Metal Type and Wood Type wikis - please contribute your knowledge

This summer there were some posts on Letpress and on the APA list suggesting a wiki for additions and corrections to Mac McGrew’s book American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century. There seemed to be a lot of enthusiasm for the idea, but no progress. About the same time there were some comments about incorrect information in the book American Wood Type: 1828-1900 by Rob Roy Kelly, which was reissued a few months ago in paperback by my company, Liber Apertus Press. Even before reissuing the book I had looked into the idea of collecting and presenting corrections and clarifications to Kelly’s book which had first been published over 40 years ago, but the task of gathering and verifying corrections was beyond the scope of what was feasible to make the book available again at a reasonable price and reasonable time.

So, I have now set up very simple wikis for each book which are available to accept contributions from any and all interested people. You do not need to register to read or add content or make changes. You can add information about a typeface just by clicking on the “New Page” link at the top of the left-hand column; there is a very basic table to prompt you for information to include, or you can erase all of that and upload information in whatever form you choose. The information can be edited and formatted by other users as needed, and index pages can be added when needed to help access pages once there are more than a few. You can also upload images by clicking on the Edit button, then the Files button in the edit menu. If you need any help, email me.

To start I have created one or two pages for each site with info that I had at hand to give an idea of the structure, but you are invited to create new pages. Try it out and if you don’t like what you did, you can delete it, or ask me for help. Links:

These are set up using a free service, no programming or structure involved; if they gain usage, I would welcome ideas for improving any aspect of the wikis. I know there are way more sophisticated ways to do this, but this seems like a good starting point to gauge interest and start gathering content. You are also welcome to add information about other metal or wood types outside the scope of these books, such as non-American typefaces, type from earlier or later periods, etc.

Matt Kelsey
Liber Apertus Press

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Wow, Matt, thanks for initiating this. There’s so much amazing knowledge out there, but discovering it is often serendipitous. The wikis would be a great place to include links or references for further information on the typefaces. I love McGrew, but of necessity the information in the entries is very condensed.