Enjoy the latest installment of Arts & Culture Along the el Camino Real:
The Shakespeare Press Museum offers a collection of rare equipment and early examples of printing that spans 150 years of California printing. Printing scholar Laura Sorvetti shares the history behind the type.
ARTBOUND | KCET
The Shakespeare Press Museum is not a rumination on Romeo and Juliet but rather a working 19th-century printing museum located at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. The museum’s collections are behemoths of a forgotten era of printing: metal and wood type, printing presses, and a library containing early examples of printing in California and the West. The museum’s pioneering beginnings originate with Charles “Shakespeare” Palmer, whose private collection of printing presses and type were donated to Cal Poly in 1964. (A predilection for poetry earned Palmer his Shakespearian nickname in high school.) The California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) campus adopted Palmer’s moniker and the museum was named in his honor, officially dedicated as the Shakespeare Press Museum in 1966.