History

St Bride Library was opened in 1895. It was both a technical library and printing school; the school eventually moved out and is now the London College of Communication.

The view from St Bride, 1899

From the beginning the Library served the printing trade but was also a great collection of typographic literature that incorporated the library of William Blades, master printer and author of a study of William Caxton. Other important collections were added, including those of Talbot Baines Reed, a type founder and historian, and John Southward, a technical print journalist. These initial purchases gave the Library the basis of an excellent compilation of early printing, as well as unrivalled collections of catalogues, prospectuses and specimens.

William Blades

William Blades

Printing and beyond