Celebrating 125 years of the Scottish Braille Press

Posted: 28/09/2016 | ,

An exhibition, which describes the development of Braille and celebrates 125 years of The Scottish Braille Press, will launch next month at Central Library, Edinburgh.

Our story begins in France, and a chance meeting on the streets of Paris in 1874 provides Valentine Hauy the inspiration to devise a tactile system of printing embossed books for blind and partially sighted people.

Scottish Braille Press exhibition posterValentine Hauy founded the first school for the blind in Paris, which welcomed a young, promising student from Coupvray called Louis Braille in 1819, who would later devise a tactile system of reading and writing, based on a cell of six raised dots, titled Braille.

In 1890, The Royal Blind School established a Printing Department where the printing and binding of documents in Braille was carried out by pupils. Building upon its early momentum the printing press continued to expand production and introduce new titles and magazines to blind and partially sighted people both in the UK and overseas.

Demand for high quality Braille documents continued to rise, and the newly rebranded Scottish Braille Press moved into a new building in 1953 as a means to meet demand and improve efficiency. Since then, the Scottish Braille Press has introduced large print and audio formats responding to technological advancement and the evolving demands of blind and partially sighted readerships.

Learn more about our story and view a collection of historic Braille machines and artefacts by visiting our exhibition at Central Library, Edinburgh from Wednesday 12 October 2016 to Friday 28 October 2016.