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[BKARTS] Typefaces of the 16th and 17th Century



This summer while on a residency in Southern California, I had the 
opportunity of viewing books published in and about the 16th and 17th Century at several 
libraries, The Getty Research Institute, and The William Andrew Clark 
Memorial Library. I'm developing a letterpress edition, designed in the style of the 
16th Century.

To research at The Getty, it's necessary to write ahead for access to their 
Special Collections.   and The Getty had numerous illustrated books.   The 
staff was extremely enthusiastic and helpful. It was exciting to notice the paper, 
marks, age discoloration and the look of the type and printing. This summer 
The Getty Research Institute had a fine exhibit, The Artist Turns to The Book 
from their collection of Artists' Books. Exhibit closes on September 11th.

The William Andrew Clark Memorial Museum, in the LA area, is a walled oasis. 
As part of the Clark Trust, they were unable to add any buildings, therefore 
the book vaults are underground. The Clark Library staff is welcoming, and it 
didn't take long to walk into the stacks and see several breathtaking books 
from the period, Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" and an extraordinary illustrated 
book about birds. Noting the page designs, placement of type, the bibliography 
placed along the margins aside the text inspired a redesign of my book's pages. 
They generously offered to send me photocopies of any pages I tagged. 

I was unable to gain access to The Huntington Library in Pasadena, which I 
understand has the finest collection of English books of the period. As my book 
is about Queen Elizabeth 1, (1533~1603) it was disappointing to be told that I 
was "not scholarly enough" to be admitted. On my trip across country, aboard 
Amtrak, I had the opportunity to meet a history professor at Smith, who told 
me a "scholar is someone who carries a briefcase!" You know what Woody Allen 
says!

At home, in New York City, the Lincoln Center Library and the New York Public 
Library at 42nd Street offer a wealth of books from the period as well. It's 
a privilege to sit in a quiet room, turn the pages of books printed almost 
five hundred years ago, to ponder their making and their adventures along the way 
to my hands.

You will find historically accurate typefaces at Crazy Diamond Design in the 
UK and available on line.Having compared, purchased and printed Crazy 
Diamond's "17th Century" font, I'm comfortable in saying that I feel the edition will 
have the look of the period.

The Getty Research Institute: www.getty.edu
The William Andrew Clark Library: http://www.humnet.ucla.edu/humnet/clarklib/
Crazy Diamond Design: http://www.crazydiamond.co.uk/
The Dancing Chancellor: http://tudorhistory.org/news/hatton.html

Cheers,

A L I C E * S I M P S O N
D A N C E M A R A T H O N
WEBSITE:www.alicesimpson.com


> From: Book_Arts-L on behalf of RFS
> Sent: Wed 9/7/2005 11:04 PM
> To: BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: [BKARTS] Very old letterpress printing
> 
> 
> I am hoping that the printing experts here can direct me to detailed web
> info on 17th century typesetting.
> 
> I have come across a volume of Latin religious tracts dated from 1661.
> (Cologne) I am fascinated by the regularity of the text which is in a =
> very
> small typeface. I haven't handled much material from the 17th century, =
> and
> am just wondering about the technical aspects of printing at that time.
> 
> I realize that this is a bit "off topic," but just hoped that one of you =
> had
> a historical interest that would send me in the right direction.
> 
> Thanks...Richard
> 
> 






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