The history of books as a subject of a museum exhibition: the Museum of Printing in Lyon
The Museum of Printing in Lyon was not accidentally created in a city which boasts a rich, centuries-long tradition of the typographic art. The first workshops were set up here in the 15th century on the crest of a wave of Lyon’s financial growth, which was so dynamic that the city quickly became one of the main centres of European printing. The Museum was organised in the 1960s by Henri-Jean Martin, at the time an employee of the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. Martin also prepared the museum’s permanent exhibition which can still be seen today, virtually unchanged. (A detailed list of objects from parts 1 and 2 of the exhibition dealing with printing in the 15th to 18th centuries, together with explanations, can be found on the website of Roczniki Biblioteczne – Library Annals). The museum also has active cultural and educational programmes, trying to adapt to the interests of contemporary visitors, especially young visitors, in collaboration with schools, universities, other museums and libraries. It publishes numerous publications and regularly organises special exhibitions as well as lessons and demonstrations. The example of the Lyon museum encourages questions about the sense, form and possibilities of the exhibition art in general, and reflections on the lack of a similar institution in Poland, an institution that could, in a professional and interesting manner, present “book as a history”, not focusing solely on printing techniques.