There’s Still Time to Visit the Exhibit of Alphabets

Michael Knies, Special Collections Librarian at the University of Scranton’s Weinberg Memorial Library, oversees the exhibition of alphabet and penmanship samples. Image courtesy of The Times Leader.

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.