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I appreciated reading the discussion about Accurate glyphs for Romanian diacritics. Especially the (so far) last post by Florin Florea, to me, raises a crucial issue: How helpful are samples that are contemporary and of typefaces that are not of, in this case, Romanian origin?
Couldn't typophiles whose languages use of diacritics or "special" character -- including non-Latin scripts like Cyrillic -- search local libraries for historical documents and show scans or photographs, together with bibliographical data?
Ideally, these documents would be pre-digital. Pre-Linotype/Monotype. Even better, manuscripts. Not only those that conform to what may be considered as good examples by current standards but also those that do not conform. Personally, I am particularly interested in the variety of possibilities.
Since many letters and diacritics are used in multiple languages, I think that there is no way around a certain amount of compromise. But with some background at hand one could at least make informed decisions. ;-)
Comments and samples are most welcome!