The collection of project Letter-Kunde started in the 1970 ies with a treadle press and a rack of type. The intention was to publish historical research and interesting historical documents. In those days, using what is now called ‘letterpress’ was still very common. The guidebook to follow was John Ryder’s ‘Printing for Pleasure’. Still a good read.
Alas, after setting my first page, or attempting to, I soon feel short of characters. The type I bought came from a commercial printer, who used it to set business cards. A lot of interesting founts, but not enough.
This lead to a query to fine more equipment, mostly type. Alas, in Belgium at that time, print shops still had a lot of material, but did not want to part with it. Unless, if things got urgent, you had to come and take it away today, or ultimately tomorrow. And you had to take ‘everhting’… A story many ‘collectors’ will confirm.
Soon after, when the internet got more in to use, all of a sudden, everything came available. Being under the impression that everything was rare, I felt I needed to save as much as possible.
As time went by, and the original urge to research print history again, the collection turned out to be the base for an industrial-archaeological approach to print history. See research page.
And as for the printing, that became important again in the new millennium, for which I refer to the Press pages.