Through the Eyes of P. W. Costello: Early Scranton Theatre

Note: This article is the first in a series highlighting the P. W. Costello and Family Art Collection, an online repository for digitized images of original and published artwork by master penman P. W. Costello (1866-1935) and his descendants. This … Continue reading






12,876 University of Scranton Records Now Available in the Digital Public Library of America

Last week at DPLAFest in Washington, DC, executive director Dan Cohen announced that the Digital Public Library of America had grown in its third year to include more than 13 million records. We’re proud to announce that 12,876 of those … Continue reading






Celebrate Scranton’s Charter Day with Coloring Pages!

This Saturday is Charter Day, Scranton’s celebration of the 150th anniversary of its incorporation as a city. There will be lots of events going on all day, but here’s another festive option for creative Scrantonians: Charter Day Coloring Pages! These … Continue reading






Color Our Collections: Penmanship

The library, archives, and museum world is abuzz this week with #ColorOurCollections, a weeklong cultural heritage coloring fest dreamed up by the New York Academy of Medicine and the Biodiversity Heritage Library. As coloring fans ourselves, we couldn’t help but … Continue reading






Color Our Collections: University of Scranton Archives

The library, archives, and museum world is abuzz this week with #ColorOurCollections, a weeklong cultural heritage coloring fest dreamed up by the New York Academy of Medicine and the Biodiversity Heritage Library. As coloring fans ourselves, we couldn’t help but … Continue reading






Scranton Family Papers Scanathon: Success!

As part of the City of Scranton’s yearlong 150th Anniversary celebration, the Weinberg Memorial Library hosted our very first Scanathon this weekend. In collaboration with the University’s Department of History and the student-run Royals Historical Society, along with community partners … Continue reading






Happy Birthday, Scranton: Kickoff to the 150th Anniversary Celebration

Tomorrow morning at 9:15 am, the City of Scranton will kick off its year-long Sesquicentennial Anniversary Celebration. Scranton was incorporated as a city on April 23, 1866, so next spring (April 23, 2016) will be the city’s 150th birthday. While … Continue reading






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Newly Digitized: Penman Photographs from the Zaner-Bloser Collection

Penman PhotographsOne of the most highly prized jewels in our Helen Gallagher McHugh Special Collections is the Zaner-Bloser Penmanship Collection, one of the most extensive collections of American ornamental penmanship from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Over time, we’ve been digitizing parts of the Zaner-Bloser Collection to make it more accessible to researchers and penmanship enthusiasts around the world.

We’re now happy to announce that more than 500 photographs of celebrated masters and instructors of penmanship from the Zaner-Bloser Collection are now publicly available online. The photographs (96 portraits of women and 453 of men) were gathered by Zaner-Bloser for publication in penmanship journals like the Business Educator. Few of the photographs are dated, but we estimate that most of them were taken between the early 1900s and early 1940s.

Some of the photographs are portraits of celebrated master penmen, including several members of Michael Sull‘s Penman’s Hall of Fame. Others are lesser known teachers and instructors, some of whom we weren’t able to identify (please contact us if you recognize them!).

None of these photographs would be online today were it not for Thomas W. Costello, who spent many hours carefully digitizing the portraits for us. Tom’s great-grandfather is Scranton’s own master penman P. W. Costello, who has three portraits in the collection. Tom described the photograph collection as a “wonderful, well-deserved tribute to the masters and many of the dedicated unsung heroes who worked under the radar teaching penmanship.” We couldn’t say it better ourselves. Thank you, Tom, for bringing the men and women behind the pen into the spotlight.