and the content of the documents.

Many printed documents and their specific formatting and manufacturing features deserve to be paid close attention to, whether they be displayed in a showcase or exhibited in the permanent collection of the Museum : 18th and 19th century typography handbooks giving precious information on techniques, on the daily activity of workshops and on the text editing process ; these printed works by Didot, Audin or some commercial printer feature layouts, genuinely telling of the typographic uses of a time ; also, books composed in types designed by Granjon, Garamond, Fournier or Perrin who embody the very sources of the history of the block letter ; or else etchings and other illustrations which are an index both of their time and of the skillfulness craft of generations of engravers and printers. The same holds for the numerous ancient and modern documents which belong both within the museum’s showcases and in the libraries: manuals, type catalogues, composition models and collections of advertising works, bindings, etc.

Vue documentation

The documentation room holds numerous publications which represent work tools as well as research subjects : typography manuals, type specimens, graphic tools catalogues, technical studies, promotional documents.

The collection comprises reference works and periodicals which the Museum has acquired throughout its activity, as well as archives covering many specialized topics and coming from private donations. The documentation room is particularly well-stocked in terms of history of printing and graphic techniques in the 19th and 20th centuries; it also has an exceptional collection type catalogues and French typography handbooks.​​​​​​​

Specialized collections

Many specialized collections which cover various aspects of the graphic chain and offer wide resource unique in France.

Somme typographique

Transcription numérique du sixième volume de la Somme typographique de Marius Audin consacrée aux imprimeurs lyonnais.

Practical information

The digital catalogue of the documentaion center is available on Lyon Municipal library's website. In the advanced research parameters, choose Musée de l'imprimerie among the library options.

​​​​​​​Access to the Documentation center of the museum is possible by appointment only. It is open from Monday to Thursday, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, and on Fridays, 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

Tel: 04 37 23 65 36