The University is pleased to announce that our substantial collection of Western Penman and American Penman journals has been digitized and is now publicly available online as a part of the Library’s digital collections. The Western Penman can be accessed here and The American Penman here.
Contained within the Library’s extensive Zaner-Bloser Penmanship Collection, the journal is one among many penmanship periodicals published during what is known as the “Golden Age” of penmanship, extending several decades before and after the year 1900. Austin Norman Palmer began The Western Penman in 1884. A contemporary and competitor of Charles Paxton Zaner (who would begin publishing his own journal, The Business Educator, eleven years later), Palmer created a simplified method of manuscript writing designed for speed and relying on muscle memory and whole-arm movement. Palmer’s technique contrasted with the more ornate Spencerian script that was the standard of the time. The insistence on speed, evidenced even in Palmer’s habit of closing letters with “Rapidly yours,” aligned perfectly with the growing American obsession with the automobile and his ideas were soon taught in schools across the country. In 1900, Palmer began publishing separate student and professional editions of The Western Penman. In 1906, the publication was renamed The American Penman and ran until 1938, resulting in a total of fifty-five volumes of issues.
The Library’s collection encompasses the entire span of the Penman’s life cycle, although some volumes and issues are missing. While a substantial amount of the Library’s penmanship journals, consisting mostly of the Penman’s Art Journal and the Zaner-Bloser publications, were digitized in 2010 by the Internet Archive as a part of the Lyrasis Mass Digitization Collaborative, the Western Penman and American Penman journals remained available almost exclusively in their print editions. In 2017, twenty-two bound volumes were digitized by Backstage Library Works. Our digital collection now contains 519 issues, with a total of 17,119 page images. The master TIFF image files, which are stored in our digital preservation repository, add up to 652 GB.
We extend our warmest thanks to all of those involved in the process of making these journals digitally available! They are sure to offer great value, both historically and artistically, to our Library’s users.
Below are examples representing various elements of the journal: examples of penmanship completed by students at a business school in Michigan, a page of exercises written by penman R. H. Robbins, and an excerpt from a detailed lesson by Palmer concerning his Muscular Movement technique. Palmer wrote that he considered his readers to be an “immense writing class” led by his teachings.
The Pennsylvania Historical Association’s annual conference begins tonight with a plenary session in the Heritage Room that will discuss the World War I exhibit currently on display. WBRE/WYOU-TV featured the exhibit in today’s broadcast, which can be viewed here: http://www.pahomepage.com/news/exploring-the-history-of-scranton/833696618.
The plenary session will take place in the Library’s 5th floor Heritage Room from 7:30-9:00pm. This event is free and open to the public. The exhibit will remain on display during normal library hours through Friday, December 8th. For more information, please email Special Collections Librarian Michael Knies, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 570- 941-6341.
Currently on display in the Library’s 5th Floor Heritage Room is the exhibit “Scranton and World War I.” The exhibit is a cooperative effort with the Lackawanna Historical Society in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Historical Association‘s annual conference which will be held at the Radisson Hotel from October 12 through October 14. The conference’s opening reception will take place on Thursday, October 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the Heritage Room. This event is free and open to the public. The exhibit is composed of World War I era materials that relate to Scranton from the Lackawanna Historical Society and The University of Scranton Archives, as well as materials from the Zaner-Bloser Penmanship Collection, the International Correspondence Schools of Scranton Collection, and the Visiting Nurse Association Collection.
The exhibit is on display during normal library hours through Friday, December 8th. For more information, please email Special Collections Librarian Michael Knies, email@example.com or call 570- 941-6341.
Each June, the Weinberg Memorial Library presents the University of Scranton Alumni Authors Exhibit. Covering a range of subjects, the exhibit presents the works of alumni who became nonfiction writers, novelists, children’s literature writers, and historians. The earliest alumnus featured … Continue reading
During the month of May, the Weinberg Memorial Library hosts its annual Faculty Scholarship Exhibit in the Library’s 5th floor Heritage Room. The exhibit features books and articles produced by University of Scranton faculty members since 2015. The exhibit, organized by academic department, provides an overview of the diversity and quality of scholarly accomplishments by the University’s faculty. For more information, please contact Special Collections Librarian Michael Knies at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 570-941-6341.
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A selection of rare materials from McHugh Special Collections is currently on view in the Library’s 5th floor Heritage Room. This week we are highlighting two fine art facsimiles from the exhibit “From Medieval to Modern”: The Book of Kells and The … Continue reading
A selection of rare materials from McHugh Special Collections is currently on view in the Library’s 5th floor Heritage Room. This week we are highlighting two recent special acquisitions from the exhibit “From Medieval to Modern”: a facsimile of La … Continue reading