Restoration II: Sorting & Imaging

From crate to archive - sorting our heritage types

When the heritage types were re-discovered, some of the individual pieces of movable type – known as sorts – had fallen out of their cases and had to be gathered up (or as I like to imagine, ‘harvested’) from the ground. These loose sorts were then packed in bags within two yellow plastic crates, the kind you usually see brimming over with produce at farmers’ markets, and driven from Pukekohe, Auckland to Wai-te-ata Press, Wellington.

The first steps of sorting feel like Christmas morning: when we open up a bag, we have no idea what’s in it! One bag might be full of Chinese characters, another full of blank metal pieces used for spacing. No bag is the same, and it’s a surprise each time.