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William Addison Dwiggins Collection

A description of his collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: LMD
Date: 24 Mar 2010

Biographical History

William Addison Dwiggins (1880-1956) was an American book designer, type designer, and graphic artist. He was a leading book designer in the 1920s and 1930s.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The William Addison Dwiggins Collection contains a typewritten manuscript for publication with handwritten corrections. The text is an essay Dwiggins wrote for the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) entitled "Notes on the Structure of a Book," which was used as an introduction to their 1927 publication of Fifty Books of the Year. The AIGA held an annual "Fifty Books" competition to select the best designed books of the year and displayed them in cities across the country. They also regularly published catalogs of the winners, including the 1927 edition which included Dwiggins' introduction.

The collection also includes correspondence between Dwiggins and W. Arthur Cole, who was president of the AIGA at the time. The letters discuss Dwiggins' essay and its use in the book.

Arrangement of the Collection

Items are in chronological order.


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.

Related Material

The library holds a number of the Fifty Books of the Year exhibition catalogs, including the 1927 edition with Dwiggins' introduction.

Subject Headings


Cole, W. Arthur (William Arthur), b. 1887.
Dwiggins, W. A. (William Addison), 1880-1956.

Corporate Bodies

American Institute of Graphic Arts.


Graphic arts -- United States -- Exhibitions.
Printing -- United States -- Exhibitions.

Genres and Forms

Manuscripts for publication.


Book designers.
Type designers.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

William Addison Dwiggins Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Table of Contents

Typescript and Correspondence