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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.

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Remembering Apollo 11, Honoring Glynn S. Lunney H’71

Today is the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, so it seems like a good day to honor NASA flight director Glynn S. Lunney H’71. A native of Old Forge, Lunney graduated from Scranton Prep and studied at the University of Scranton before receiving his B.S. in aerospace engineering from the University of Detroit.

Check out the full citation for his 1971 honorary doctor of laws degree in our digital collections! If you’re on campus, you can also browse through some newspaper clippings about his appearance and address at undergraduate commencement that year.

Hey! You! Get into our (Dura)Cloud!

The Weinberg Memorial Library’s got a brand new cloud – and unlike Mick Jagger’s, on ours, not even two terabytes are a crowd. Thanks to our new partnership with DuraCloud, the master files from our digital collections are now being preserved in … Continue reading






Celebrating Our Towns: Lackawanna County Centennial Books and Community Histories

Our friends over at the Lackawanna Valley Digital Archives (LVDA) have just announced a new digital collection of local history materials: Celebrating Our Towns—Lackawanna County Centennial Books and Community Histories is a collection of books honoring Lackawanna county towns, townships, … Continue reading






Gifts for Archivists: Zaner-Bloser Moleskine Notebooks

Many thanks to ArchiveGrid Blog for including our custom-printed Zaner-Bloser Moleskine Notebooks on their list of “24 Fun and Practical Gifts for Archivists”! We’re proud to share a blog post with these nifty Oinx microfiche necklaces and Green Market’s “The … Continue reading






This Week in University History: The Attack on Pearl Harbor and the Effect it had on the University of Scranton.

A series of events leading to the Jesuits taking on both the administration and ownership of the University of Scranton occurred 72 years ago this week.  At the time, the Christian Brothers were running the U, but with the almost … Continue reading






Acts of Faith: University’s 125th Anniversary Celebrated in Times-Tribune

The Scranton Times-Tribune dedicated a special insert in today’s Sunday Times to the University’s 125th Anniversary celebration – with lots of great photos from the Times-Tribune files as well as images from our own University Archives digital collections. Check out the Times-Tribune … Continue reading