St Bride Library 125th Anniversary

by St Bride Library in London, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 14th December 2020 we successfully raised £62,720 ( + est. £3642.75 Gift Aid ) with 472 supporters in 43 days

Celebrating St Bride Library’s 125th anniversary and future-proofing our collections for another 125 years.

by St Bride Library in London, England, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

We will be able to develop our plans for digitising our collections, increasing the scope of what we can scan and put online in order that our audiences can access them anywhere in the world. 

Help us share the power of language!

St Bride Foundation is an independent cultural institute which cares for an internationally significant collection covering print, design and typography whilst working with the creative industries locally, nationally and internationally. Help us to reopen our building and celebrate the 125th anniversary of our Library.

Why we need your help

Despite the wealth of cultural and creative talent in the UK and the huge economic benefit of the creative industries, we are suffering from a crippling undermining of arts and culture – libraries around the country are closing, arts are being eroded from the school curriculum and museums and theatres are under huge financial pressures. With the added hardships brought about by the pandemic we are facing the irreplaceable loss of valuable spaces for our creative communities to meet, learn and thrive.

Securing our future 

We do not receive any core funding from the government – over 90% of our income comes from our venue hire and theatre with the rest generated through fundraising. More than ever, your generous support is vital to get us through these difficult times to ensure we can continue with our cultural offer and secure the future of our irreplaceable collections.

A thriving institute for the 21st century 

To mark the occasion of our Library’s 125th anniversary we wish to bring together our communities, wherever they may be, to celebrate our amazing print, design and typographic collections and create an optimistic future together. St Bride Library is striving to become a centre for research, inspiration, cultural connections and creative networks – a place for education and skills development.


125th anniversary of St Bride Library & Archive 

With this in mind, we want to focus on our anniversary in 2021 to achieve these ambitions and welcome you back, whether through the doors of our Victorian home or reaching out to our friends online. We will use your donations to strengthen and celebrate the future of our Library and Archive making our collections accessible to everyone. This will include:

  • Providing opportunities for young people to gain work experience in both our Library, Archive and Print Workshop to gain valuable skills and

    creative inspiration.

  • Developing new print and design workshops to inspire artists and develop the skills of the next generation of creative practitioners. 
  • Curating and filming a physical and online talk series featuring internationally renowned typographers, designers and print historians such as Matthew Carter to carry on the creative conversations. 
  • Curating physical and online exhibitions showcasing and interpreting our collections. 
  • Creating an online digitised collection of our unique treasures, so our communities can access them whenever they need to and wherever they may live. 
  • Continuing to conserve and catalogue our irreplaceable archives of print and typography to open up research.

We will be able to continue to programme creative activities, showcase and support the talent of our print and design communities and further develop our aspirations to become a cultural hub for designers, printers and the arts. Please help us continue to build on this work so our London home and the history it houses can continue to flourish, supporting the people and organisations who rely on us for their work and inspiration.

Who we are and what we do

St Bride Library has one of the world’s most remarkable and irreplaceable collections of books, archives and artefacts documenting and celebrating the history of print and design. We exist to tell the story of print, providing creative inspiration for the communities of designers, printers, artists and the public who bring life to our building and library collections.


Vital to the creative industries

Within the eccentric maze of our Victorian building you can create original artworks on our treasury of historic printing presses, explore one of the largest collections of type specimens in the world (from the everyday digital typefaces you use on your computer to the big, bold, decorative lettering on billboards), or fire your synapses with our carefully curated programme of talks. We revel in revealing and interpreting the power of language, from the design of a single letter to the pulling of a printed page.


Internationally significant collection

Amongst its unique treasures, our library houses rare 15th century books printed by William Caxton, original woodblocks by Robert Gibbings, artwork for Edward Johnston’s London Underground designs and scale models for Margaret Calvert and Jock Kinneir’s UK road signage. It holds over 200 special collections and many physical objects from the history of printing and type-founding.


Sharing the power of language

Visitors, like you, use our collections for inspiration, research, family history and source material. More than this, our Library is a creative hub for kindred spirits and for our communities to meet, share knowledge and let serendipity play its part in their work and practice.


Thank you from us all . . .

St Bride Foundation is a small family of staff and volunteers led by a volunteer Board of Trustees. Thank you for listening to our story so far and thank you for your amazing support. It will make a huge difference and allow us to continue our work for more years to come.

We look forward to welcoming you through our doors when once again it is safe to do so. Please stay safe in the meantime. 

The St Bride Foundation Team 


This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£10 or more

St Bride Enamel Pin Badge

St Bride Enamel Pin Badge. Your name included on our 125th anniversary virtual supporters wall.

£20 or more

A set of custom postcards

A set of custom postcards. Your name included on our 125th anniversary virtual supporters wall.

£30 or more

St Bride Tote Bag

An environmentally friendly, long-handled, cotton tote bag with the wording ‘We Are Type’ and the St Bride Library logo. Your name included on our 125th anniversary virtual supporters wall.

£50 or more

Your name immortalised on our anniversary poster

Your name immortalised on a 125th anniversary poster created in our print workshop to be hung in St Bride Foundation before entering into our archive in perpetuity. Your name included on our 125th anniversary virtual supporters wall.

£50 or more

A denim printers apron

A denim printers apron with embroidered logo ‘We Are Type’ (one size). Your name included on our 125th anniversary virtual supporters wall.

£100 or more

22 of 50 claimed

‘We Are Type’ letterpress poster

A limited edition bespoke poster with ‘We Are Type’ and your name printed by our workshop team on our historic presses. Your name included on our 125th anniversary virtual supporters wall.

£360 or more

3 of 5 claimed

Group printing workshop or tour/talk

Voucher* for a bespoke half day printing workshop or behind the scenes tour/talk about our collections for up to 6 people (standard price worth £400). Your name included on our 125th anniversary virtual supporters wall. *vouchers are valid for two years from 1st January 2021.

£675 or more

0 of 6 claimed

Stanley Donwood Print (£75 saving)

Stanley Donwood’s print Fleet Street Apocalypse. The print area – 25" x 38" (640mm x 970mm approx), and paper size – 30" x 44" (760mm x 1120mm approx). 97 x 64 cm linocut More info: Your name included on our 125th anniversary virtual supporters wall.

£1,000 or more

Official sponsor of St Bride 125th Anniversary

Named as an official sponsor/supporter of our 125th anniversary celebrations – you will be personally identified as a sponsor on relevant marketing material including our website. Your name included on our 125th anniversary virtual supporters wall and 125th anniversary poster. A goody bag with a pin badge, custom postcards, tote bag, denim printers apron and greetings card print of Stanley Donwood's 'Fleet St. Apocalypse'.

£100 or more

11 of 11 claimed

Voucher* for one of our taster workshops

Voucher* for one of our taster workshops - includes bookbinding, engraving and adana letterpress (Standard price worth £120). Your name included on our 125th anniversary virtual supporters wall. *vouchers are valid for two years from 1st January 2021.

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