Sources of Victorian era Type Specimens other than Jan Tholenaar?

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

Surely we all know about "Type: A Visual History of Typefaces and Graphic Styles" based on the specimen collection of Jan Tholenaar and edited by Cees De Jong.


I Want More!

oldnick's picture

My entire type specimen and lettering book collection now resides at the University of Virginia library, so I can't give you exact details, but…

Someone (Taschen, perhaps?) published a gorgeous two-volume set of specimen book samples from the mid-1800s through the 1960s, with much WOW! stuff in the set…

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

That may be the books based on Tholenaar's collection.

BTW, bravo on the book donation

Nick Shinn's picture

Reproductions of letterpress specimens aren’t Type Specimens.

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

Uhhh.. OK... If I change the name of the thread to "Sources of Reproductions of Victorian era Letterpress Specimens other than Jan Tholenaar?" would you list some sources?

I wonder if there isn't some library somewhere in Europe that has like every type specimen ever made or something...?

Nick Shinn's picture
Very interesting book, but the quality of reproductions is poor.

Nineteenth Century Ornamented Types and Title pages (Faber & Faber 1938, 1951, 1976), By Nicolette Gray:
Sure it’s expensive, but one thing you’re paying for is the fact that the reproductions are made from line blocks, size as.

Google book:
This really demonstrates the problem with reproductions, there is nowhere near enough resolution, never mind the flatness of the image.

I think you would be better to go to a rare-book library, they are likely to have a type specimen section.

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

Thank you, Nick.

I know there can be problems with reproductions, but anything is better than nothing. I'll take it anyway I can get it.

oldnick's picture

Gray’s book was among those I donated to the UVA library. The University of Maryland in College Park houses the Maurice Annenberg collection of type specimen catalogs, which is quite extensive. The New York Public Library is supposed to have a large collection of specimen books, also, but I haven’t seen it.

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