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Frederic W. Goudy Collection

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 25 Feb 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 letterpresses. 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.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Frederic W. Goudy Collection consists of original artwork, bibliographies, correspondence, memorabilia, printed material, writings, and a few miscellaneous items.

Artwork contains original sketches of decorative borders, letters, titles, and assorted other items.

Two typescript Bibliographies, one from the Chiswick Book Shop, the other evidently produced by a student for a class at Syracuse University, list various Goudy items.

The bulk of Correspondence is outgoing from Goudy. There are several from Goudy to Leslie Marchand, Professor of English at Rutgers University, and an assortment of other letters. One, from Goudy to Sherman, concerns the development of his Sherman font (1912).

Notable in Memorabilia are the birthday tributes to Goudy and the folder of items commemorating the 35th anniversary of the Village Press. Many of these are from fellow artists and craftspeople, and are elegant and beautifully-designed letterpress pieces. This series also contains clippings about Goudy and others, programs from dinners held for Goudy, photographs (most of Goudy himself, but also a framed photo of his studio, Deepdene), and miscellaneous letterpress and commercially published pieces about Goudy.

Printed material contains Goudy type proofs and type specimens, items printed by the Village Press and Marchbanks Press, and pieces from other printers either designed by Goudy or using Goudy typefaces. The Village Press items are, where possible, identified with the numbers given by Melbert B. Cary in his A bibliography of the Village Press.

Type contains a complete set of the Sherman typeface and a few pieces of Village type.

Writings contains articles, essays, forewords, and other pieces written by Goudy. Formats include handwritten manuscript, printed (some by the Village Press, some by other presses), and published.

Miscellaneous items include handmade paper possibly made from one of Goudy's shirts and an assortment of miscellaneous publications.

Arrangement of the Collection

Except for the clippings about Goudy and Goudy's published writings, which are arranged chronologically, all material is arranged alphabetically.


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

In our manuscript holdings, see also the David Norton Collection relating to Frederic Goudy and the Charles Pont Collection relating to Frederic Goudy for additional bibliographies and research material about Goudy. 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.

Subject Headings


Goudy, Bertha, 1869-1935.
Goudy, Frederic W. (Frederic William), 1865-1947.

Corporate Bodies

Cary Graphic Arts Press.
Marchbanks Press.
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)
Clippings (information artifacts)
Drawings (visual works)
Manuscripts for publication.
Programs (documents)
Type specimens (documents)
Typefaces (Type forms)


Type designers.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Frederic W. Goudy Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Some items gifts of Lyle Spencer, Elizabeth Sherman Engelhart, and Ersel L. Janis. Additional items purchased, 1943-present.

Table of Contents





Printed material