Type@Cooper - The English Writing-Masters and their Copybooks

The English Writing-Masters and their Copybooks


with Simran Thadani




Tue., Jun. 14 – Tue., Jun. 14, 2016
6:00PM – 7:30PM
location: Koret Auditorium at the San Francisco Public Library Main Branch

This talk begins with an overview of Renaissance handwriting textbooks (known as writing-manuals or copy-books): their rise and evolution, what they look like, and their uniqueness as physical objects. Then, with background established, Simran shifts focus to notable aspects of their contents—such as stroke-by-stroke instruction, the shift from woodcut to engraving, the emergence of the round hand, and marginal flourishes—paying tribute as necessary to the innovative writing-masters, engravers, and publishers who made the genre a smashing success.

N.B. The title of this talk deliberately echoes that of the first bibliography of English writing-books by Sir Ambrose Heal, focusing both on the books as well as on their makers.






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Lecturer: Simran Thadani

The English Writing-Masters and their Copybooks
Simran Thadani served on Letterform Archive’s Board of Directors before taking on the role of Executive Director in June 2015. She has worked extensively with special collections (rare books, manuscripts, fine press, and the book arts) and has served on the summer staff at Rare Book School, from which she earned a Certificate of Proficiency in the History of Letterforms.

Sim's sustained interest in letterforms began when she taught herself gothic calligraphy in middle school; she has since also trained in paleography (the study of old handwriting), learned letterpress printing, and written a dissertation on the history of handwriting textbooks in England. She is a graduate of Wellesley College and the University of Pennsylvania.





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