Frederic W. Goudy Collection
Scope and Contents
This collection consists of materials relating to the work and life of printer, artist, and type designer Frederic W. Goudy, and, in particular, his relationship with Scripps College. The materials include print copies, manuscripts, typescripts, drafts, and proofs of his writings and speeches; original drawings, tracings, patterns, and layouts by Goudy of various types, bookplates, lettersheads, monograms, and ornamented initial letters; and samples of various types designed by Goudy. The collection also contains materials published by the Village Press, founded and operated by Goudy and his wife, Bertha M. Goudy, from 1903 until its destruction by fire in January 1939. These works include broadsides, handbills, and other short works, as well as proofs and imperfect printer's sheets of sections of several larger works. The Village Press materials also include keepsakes of the "Pilgrimage to Deepdene", the celebration of the 35th anniversary of the founding of the press, held at Marlborough, New York, on 23 July 1938.
The collection contains examples of printings utilizing Goudy type by presses other than the Village Press, in particular the Aries Press, Earl H. Emmons' Maverick Press, and the work of Howard Coggeshall. In addition, the collection contains printed keepsakes and tributes to Goudy, primarily on the occasion of his birthday; and periodical and newspaper articles and short monographs written about Goudy, including a substantial number of obituaries, appreciations, and tributes published in the years immediately following his death in 1947.
The materials documenting Goudy's relationship to Scripps College include manuscript letters (1938-1949) from Goudy to Denison librarian Dorothy M. Drake, as well as the original drawings, cardboard patterns, rubbings, lead sheets, and matrices Goudy created for the Scripps College Old Style type, and first proofs of the type, pulled and annotated by Goudy during his visit to Scripps College in September 1941.
Materials relating to Bertha M. Goudy include an original drawing of a border designed by her, and two photographs of her.
Photographs in the collection include images of Goudy by Doris U. Jaeger (1919) and Clarence H. White (1923); photographs of the cascade and Goudy's house and workshop at Deepdene, Marlborough, New York, prior to the fire of 29 January 1939; Goudy in his cloth work hat (one of which is part of the collection); formal portraits of Goudy in academic rRegalia; Goudy and his favorite cat, "Marmlade"; and snapshots of Goudy taken during his September 1941 visit to Scripps College.
- 15th century-1979.
- Majority of material found within 1923-1947.
- Goudy, Frederic W. (Frederic William), 1865-1947 (Creator, Person)
Language of Material
The materials in the collection are in English.
Restrictions on Access
This collection is open for research with permission from Ella Strong Denison Library staff.
All requests for permission to publish must be submitted in writing to Denison Library.
Frederic William Goudy was born in Bloomington, Illinois, 18 March 1865, the son of John Fleming Gowdy (who later changed the spelling to the traditional Scotts “Goudy”), superintendent of schools in Bloomington, and Amanda Melvina Truesdell. Goudy began his life as an independent adult as a cashier and bookkeeper for a department store in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1888; shortly afterwards he moved to Springfield, Illinois, and then to Chicago, where he held a number of bookkeeping positions, visiting bookshops, meeting bibliophiles, becoming acquainted with the Arts and Crafts movement (in particular, the work of William Morris’s Kelmscott Press), and learning printing and typography on the side. In 1895, in collaboration with Cyrus Lauron Hooper, Goudy established the short-lived Booklet (later renamed Camelot) Press, and obtained the commission to print the second volume of the fortnightly magazine, The Chap Book, published by Stone and Kimball, which was widely praised for its fine design. In 1896, after the collapse of the press, Goudy designed his first typeface for commercial use, Camelot, purchased by Dickinson Type Foundry in Boston. In 1897, he married Bertha M. Sprinks, and in 1899 finally set himself up as a free-lance designer. In 1903, together with his wife and Will Ransom, Goudy set up the Village Press, in Park Ridge, Illinois. The venture was modeled on the Arts and Crafts movement ideals of William Morris, and utilized a typeface, Village, originally created that same year for the Chicago clothing manufacturer, Kuppenheimer & Company. The first work printed was a reprint of “Printing”, an essay by William Morris and Emery Walker originally published in Arts and Crafts Essays by Members of the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society (1899). Goudy soon bought out Ransom, and moved the press, first, in 1904, to Hingham, Massachusetts, and in 1906 to New York City, where, in January 1908, all Goudy’s equipment and designs was destroyed by fire. The Goudys revived the press in 1912, moving it the following year to a house on Deepdene Road, Forest Hills Gardens, Long Island, where it remained until 1923, when it was removed to a property, renamed “Deepdene” by the Goudys, in Marlborough-on-Hudson, New York.
Goudy was the third most prolific designer of metal type in the United States, with 122 designs completed, and 90 typefaces cut and cast. His earliest was Camelot (1896); his first significant typeface was for the Lanston Monotype Machine Company, E-38, sometimes known as Goudy Light (1908). In 1911, Goudy produced Kennerley Old Style and Forum, the former for the H. G. Wells anthology, The Door in the Wall and Other Stories, published by Mitchell Kennerley. Both were highly successful, and brought him to the attention of the American Type Founders Company (ATF), who commissioned him to design what became known as Goudy Old Style, which was an instant success upon its release in 1915. ATF expanded the “Goudy family” of types, using in-house designers, into the late 1920s, but Goudy received no profits from these later designs, as he had sold the copyright for a flat fee, and had not entered into a licensing agreement. Goudy then entered into a relationship with Lanston Monotype, for whom he served as art director from 1920 to 1940, and for whom he designed a number of types, including Garamont (1921), one the most popular during his lifetime. However, he retained his independence as a type designer, accepting commissions from foundries, corporations, institutions, and individuals, and from 1926 onwards, he cut the matrices for all his types at his Village Press and Foundery at Deepdene, until a fire in January 1939 destroyed his equipment, designs, and several of his completed types. Despite the loss, Goudy continued to design, although at a much reduced rate, until his death. He was also a prolific lecturer, who was reputed to seldom turn down an invitation to speak, and the author of 59 works, including The Alphabet (1918), Elements of Lettering (1922), Typologia (1940), and the autobiographical A Half-Century of Type Design and Typography, 1895-1945 (1946). He died at Deepdene on 11 May 1947. His wife, Bertha, who had played a critical role as compositor for many of the publications of the Village Press, had predeceased him in 1935.
