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Cathy Dillon research papers

Identifier: CSC-0128

Scope and Contents

The Cathy Dillon Research Papers consists of the notes and research compiled by Cathy Dillon, the donor of the collection Photoengravings used in The Inland Printer, circa 1918-1937. The majority of the items in the collection are photocopies of sticky notes, facsimiles created due to the condition of the adhesive on the original notes. Accompanying the notes are print-outs and photocopies of documents that support her findings, as well as 3x5” photographs of how the aforementioned collection was previously organized during her research. The research was conducted after Dillon had acquired the photoengraving blocks, in an effort to identify both the images depicted on the blocks, and in which issues of The Inland Printer they appear. The research links the images not only to the aforementioned publication, but also to The Printing Art, a printer’s trade journal that ran from 1903-1925.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 2012 - 2013

Biographical / Historical

Cathy Dillon acquired a collection of photoengraving blocks in 2012, and while they were under her charge, attempted to determine both the image depicted on each block, and to which issue of The Inland Printer the images appear in.

The “Bullen Blocks” are Printer’s Blocks from the 1920’s. I have been told by a knowledgeable source that these images may be reproduced using old ‘letterpress’ equipment.

The bulk of the ATF library is at the Columbia University Butler Library of rare books and manuscripts. Some of the library was sold off separately, before Columbia’s purchase in the 1930s. The ‘Bullen Collection’ at Columbia includes some treasures and truly rare examples. …

Perhaps this box of blocks was left behind or never included. I suggest that these represent Bullen’s personal favorites—as few of them appeared not only in The Inland Printer; but also in articles that appeared in another trade publication—“The Printing Art” in 1918.

The ‘Of a Certain Age’ [Dillon’s antiques shop] “Bullen Blocks” were acquired by me in a barter agreement: in 2012, in return for helping to clean out the basement of Mr. D. Squires, who passed away in 2006, we agreed I could keep or sell the carton of printing blocks. Mr. Squires worked at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC, and left behind a very interesting assortment of items.

The images were extremely difficult to identify, but some clearly were labeled “Bullen” in loopy handwriting, in pencil, with a month and year on the back. A special block, quite heavy, wrapped up in extra newspaper was the bookplate of the ATF library. …

The work of matching up the images with the issues of ‘The Inland Printer’ in which they appear was done by me, working mainly with computer print outs from Hathi Trust and Google books. The matching issues were purchased in June 2013 from Mr. Scott DeWolfe of DeWolfe and Wood booksellers in Alfred, Maine.

Topics include: Plantin, Gutenberg, Coster, Bruce, Feyrabendt, Tory, Bowyer, Cave, Ratdolt, Konig, Morris, DeVinne, Hoe, Benton, Updike, Goudy, Franklin, Oxford, Saur, Clephane, Banned books, libraries, machines, Larmessin’s Printer’s Costume.


3 Box(es)




The Cathy Dillon Research Papers consists of the notes and research compiled by Cathy Dillon, in an effort to identify the photoengraving blocks housed in the collection, Photoengravings used in The Inland Printer, circa 1918-1937.


The notes are organized by the month/year of the issues the notes correspond to. Notes pertaining to unidentified blocks are located in the “Hopkins & Blaut 1880s” and “Unidentified Blocks” folders. General information regarding the collection and context prepared by Dillon are contained in the folder marked “General.”

Other Finding Aids

In addition to this finding aid, an inventory is available below. For more information, please contact the Cary Graphic Arts Collection.

Cathy Dillon Research Collection

Lauren Alberque
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Cary Graphic Arts Collection Repository

Rochester NY 14623 US
(585) 475-2408