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David M. Norton Collection on Frederic W. Goudy

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 25 Apr 2012

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.

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.

Arrangement of the Collection

Alphabetical. Large items are in oversize folders.


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 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.

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.

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.

Table of Contents

Printed material