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COLLECTION Identifier: Typ 970U.06.683

University Press (Cambridge, Mass.) collection concerning the publication of The triumphs of Francesco Petrarch ...


Preparatory materials for the University Press publication of The triumphs of Francesco Petrarch. This was the first book in the "Humanistic Series," printed in Humanistic type.


  • 1903-1941

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.


1 linear feet (3 boxes)
Includes: matrices for the Humanistic type, preparatory drawings and proofs for the typeface, specimen pages for the book, letters with suggestions for type design and layout, and proofs and advertising texts for the first book in the Humanistic Series.

Biographical / Historical

This special limited issue of The triumphs of Francesco Petrarch, Florentine poet laureate, translated by Henry Boyd with an introduction by Doctor Guido Biagi was published in 1906 in the United States by Little, Brown and Company, and in London by John Murray. It was printed at the University Press, Cambridge, Mass., in a Humanistic type designed by William Dana Orcutt (1870-1953). Orcutt produced this typeface especially for this series that was to be known as the "Humanistic series," and this Petrarch volume was the first in the series. The type was hand-cut in steel at the American Type Founders Company.


Organized into the following series, in "production order":
  1. I. Type matrices
  2. II. Paper removed from the matrices box
  3. III. Typeface
  4. IV. Layout and text
  5. V. Printers' miscellany
  6. VI. Advertisements and reviews
  7. Book: The triumphs of Francesco Petrarch ...

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

2003MH-3. Purchased with the Amy Lowell and Philip Hofer Trust funds; received: 2002 September 24.

Related Materials

The third box under this call-number contains the book itself. It is fully cataloged in HOLLIS.

For full information concerning the history of this project see: William Dana Orcutt "In quest of the perfect book," Atlantic Monthly (December, 1925).

Processing Information

Processed by: Irina Tarsis
Link to catalog
University Press (Cambridge, Mass.). University Press (Cambridge, Mass.) collection concerning the publication of The triumphs of Francesco Petrarch ..., 1903-1941: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library's holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room.

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