WOOD TYPE and Specimen Collections
Wood type has become increasingly scarce but thanks to the assistance of several collections for access to original specimen books and actual type, we have been able to augment the materials found in the vast collection of the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum and find things that might otherwise be impossible to reference. It is the cumulative result of reference to these additional resources that has made the project yield some truly lost treasures ready for re-introduction to the digital age. In no particular order, we would like to acknowledge the generous assitance of:
It goes without saying that the primary source for all of the fonts that are part of the digital HWT collection are from the historic legacy of Hamilton Mfg. Co., but even more noteworthy is the working museum that in the last few years has become internationally renown for its engaging workshops and highly accessible collection of rare wood type fonts and the patterns used in the production of wood type. The digital wood type project was initaited by artistic director Bill Moran as one of his visionary approaches to making the collection known to a wider audience. Executive director Jim Moran oversees the many challenges of day-to-day operations while still finding time to travel extensively to promote the museum. Assistant director Stephanie Carpenter posesses both the skills of an organized manager and a great printer. A great team!
The Cary Collection at RIT is one of the country's premier libraries on graphic communication history and practices. Melbert B. Cary, Jr. was president of Continental Type Founder Association and had amassed a sizable personal collection of printer's manuals and type specimens. The collection also includes over 300 wood type fonts, most shown in their Specimen Portfolio. Endless thanks are due to Assistant Curator Amelia Hugill-Fontanel for ongoing research assistance on this project and many other P22 type foundry projects.
The Newberry and specifically the Newberry’s John M. Wing Foundation on the History of Printing is one of the world’s leading collections in its field. Before the Hamilton Wood Type Museum was formed, the Hamilton company donated its typographic specimen book collection to the Newberry. Special thanks to Wing curator Paul Gehl for guidance and assistance.
Through the focused dilligence of David Sheilds (design curator of the Rob Roy Kelly American Wood Type Collection at the University of Texas, Austin), this important collection of 160+ pre-1900 wood type fonts has been given a new level of access and research into the identification and manufacturing processes that was previously unknown. Rob Roy Kelly's 1969 book: American Wood Type, 1828–1900 is still considered the most comprehensive overview and history of wood type.
The singular vision of letterpress afficionado Paul Aken is a massive collection of presses and type. Not a traditional museum in any sense of the word, but a walk through with Paul can be one of the most educational lessons in letterpess printing lore anyone may ever experience. Visits are by appointment only.
A non-profit community printshop, gallery and book arts center in Buffalo NY that was formed by P22 founders Richard Kegler and Carima El-Behairy as a way of preserving the history of printing and book arts. The functioning printshop contains hundreds of fonts and approximately 100 wood type fonts aquired from local printshops. This collection has proven to be extremely informative on details found in many of the fonts in progess for HWT.
A small yet tight printshop within the University of Toronto contains an incredibly large collection of over 400 wood type fonts and a specialized library on type and printing history.