Exploring Printing History at The Newberry

The Newberry Library’s archive of printing history is rather special and has been documented online since June, featuring everything from type specimens and catalogues, to posters and direct mail. It’s also accompanied by some astute commentary, making it one of the most interesting print and type blogs around

From a supplement to Morgan Press’ Wood Type Catalog, 1960s

The Newberry Library‘s archive of printing history has been documented online since June this year, featuring everything from type specimens and catalogues, to posters and direct mail. It’s also accompanied by some astute commentary, making it one of the most interesting print and type blogs around…

Founded in 1887 The Newberry is an independent research library in Chicago which offers its readers an extensive  collection of “rare books, maps, music, manuscripts, and other printed material spanning six centuries.”

The Exploring Printing History at the Newberry blog was brought to our attention via a tweet from @Monotype (who in turn credited @Okaytype and @Rebeletter).

The site is part of a Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) funded project called Printing Specimens (1605-present) at the Newberry Library, an initiative which aims to shed light on the institutions “hidden collection” of type and printing material “both beautiful and homely, of all periods.”

From a supplement to Morgan Press’ Wood Type Catalog, 1960s

From Établissements Nicolas Liste de Grands Vins (1950), printed by Draeger Frères, with illustrations by R. Harada

From a catalogue from Bauer Type Foundry and Bauersche Giesserei advertising Bernhard Brushscript and Bernhard Cursive, designed by Lucian Bernhard

“This is a two and a half year project to catalog and process over 29,800 items that are part of the Newberry’s John M. Wing Foundation on the History of Printing,” the site explains.

“The Wing collection is one of the world’s oldest and largest specialised collections on book arts and printing history. This project will provide access to a large assemblage of primary source materials dating from 1605 to the present, both books and ephemera, which serve as specimens of printing at every period.”

A selection of some our favourite images from newberryprinting.tumblr.com follows.

Tempo Light and Bold (1931), another take on the Tempo typeface from Ludlow

Illustration of the four-colour printing process from Advertising Production: A Manual on the Mechanics of Newspaper Printing (1946) by Ben Dalgin

A Few Suggestions for Ornamental Decoration: a Collection of Designs & Colour Schemes for Painters’ & Decorators’ Work (1908) contains not only suggestions for decorative work, but samples of Thos. Parsons & Sons tints, paints, and varnishes

L’Art de Boire: Préparer, Servir, Boire (1927) written by Louis Forest, illustrated by Charles Martin, and published by our  Établissements Nicolas as part of their Monseigneur le Vin series. Full series is here
The CLIR Cataloging and Hidden Special Collections and Archives program is made possible through funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

See newberryprinting.tumblr.com.

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