Via Dominique at the Petit Champignacien Illustré: The non-profit association graphê is trying to drum up support for their online petition, which asks the French state to preserve the collection and archives of the Imprimerie nationale (the national printing works), an institution that has existed since 1539 and whose premises are currently being sold off:

The historic collection it holds - due to be so dispatched - is a unique, priceless testimony of the history of the written form, from the 16th century to the present. It includes the Cabinet des poinçons, or Punch Room, holding hundred of thousands of letterform and character punches, for both western and oriental scripts; functional workshops - a foundry, presses for typography, lithography and copper-plate engraving work, stitching and binding - as well as a library with over 30,000 volumes, and the archives of the State printing works. Set up in 1539 by King Francis I, at the same time as the Collège de France, the national center of academic excellence, this collection stands as the memory of specialized know-how and expertise, and as a center for creation, now fated to disappear if its continued survival is not ensured.

Typography and its history and know-how don’t have a lobby, not even in such a relatively history-conscious place as France. The petition text is online in 26 languages.

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