Thanksgiving engrossing by J. F. Briley (b. 1869) with the poem “A Little Thankful Song” by Frank L. Stanton. From the Zaner-Bloser, Inc. / Sonya Bloser Monroe Penmanship Collection and Horace G. Healey Collection. (undated)
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 toss our hat into the ring. Earlier this week, we shared a University Archives coloring book and a Local History coloring book, but we’ve saved the best for last. Today’s coloring book features some gorgeous penmanship from the Zaner-Bloser, Inc. / Sonya Bloser Monroe Collection and the Horace G. Healey Collection, both preserved in our Helen Gallagher McHugh Special Collections. Featured at the end are works by Scranton’s own master penman P. W. Costello.
Penmanship Coloring Book (PDF)
The pages in the book were created using images from the Library’s digital collections, which were digitized from original artwork, publications, and albums.
Please note: We’ve edited the images to increase their “colorability.” In many cases, this process obscured some of the incredible detail and shading in the original work. We encourage you to explore the master scans (and the many, many other items in our collections!) at www.scranton.edu/library/zanerbloser.
We hope you enjoy our book, and we can’t wait to see what colors you bring to our collections!
One 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.
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 Archivist” scented candles.
As always, all proceeds from notebook sales benefit the preservation and digitization of our Zaner-Bloser Penmanship Collection.
Happy Thanksgiving to all, from your friends at the Weinberg Memorial Library! We’ll be on reduced hours for the holiday:
Wednesday, November 27: 8:00am – 4:30pm
Thursday, November 28: CLOSED
Friday, November 29: CLOSED
Saturday, November 30: CLOSED
Sunday, December 1: 12:00pm – 11:30pm
This holiday season, the Weinberg Memorial Library is selling a new line of limited edition Moleskine® notebooks, inspired by the calligraphic and ornamental masterworks preserved in the Library’s Zaner-Bloser Penmanship Collection.
Featured on each notebook is “The Proud Art Shall Conquer,” a peacock flourish by master penman Fielding Schofield (1845-1924). Schofield’s work references the motto of 19th century professional penmanship journal The Teacher of Penmanship:
“The Proud Art of Beautiful Writing Shall Conquer the Hearts of All Men.”
On campus, the notebooks are available for purchase at the Weinberg Memorial Library‘s 1st floor Circulation desk for the price of $20.00 per set (cash or check). Off campus, the notebooks are available for order at $20.00 per set plus shipping and handling. You can either fill out and send in one of our order forms (to pay by check) or contact our Special Collections library at 570-941-7002 to put in a credit card order.
All proceeds benefit the care, preservation, and digitization of the Zaner-Bloser Penmanship Collection.
These Moleskine® Large Cahier notebooks are 5″ x 8.25″ with 80 acid-free pages and are packaged in sets of two — one in black with ruled paper, and one in craft with blank paper. Graphic artist April Francia, a University of Scranton sophomore double majoring in Political Science and Philosophy, created the notebook covers and decorative paper bands (as well as the Zaner-Bloser Collection logo) by manipulating digitized images of ornamental penmanship in Adobe Illustrator.
(Updated November 15, 2012 with off-campus ordering information)
It may be 90 degrees outside today, but we’re too excited to wait until December to share our latest project – letterpress printing our Library Christmas card!
Back in 2010, the Zaner-Bloser Company donated a rich collection of 19th and early 20th century penmanship materials to the University of Scranton Weinberg Memorial Library’s Special Collections. In addition to original artwork by the masters of the Golden Age of Penmanship, the collection also includes some of the printing blocks used to publish their work.
We’ve partnered with Samantha Urbanick of Clarks Summit-based letterpress studio Hand Deliver Press to put some of those printing blocks back in action.
Our first project, the Library’s 2012 Christmas card, uses a Zaner-Bloser printing block from Christmas 1912. The block is based on a pen and ink drawing by master penman E. L. Brown and was used in the publication of the December 1912 issue of the professional penmanship journal The Business Educator.
The exhibit of alphabets from the Library’s Zaner-Bloser Penmanship Collection is currently on display through April 5th in the 5th Floor Heritage Room of the Library.
Want to learn more about the exhibit? Mary Therese Biebel from The Times Leader recently wrote an article about her visit to explore the alphabets, If you’d grown up in the late 1800s with a steady hand, artistic skill and perhaps the ability to not upset your inkwell too often, those attributes might have led you to a career.
About 70 alphabets are on display, and they provide a rare look at the art of American ornamental penmanship from the 19th and early 20th centuries, which very few people continue to pursue. In fact, during her visit Bielbel interviewed Special Collections Librarian Michael Knies who noted that “some college students did not learn cursive, and they’re unable to read correspondence from the 19th and 20th century.”
So stop by the exhibit and brush up on your ABC’s! You can also browse through the alphabets online in the Library’s digital collection of alphabets from the Zaner-Bloser Collection.