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Type Specimen Books in Special Collections

Finding Special Collections Materials

Printed collections

Published items held in Special Collections, such as books, journals, pamphlets, and broadsides, are searchable in DELCAT.  It is possible to limit your search to ONLY materials held in Special Collections by selecting the box next to "Special Collections" under the "Library" tab on the sidebar. Material from Special Collections will display the location information as "Special Collections Non-Circulating."

For additional information on how to search Special Collections in DELCAT, such as how to limit or sort by date, please refer to the DELCAT LibGuide.

Manuscripts and archives

Manuscript and archival collections in Special Collections contain a range of materials--such as documents, letters, diaries, scrapbooks, diaries, photographs, business records, reports, ephemera, audio, video, and born-digital content--from individuals, families, businesses, and organizations. The guides to these collections are called finding aids and they can be browsed and searched here:

For search tips and other help using the Finding Aids for Archival Collections site, please view the appropriate subpage of the Introduction to Special Collections Research Guide:

Not all finding aids or collection descriptions are online, so please contact Special Collections if you need help with your search.

Finding Specimen Books in DELCAT

When using the DELCAT, you can perform a simple search by entering the broad term “specimen book” in the keyword search bar. To narrow your results, select the Advanced Search option and use keywords like “type specimen book” and “printing” while limiting your location to “special collections.”


Searching for Typefaces

If you are looking for information on one of the major typefaces, try narrowing the search using search terms from the following list of typeface names:





Book Antiqua

Bookman Old Style


Century Schoolbook



Cloister Black 

Copperplate Gothic (Bold and Light)

Courier New




Franklin Gothic




Gill Sans

Goudy Old Style




Lucida Sans

Monotype Corsiva



Times New Roman


Zapf Humanist 

Library of Congress Subject Headings

You can also search DELCAT Discovery using specific subject headings related to your topic. Again, select the Advanced Search option and choose the “subject” limiter in one of the provided fields. Next, simply enter one of the following officially recognized sample subject headings from the Library of Congress Subject Headings, or link to the results directly from this guide:

[For specimen books from any company]

Printing machinery and supplies--Catalogs.


Printing machinery and supplies.

Type and type-founding--United States--Specimens.

Type and type-founding.

Wood types (Printing)--Specimens.

[For specimen books from a specific company]

American Type Founders Company--Catalogs.

Cincinnati Type Foundry--Catalogs.

Geo. C. Rand & Avery.

Hamilton Manufacturing Co. (Two Rivers, Wis.)--Catalogs.

H.W. Caslon & Co.

Linotype--United States -- Specimens--Catalogs.


Private presses--Georgian Press.

Western Type Foundry--Catalogs.