Collection inventory

Special Collections home page
printer friendly version

Frederic W. Goudy Collection

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Title: Frederic W. Goudy Collection
Inclusive Dates: 1905-1966
Quantity: 1.25 linear ft.
Abstract: Correspondence, printed material, writings, bibliographies relating to the American type designer and printer.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Frederic W. Goudy (1865-1947) was an American printer and type designer of more than 120 fonts, among them Copperplate Gothic, Kennerley, and Goudy Old Style. Frederic's wife Bertha M. Goudy worked closely with him and was a noted graphic designer in her own right. Both Frederic and Bertha were self-taught.

With Will H. Ransom, Goudy founded the Village Press in 1903, an Arts and Crafts venture similar to those of William Morris in England. In addition to his independent work Goudy was the art director for Lanston Monotype for more than twenty-five years (1920-1947). In 1940 Goudy was appointed a lecturer at Syracuse University's School of Journalism; today Fine Arts students at SU have access to the Frederic W. Goudy Typographic Laboratory and its three letterpresses. Goudy's studio at Marlborough-on-Hudson, a converted mill he christened Deepdene, was the site of an annual "pilgrimage" by typographers as well as the namesake for Goudy's Deepdene typeface.

Return to top

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Frederic W. Goudy Collection consists of original artwork, bibliographies, correspondence, memorabilia, printed material, writings, and a few miscellaneous items.

Artwork contains original sketches of decorative borders, letters, titles, and assorted other items.

Two typescript Bibliographies, one from the Chiswick Book Shop, the other evidently produced by a student for a class at Syracuse University, list various Goudy items.

The bulk of Correspondence is outgoing from Goudy. There are several from Goudy to Leslie Marchand, Professor of English at Rutgers University, and an assortment of other letters. One, from Goudy to Sherman, concerns the development of his Sherman font (1912).

Notable in Memorabilia are the birthday tributes to Goudy and the folder of items commemorating the 35th anniversary of the Village Press. Many of these are from fellow artists and craftspeople, and are elegant and beautifully-designed letterpress pieces. This series also contains clippings about Goudy and others, programs from dinners held for Goudy, photographs (most of Goudy himself, but also a framed photo of his studio, Deepdene), and miscellaneous letterpress and commercially published pieces about Goudy.

Printed material contains Goudy type proofs and type specimens, items printed by the Village Press and Marchbanks Press, and pieces from other printers either designed by Goudy or using Goudy typefaces. The Village Press items are, where possible, identified with the numbers given by Melbert B. Cary in his A bibliography of the Village Press.

Type contains a complete set of the Sherman typeface and a few pieces from an unidentified typeface.

Writings contains articles, essays, forewords, and other pieces written by Goudy. Formats include handwritten manuscript, printed (some by the Village Press, some by other presses), and published.

Miscellaneous items include handmade paper possibly made from one of Goudy's shirts and an assortment of miscellaneous publications.

Return to top

Arrangement of the Collection

Except for the clippings about Goudy and Goudy's published writings, which are arranged chronologically, all material is arranged alphabetically.

Return to top


Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Return to top

Related Material

In our manuscript holdings, see also the David Norton Collection relating to Frederic Goudy and the Charles Pont Collection relating to Frederic Goudy for additional bibliographies and research material about Goudy. The library has many Goudy-related books and monographs cataloged in our Rare Books holdings and in the general collection; please refer to the Classic Catalog for a complete listing. There is also a complete case of Goudy type, presently (2009) located on the sixth floor of Bird Library in the Lemke Seminar Room.

Return to top

Subject Headings


Goudy, Bertha, 1869-1935.
Goudy, Frederic W. (Frederic William), 1865-1947.

Corporate Bodies

Marchbanks Press.
Village Press.


Graphic design (Typography) -- United States.
Letterpress printing -- United States.
Printing -- United States -- History.
Printing presses -- United States.
Private presses -- United States.
Type and type-founding -- History.
Type designers -- United States.
Typesetting -- History.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Manuscripts for publication.
Programs (documents)
Type specimens (documents)
Typefaces (Type forms)


Type designers.

Return to top

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Frederic W. Goudy Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Some items gifts of Lyle Spencer, Elizabeth Sherman Engelhart, and Ersel L. Janis. Additional items purchased, 1943-present.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: MRC
Date: 25 Feb 2010
Revision history: 9 Sep 2014 - addition P-14-200 (MRC); 17 Feb 2017 - additions, moved/rehoused Type as separate series (MRC)

Return to top


Box 1 Borders, decorative
Box 1 Letters
Box 1 Titles
Box 1 Miscellaneous
Box 1 Chiswick Book Shop undated - typescript, titled "List 55"
Box 1 Fraser, Robert S. 1966 - typescript; evidently created for a class at Syracuse University
Box 1 Cody, Sherwin 1935 - discusses his work practices at this point in his career
Box 1 Marchand, Leslie / Rutgers University 1939-1941, 1946
Box 1 Miscellaneous 1905, 1907, 1909, 1912-1913, 1935, 1938, 1946, undated
Box 1 Birthday tributes to Goudy 1932, 1935, 1937, 1940-1942
Box 1 Clippings about 1924, 1933-1936, 1939-1943, 1945, 1947, undated
Box 1 Clippings about others 1957
Box 1 Dinner programs 1929, 1941, undated
Box 1 Photographs undated - photos of Goudy, Syracuse University medal; also includes reproduction of photo of Deepdene (3 folders)
Box 1 Village Press 35th anniversary 1938
Box 1 Printed - various items privately printed, for or about Goudy
Box 1 Published - booklets with material about Goudy, list of items from a 1966 exhibition at Syracuse University, prospectuses for two of Goudy's books, more
Printed material
Box 1 Goudy type proofs
Box 1 Goudy type specimens
Box 1 Marchbanks Press
Village Press
Box 2 Cary numbers, C-56 to C-231 - not inclusive, there are numerous gaps in the sequence
Box 2 M numbers, M-13 to M-25 - not inclusive, there are numerous gaps in the sequence
Box 2 Miscellaneous
Box 2 Various printers, items designed by Goudy
Box 2 Various printers, using Goudy typefaces
Box 2 Miscellaneous unidentified
Box 3 Sherman type, complete set (2 folders)
Box 3 Unidentified type, incomplete
Box 2 Manuscript undated - "The Author's Apologia" and the foreword to "Fashions in American Typography" by Edmund Gress
Box 2 Printed 1939, 1944, undated
Box 2 Published 1924, 1926, 1936, 1940, undated
Box 2 Paper, handmade - twelve sheets of a handmade laid paper with a watermark of "FWG 1947," possibly from Charles Pont estate; originally in a large mailing envelope labeled "FWG 1947 paper from shirt"
Box 2 Publications - reprints of articles, an auction catalog, a newsletter from the Syracuse Club of Printing House Craftsmen, etc.

Return to top