Guide to the Research Collections
This is a strong collection, which has always been of interest to the library. The collecting policy is comprehensive. There are approximately 7,000 references to the subject in the Public Catalog, including numerous cross-references to related subjects. The periodical collections are substantially complete, both historically and on a current basis, with long runs of such titles as El arte tipográfico
(1908- ), Inland Printer
(1883-1958), and the British Printer
(1888- ). About 75 international periodical titles are currently received, including publications from Asian and South American countries. The book collections contain excellent holdings on the history of printing and of individual printers. Bibliographies in the field are particularly well represented, both
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in the general collections and in the Rare Book Division; the holdings of the latter are more complete and reflect the division's excellent Americana resources.
Several hundred fonts of old-fashioned type faces were presented to the library in 1957 by the Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation, Inc., forming a rich and welcome addition to the small number of existing collection of this kind in the United States. The collection had been acquired by Mr. Pforzheimer from his friend Elrie Robinson, "The Horse and Buggy Printer" of St. Francisville, Louisiana. Nearly all of the fonts are previously unavailable Old Faces of the later nineteenth-century style; there are also 1,440 cuts, borders, and ornaments. A card catalog of the type faces is on file in the Printing Office in the Central Building, with a set of proofs of the cuts, borders, and ornaments. The collection itself, housed in the Central Building, is not available for public inspection except by special arrangement. Proofs may be obtained from the library's Printing Office; there is a small fee for the production of proofs.11
Rare Book Division maintains a collection of fifteenth-century type facsimiles, consisting of 21 file boxes of specimen pages of printing, including material from the Type Facsimile Society, the Burger Monumenta, and similar institutions arranged in folders by city of origin. The division also holds a small but select collection of books on typography and fine printing given by Philip Hofer in 1938.