Goudy's connection to Scripps College began in the summer of 1938, during a visit to California to consult with the University of California on the type (University of California Old Style) he was designing for them. A business friend in Los Angeles, who was also a friend of Scripps librarian Dorothy M. Drake, was called away unexpectedly, and asked Drake to entertain Goudy. This began a friendship and extensive correspondence that lasted until Goudy's death in 1947. Goudy returned to California on University of California Press business in May 1939, and addressed a convocation at Scripps. By the summer of that year, Goudy and Drake were corresponding about a special type design for Scripps College; the earliest surviving drawing for this type is dated 31 July 1939. Goudy originally proposed a fee of $2850 for the type, but later settled for $1000. Scripps College president Ernest Jaqua authorized Goudy to proceed with the casting of the type in February 1941; the money was provided by Mrs. Catherine Coffin Phillips, California author, and grandmother of a member of the Scripps College class of 1941. In June 1941, the Class of 1941 presented its class gift, the Washington hand press on which Ward Ritchie had learned to print; Goudy visited the college in September for the formal presentation of his type. In 1944, the college commissioned Goudy to design an italic to accompany the roman type; Goudy had just finished designing and cutting the patterns for this type at the time of his death in 1947. The original drawings, patterns, and matrices were secured for the college by Joseph Arnold Foster, who had joined the Scripps faculty in 1946, to teach Humanities, American Literature, and printing.
Bernard Lewis, Bruce Rogers, Frederic W. Goudy, Behind the Type, The Life Story of Frederic W. Goudy (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1941).
Judy Harvey Sahak, Dorothy Drake and the Scripps College Press (Claremont, California, 1992).
16 linear feet. (22 boxes.)
Print items, proofs, typescripts, manuscripts, patterns, correspondence, photographs, memorabilia, ephemera, and other materials relating to the work and life of printer, artist, and type designer Frederic W. Goudy (1865-1947) and, in particular, his relationship with Scripps College. The materials include print copies, manuscripts, typescripts, drafts, and proofs of writings and speeches by Goudy, and original drawings, tracings, patterns of types, bookplates, lettersheads, monograms, and ornamented initial letters designed by him. The collection also contains broadsides, handbills, and other materials published by the Village Press, founded and operated by Goudy and his wife, Bertha M. Goudy, from 1903 until 1939; keepsakes of the "Pilgrimage to Deepdene", the celebration of the 35th anniversary of the founding of the press (1938); examples of printings utilizing Goudy by presses other than the Village Press, in particular the Aries Press, Earl H. Emmons' Maverick Press, and the work of Howard Coggeshall; printed keepsakes and tributes to Goudy, primarily on the occasion of his birthday; and periodical and newspaper articles and short monographs written about Goudy, including obituaries, appreciations, and tributes published in the years immediately following his death in 1947. The materials also include the original drawings, cardboard patterns, rubbings, lead sheets, and matrices Goudy created for the Scripps College Old Style type (both Roman and Italic faces), and first proofs of the type; a small number of materials relating to Bertha M. Goudy; photographs; and one of Goudy's cloth work hats.
This collection is arranged in the following 14 series:
Ella Strong Denison Library.
The collection was begun in approximately 1941 with donations to Denison Library from Frederic W. Goudy, supplemented by his correspondence, 1938-1947, with Denison librarian Dorothy M. Drake. The collection received further donations from Phil Townsend Hanna and Professor Joseph A. Foster in 1947; from Frances E. Duvall--a music teacher, former Pomona College student, and Goudy's amanuensis in the last years of his life--between 1947 and 1950; and from Norman H. Sprouse in 1981.
No addition to the collection is anticipated.
Processed by Michael Palmer, MLIS, with the assistance of Evelyn Gonzalez, Ella Strong Denison Library, January-April 2016.
- Goudy, Frederic W. (Frederic William), 1865-1947
- Printers--United States
- Printing--United States--History--20th century
- Scripps College. Press
- Type and type-founding--Specimens
- Type and type-founding--United States--History--20th century
- Type and type-founding--United States.
- Type designers
- Typefaces (Type evidence)--Goudy Scripps
- Drake, Dorothy M. (Dorothy Margaret), 1904-1999 (Correspondent, Person)
- Duvall, Florence E. (Florence Elizabeth), 1903-1971 (Donor, Person)
- Foster, Joseph A. (Joseph Arnold), 1905-1987 (Donor, Person)
- Strouse, Norman H. (Norman Hulbert), 1906-1993 (Donor, Person)
- Guide to the Frederic W. Goudy Collection
- Michael P. Palmer, MLIS
- 22 April 2016
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- The finding aid is in English.