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David M. Norton Collection on Frederic W. Goudy

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Title: David M. Norton Collection on Frederic W. Goudy
Inclusive Dates: 1933-1984
Quantity: 1 linear ft.
Abstract: American type designer and printer. Collection includes specimen sheets, broadsides, metal type, and portraits of Goudy
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Frederic W. Goudy (1865-1947) was an American printer and type designer of more than 120 fonts, among them Copperplate Gothic, Kennerley, and Goudy Old Style. Frederic's wife Bertha M. Goudy worked closely with him and was a noted graphic designer in her own right. Both Frederic and Bertha were self-taught.

With Will H. Ransom, Goudy founded the Village Press in 1903, an Arts and Crafts venture similar to those of William Morris in England. In addition to his independent work Goudy was the art director for Lanston Monotype for more than twenty-five years (1920-1947). In 1940 Goudy was appointed a lecturer at Syracuse University's School of Journalism; today Fine Arts students at SU have access to the Frederic W. Goudy Typographic Laboratory and its three letter presses. Goudy's studio at Marlborough-on-Hudson, a converted mill he christened Deepdene, was the site of an annual "pilgrimage" by typographers as well as the namesake for Goudy's Deepdene typeface.

David M. Norton (1923- ) is an American printer. A graduate of Syracuse University, he has worked for Martin Merz & Son, printers and bookbinders of Jamesville, New York, and for the Graphic Arts Department at Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Journalism.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The David M. Norton Collection on Frederic W. Goudy consists of printed material, memorabilia and a small amount of metal type.

Printed material consists of a wide range of broadsides and specimen sheets, all in various Goudy typefaces, most printed by David Norton at the Frederic W. Goudy Typographic Laboratory at Syracuse University's School of Journalism. The content of the broadsides is primarily quotations, including at least one from Goudy, but there are also speech excerpts and a copy of the Hippocratic Oath.

Memorabilia contains articles and clippings about Goudy and his work, three oversize portraits of Goudy, a type design poster, and a plaster relief of Goudy and his wife. The type design poster is three-dimensional and shows the various steps in designing and cutting a typeface.

Two small sets of Type complete the collection. One is a set of decorations designed and cut by Goudy, and which may be the only extant set, and other box contains three lines of type for the "Village Press" title banner.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Alphabetical. Large items are in oversize folders.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

The collection originally contained a number of books and monographs, some about Goudy and others printed in, or as examples of, Goudy typefaces. These have been removed from the collection and transferred to Rare Books for cataloging. Please refer to the Classic Catalog and search on "Gift of David M. Norton" to locate these items.

In our manuscript holdings, see also the Frederic W. Goudy Collection. The library has many Goudy-related books and monographs cataloged in our Rare Books holdings and in the general collection; please refer to the Classic Catalog for a complete listing. There is also a complete case of Goudy type, presently (2009) located on the sixth floor of Bird Library in the Lemke Seminar Room.

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Subject Headings


Goudy, Frederic W. (Frederic William), 1865-1947.
Norton, David M.

Corporate Bodies

Village Press.


Graphic design (Typography) -- United States.
Letterpress printing -- United States.
Printing -- United States -- History.
Printing presses -- United States.
Private presses -- United States.
Type and type-founding -- History.
Type designers -- United States.
Typesetting -- History.

Genres and Forms

Broadsides (notices)
Type specimens (documents)
Typefaces (Type forms)


Type designers.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

David M. Norton Collection on Frederic W. Goudy,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of David M. Norton, 2009, 2013-2015.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: MRC
Date: 25 Apr 2012
Revision history: 14 Sep 2012 - bio corrected (MRC); 26 Sep 2013 - adds, M13-116 (MRC); 14 Sep 2015 - adds, M14-111 and M15-051 (MRC); 12 Jul 2017 - additional broadsides (MRC)

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Printed material
Oversize 2 Broadsides
Most of these were printed by David Norton. Items include a testimonial by Dean Lyle Spencer on occasion of a dinner for Goudy, quotes from Goudy and Spinoza, an excerpt from Lincoln's second inaugural address, the Hippocratic Oath (old form), and so on.
Oversize 2 Massachusetts Spy or, American Oracle of Library (reproduction)
A facsimile reproduction of number 219 of volume five the Massachusetts Spy or, American Oracle of Library for 3 May 1775 with its reproduction of the inscription maintaining that "This News-paper is the first Thing ever printed in Worcester" and with the reproduction of the signature of Isaiah Thomas. Originally donated to the School of Journalism by Dr. Paul M. Paine.
Oversize 2 Oeuvres de Montesquieu 1826
One sheet, printed by Jules Didot Ainé in Paris in 1826. Page is set in types shown in Pierre Didot's Spécimen des Nouveaux Charactères of 1819. The 'g' and 'y' of this face are especially distinctive.
Oversize 2 Specimen sheets - includes one labeled "The Lost Goudy Types"; see also Memorabilia : Articles, clippings etc. below for commercially-printed specimens
Oversize 2 Articles, clippings, etc. about Goudy and Goudy type 1935-1977 (gaps) (2 folders)
Items include Type & Presse No. 11, "Hope Fades for Fred Goudy Deepdene Shrine" as well as articles from The Inland Printer and other typography journals. There are also advertisements from printers featuring Goudy typefaces and/or mentioning Goudy.
Oversize 1 Plaster relief of Goudy and his wife, by Goudy 1933
Oversize 2 Portraits of Goudy 1932-1938 (gaps) (5 items)
  • Original etching by Alexander Stern, 1938
  • Reproduction of charcoal(?) by Eberhardt, 1932
  • Photograph by Willard Hughes, signed and inscribed by Goudy to Syracuse University Dean of Journalism Lyle Spencer, 1936
  • Photographic portrait of Frederic W. Goudy dated 26 Sep 1935, signed and inscribed by Goudy
  • Engraved portrait of Frederic W. Goudy, 1938(?)
Oversize 2 Tribute to Bertha Goudy, by Frederic Goudy 21 Jun 1936 - final manuscript draft in ink with pencil corrections of Frederic W. Goudy's formal printed tribute to his wife, Bertha M. Goudy, given to Dean M. Lyle Spencer of the Syracuse University School of Journalism on 8 August 1936
Oversize 3 Type design poster, "How Frederic W. Goudy Designed Type" - large poster, showing stages of type design from sketch to final printed specimen; Garamont [sic] 12 pt; created by David Norton
Oversize 1 Collection of type ornaments designed and cut by Goudy
Oversize 1 Box with three lines of set type, one of which is the title for "The Village Press"

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