Thursday, April 17, 2014

Libraries and manuscript collections

Ohio is known for its libraries and extensive collection. Each library, special collection, archive, and museum has its specialty and its focus. Of course, the state also has its famous book people. Otto Ege is the most famous and infamous of librarians I can think of. An art historian and book collector, he is most known for his collections of leaves, that is disbound manuscript leaves, sold to libraries throughout the country. Otto Ege is once again in the RB news, this time in the Manuscript Road Trip blog which features not only Ege's work, but the numerous libraries in Ohio that own sets of his leaves. Kent State University, Ohio State University, and Dennison University have sets of these leaves and librarians and historians at Dennison (in Granville, OH) have been studying the leaves, trying to reconstruct the original manuscript books.   Dr. Scott Gwara of South Carolina published a book recently entitled Otto Ege’s Manuscripts: A Study of Ege’s Manuscript Collections, Portfolios, and Retail Trade with a Comprehensive Handlist of Manuscripts Owned or Sold. His book is an extensive bibliography of the manuscripts; the work of many years.

Numerous efforts are in the works to digitally reconstruct broken manuscripts. Other projects revolve around documenting early printed books in the US. The 2014 update to the Directory of Institutions in the United State and Canada with Pre-1600 Manuscript Holdings (compiled and edited by M. Conway and L. F. Davis) has been uploaded to the Bibliographical Society of America website:
Keep an eye on the rare book listservs and blogs to stay abreast of news in the field.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Types and Typefaces

I must admit I've been neglecting this blog of rare and special books.
Today I came across a short post that fits within the topic of 20th century printing featuring a book called Types and Bookmaking Containing Notes on the Books Printed at the Southworth - Anthoensen Press  Within this magnificent tome readers will see examples of printing types. The book is reminiscent of Bruce Rogers (1870-1957) Paragraphs on Printing. 

As with any book about type, the reader sees specimens of type faces along with paragraphs or text that shows the type in context. A marvel to behold, librarians and book lovers can use these books to train their eyes to differentiate different type faces. Need to compare with another similar typeface? Look at Daniel Berkeley Updike's  Printing Types, their history, forms, and use: a study in survivals.