Skip to main content

Type specimen pamphlet collection

Identifier: CSC-0029

Scope and Contents

The Type specimen pamphlet collection consists of promotional pamphlets for typefaces which were issued by type foundries to show typefaces' character sets, different weights or variations, and ideas for usage. North American and European typefaces are included in the collection, such as those from American Type Founders Corporation, Intertype, and International Typeface Corporation in the United States; Monotype Corporation Ltd. in the United Kingdom; Deberny et Peignot in France; Società Nebiolo Torino in Italy; and D. Stempel AG and Bauer in Germany.


  • Creation: 1930 - 1980

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.


18 Linear Feet (38 boxes, 496 folders)







The collection consists of nearly 500 type specimen pamphlets from North American and European type foundries.


The collection is organized alphabetically in folders by the name of the typefaces. Each folder is marked by three letters, which represent the first three letters of any typeface name, since many faces could share similar names. For instance the typefaces "Trajan" and "Trajanus" would both be filed in the "TRA" folder.

Other Finding Aids

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

Type Specimen Pamphlets

Custodial History

Several professors in the RIT School of Print Media assembled the specimen pamphlet collection during the mid- to late-twentieth century, for use in teaching typesetting and typography.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

A donation from Archibald Provan, circa 2000, forms the bulk of the collection. Additional specimens have since been added.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Cary staff, date unknown. Finding aid encoded from catalog record by Ella von Holtum in April 2020.

Type specimen pamphlet collection
In Progress
Cary Graphic Arts Collection
Ella von Holtum
April 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cary Graphic Arts Collection Repository

Rochester NY 14623 US
(585) 475-2408