A directory of type foundry catalogs available online

This week I opened the Typographica Library, a digital bookshelf of type and lettering resources to aid research and selection. The most complete “shelf” thus far is a compilation of about 250 digitized specimen books, primarily the main catalogs from makers of metal & wood type. For years, I accessed these books via an unwieldy pile of bookmarks, downloads, and repetitive searches. As far as I know, there is no central register for digitized specimens. This database attempts to fill that gap.

More metadata is under the hood, like country, page count, image quality rating, historical notes, as well as images of covers, title pages, and selected interior pages. Eventually we’ll get it all on the shelf so you can filter and sort. For now, it’s a list by foundry and date. I hope you find it useful, and I welcome your corrections and additions!


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Wonderful work here! Till now, any time I needed type catalogs, I just web searched for the one I wanted and tried multiple links to see what worked. This is a great resource for us all. Eventually I need to look into getting my one type catalog digitized, I don’t believe I’ve seen it anywhere online in digital format. 1,078 pages of wonderful type and design by the Linotype company. I love these catalogs.

My hat is off to you sir, nicely done.

This is great, Stephen. Is there anything that you can do to make it not shorten the titles quite so much? For many there is not enough info displayed to identify them or differentiate them from some others.

I hope you will also post this to your Twitter so I can share it there.

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY

Thank you, Brent!

Daniel, I agree. The shortened names are an unfortunate byproduct of making the page usable on mobile devices. Someday I won’t have to make this compromise. But, in the end, the titles don’t matter so much: they rarely reveal much about the contents. It’s really about the foundry and estimated year, which is how the post is sorted.