Facility Tour

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Reading Room View 1Reading Room View 2Reading ViewReading RoomReading RoomPrinting RoomPrinting RoomReading Room

Reading Room View One

Cary Collection staff teach about the history of printing with artifacts such as this 19th-century typecasting hand mold.

In addition to works on paper, the Cary Collection collects specimens of printing technology, such as this Remington Rand typewriter from the early 20th century.

A calligraphic alphabet is the focal point of the Cary Collection\'s main reading room. The alphabet was designed by Julian Waters, and interpreted in glass by Valerie Murray Stained Glass Studio.

Masterworks are constantly on display through the Cary Collection\'s program of exhibitions. Shown here is an edition of Tacitus, printed in Antwerp in 1668 by the Plantin Press.

The Cary Collection is one of the world\’s finest graphic arts libraries with exemplars of the typographic arts, such as this copy of the rare "Kelmscott Chaucer" (1896), published by Willam Morris, with woodcut illustrations made from designs by Edward Burne-Jones.

Reading Room View 2

This sample papermaking dandy roll, used for creating watermarks, is an example of the Cary Collection\’s numerous artifacts once used in the graphic art trades.

George I. Parrish, Jr., Shakespeare’s First Folio, oil on canvas, 38 x 28 inches, ca. 1965, Kimberly-Clark Graphic Communications Through the Ages series.

Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies otherwise known as the “First Folio” of William Shakespeare, was a tour de force in 17th century publishing. Thirty-six of the Bard’s plays were compiled into this work, numbering over 900 pages long.

Leo Kaplan playfully combined wood type to create this sculpture that is on display in the Cary Collection.
The scope of our book collection is broad, with a liberal access policy for all RIT community members and scholars of the graphic arts.
Reading Room View 3
Wood type in myriad designs was combined into this typographic collage.
The characters of Trajan\’s Column in Rome, 113 A.D., inspired this decorative inscriptional alphabet, cut on slate, by Father Edward Catich.
Douglas M. Parrish, The Roman Alphabet, oil on canvas, 35 x 26 inches, ca. 1965, Kimberly-Clark Graphic Communications Through the Ages series.

In this painting, carvers work on the inscription of Trajan’s Column in Rome, which dates from 113 A.D. These monumental letterforms are celebrated as some of the most elegant surviving examples of the Roman serif alphabet, hence inspiring many subsequent type designs, including contemporary digital typefaces.

Hermann Zapf, the celebrated designer and typographer, taught at RIT in the 1970s. Cary Collection maintains an extensive archive of his work. Here is one sheet of a set of Zapf’s instructional diagrams, showing how to render calligraphic strokes.
Father Edward Catich created this stone rubbing and diagram of the inscription of Trajan’s Column in Rome, ca. 112 AD. These characters are said to be some of this era’s most elegant inscriptional serif letterforms in existence.
Masterworks are constantly on display through the Cary Collection\’s program of exhibitions. Shown here is Cicero\’s Cato Major (1744), an edition printed by Benjamin Franklin.
Reading Room View 4
A calligraphic alphabet is the focal point of the Cary Collection\’s main reading room. The alphabet was designed by Julian Waters, and interpreted in glass by Valerie Murray Stained Glass Studio.
An Optima typeface specimen—part of our extensive poster collection.
An Albion iron hand press, ca. 1830, is just one of the many functional historic presses that Cary Collection staff use for teaching and production work. Wood engraver John DePol used this particular press to proof wood blocks. He donated it to the Cary Collection in 2001.
Important primary source archives complement our book collections. An example here is a hand-rendered character pattern used in the preparation of a matrix for metal typefounding, drawn by Frederic Goudy.
Printing Room View 1
These brass matrices for 120-point Cloister Initials are an important part of the collection\’s extensive holdings on the prolific type designer Frederic W. Goudy.
The Taylor Washington hand press, with its American eagle emblem, represents one of the proudest technical achievements of the nineteenth century.
Metal type locked up in the chase of the Taylor Washington hand press (ca. 1850), ready for printing demonstrations.
Printing Room View 2
The Cary Collection maintains a large collection of wood type, numbering more than 300 fonts.
A beautifully restored Columbian hand press from 1876, endowed with fantastic ornamentation, stands to the left as one enters the Arthur M Lowenthal Memorial Room.
The Cary Collection owns some 1000 case of metal type, including many uncommon designs.
Printing Room View 3
Book collections are an integral part of the décor; even in the Arthur M Lowenthal Memorial Room where Cary\’s historic printing equipment resides.
Wood type is essential to the typesetter who designs posters and broadsides where large-sized lettering is required.
This contemporary Original Heidelberg “windmill” platen press, dating from the 1960s, is the workhorse of the Cary book arts workshop, where it is frequently run for letterpress demonstrations and in-house printing productions.
Cary Collection staff continue to demonstrate metal typesetting to graphic arts students, as the terminology from this era lives on in digital typesetting.
Some of the "lost" types designed by Frederic Goudy. They are called “lost” because the matrices used to cast them were destroyed in a fire.
Printing Room View 4
The collection features a Model 3 Job Press from the J.W. Daughaday & Co., a firm that operated in Philadelphia from 1877 to 1885. This style of clamshell platen press was a staple of small-town printshops for producing business cards, stationery, and miscellaneous jobbing printing.
A photoengraved illustration of type designer and printer Giambattista Bodoni.
Metal type, even in its smallest sizes, is an integral part of the typesetter’s repertoire
. Wood engravings and metal half-tone plates are the source of printed illustrations in a letterpress shop.
Robert A. Thom, Benjamin Franklin, oil on canvas, 32 x 44 inches, ca. 1965, Kimberly-Clark Graphic Communications Through the Ages series.

Benjamin Frankiln—apart from being a great American statesman—was a noted printer and publisher. He is depicted here as printing Poor Richard’s Almanack, published annually from 1732 to 1758.