Scotland’s Printing Industry Heritage

The Scottish Printing Archival Trust was formed in 1988 to conserve ‘knowledge and examples of Scotland’s printing heritage for the benefit of the public and print/media education’.

The Trust promotes interest in the history of the Scottish printing industry, which is one of Scotland’s oldest. Walter Chepman and Androw Myllar established their press near what is now Edinburgh’s Cowgate, and the first dated printed book from the press was printed on 4th April 1508.

Printing spread slowly through Scotland, and by the middle of the nineteenth century had become one of its most significant industries.

The Trust does not hold any archival collections itself, but works with various institutions to ensure that printing archives and artefacts are not lost.


Current activities

Thanks to the generous sponsorship of the John Watson Foundation, the Trust is currently planning a programme of events to encourage interest in the heritage of Scotland’s printing industry.

The first of these, highlighting the important place of Edinburgh’s Old Town in the development of Scotland’s printing industry, is a joint event in association with the Scottish Local History Forum. Walk & talk – Edinburgh Print Trail, takes place on Thursday 9 June, and bookings can be made through the Forum’s website or by downloading a booking form.

News of further events will be posted as soon as possible.


PuMechanical to digitalblications

The Trust publishes books on the Scottish printing industry, most recently Mechanical to Digital Printing in Scotland by the late John Gennard, charting the 100 year history of the Scottish print employers’ organisation, in association with Graphic Enterprise Scotland.

You can buy any of the Trust’s publications through our online shop or download an order form to order offline.

For more information about any aspect of the Trust’s work, please contact the Honorary Secretary, or use the contact form.

Material from this website should not be reproduced without permission.