Main content

Material Text collection


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

The Material Text collection consists of objects related to the history of the book and the physical processes involved in book production. This "collection" is an artificial one as it has been assembled by Kislak Center curators from many sources and will continue growing with new additions. The main purpose in aggregating these objects in one physical collection is to allow their use in teaching the history of printing and the book.

The collection contains two overarching series that have eleven subseries between them. The first series "Printing surfaces" consists of examples of objects used in the printing process including engraved copper plates, metal type, electrotype plates, lithographic stones, and woodblocks. Most of these objects were actually employed in the printing of books but only some have been definitively linked to a known textual production. The second series "General History of the Book Material" contains examples of objects and texts produced or used in knowledge dissemination-media; these include bookbinding materials, copying apparatuses, printed ephemera, sound recording cylinders, examples of printing process errors, and more. Several of the more significant items in this collection have also received separate and more detailed cataloging; where this is the case, a link is provided to the detailed record.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Maria Fagliano and Mitch Fraas
Finding Aid Date
2019 November 7
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Collection Inventory

Request to View Materials

Materials can be requested by first logging in to Aeon. Then, click on the ADD button next to any containers you wish to request. When complete, click the Request button.

Request item to view

Copper plate engraved by J.B. Keim depicting an image of an angel guiding three women (3 Maries) with the title "The Three Maries to the Sepulchre." This plate used by Kimber and Sharpless in Philadelphia for an edition of the Bible., circa 1820-1849.
Box 34 Item 1
Copper plate with engraved image from a history of the Inquisition printed in Philadelphia . The text reads "Inquisicion de España, Fernando 7º que es lo mismo", 1825.
Box 29 Folder 2
Two printed proofs pulled from copper plate above, caption reads "Inquisicion de España "o Fernando 7º que es lo mismo", 2000s.
Box 29 Folder 3
Metal plate with engraved portrait image of Robert Hare from a painting by John Neagle (1858). Engraved by H. Devitt Welsh for use in a souvenir publication., 1910.
Box 8 Item 2
Music engraving plate from Joseph Haydn Concerti m. Orgell. Concerto in F (page 72), 20th century.
Box 34 Item 2
Henle Verlag music engraving plate, HN 8010 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Sonate C-Dur KV 19d., 20th century.
Box 34 Item 3
Electrotype music plate used for printing the gospel hymn "Meet me There!" in an hymnal printed by John Church Co., circa 1890s.
Box 7 Item 2
Electrotype music plate used for printing the song "I'll Go" by Elebert V. Kellby, circa 1940s.
Box 7 Item 1
Electrotype zinc plate with image engraved by John R. Neill used in printing page 315 in L. Frank Baum's "Patchwork Girl of Oz.", 1913.
Box 19
Electrotype plate. Used for printing McGuffey's Eclectic Spelling Book Revised Edition, page 141 subtitled: "Lesson 242." and "Lesson 243.", 1920.
Box 7 Item 3
Electrotype plate. Used for printing McGuffey's Second Eclectic Reader, page 144, subtitled: "Lesson LXV"; "Poor Davy.", 1920.
Box 7 Item 4
Electrotype plate. Used for printing McGuffey's Fourth Eclectic Reader (1920), page 190 titled "Eclectic Series", subtitled: "LXIX the wreck of Hesperus", 1920.
Box 7 Item 5
Set of seventeen metal printing plates depicting buildings and events in Philadelphia history used by the American Bank Note Company, 20th century.
Box 4 Items 1 to 17
Photolithographic plates for pages 1, 2, and 3 of "Summaries of Operations in Northeast Europe", 20th century.
Box 18 Item 1
Steel printing plates for the Henry Charles Lea library bookplate, 20th century.
Box 8 Item 3
Two printing plates for bookplates of "The Edgar Fahs Smith Memorial Collection University of Pennsylvania", 20th century.
Box 8 Item 4
Printing plate for bookplate of the "Memorial Library of the University of Pennsylvania and her sons", 20th century.
Box 18 Item 7
Box containing more than fifty electrotype plates mounted on woodblocks for use in printig, 20th century.
Box 39
Title page electrotype printing plate for Edwin Kalmus's New York edition of Orchesta Scores no. 33 on Mozart's Symphony no. 39 in E flat major, 20th century.
Box 1
Title page electrotype printing plate for the Edwin Kalmus edition of "Modest P. Moussorgsky - Boris Godunow - Arranged and Instrumentated by N. Rimsky-Korsakoff - Vocal Score with English-German Text", 20th century.
Box 2
Twentieth century metal printing plate mounted on a wooden block. The metal plate is an exact facsimile of a 1674 century Spanish broadside indulgence Goigs del Glorioso Martyr Sant Llorens. Possibly prepared for a later collection of these broadsides. Purchased in 2020 from Joan Joseph Lopez Ferrer.
Box 44
Stereotype plates for newspaper printing in a wooden box from the Western Newspaper Union Cleveland Ohio (early 20th century).
Box 49
Conner and Company lithographic stone featuring advertisements for James G. Speck-Designing Studios, 1914.
Box 12
Lithographic stone used to print an image of members of the Hindu pantheon (used in an unknown Indian publishing house). [Caution this item weighs more than 90 lbs], circa 1900.
Box 40
Lithographic stone used to print an image of demons on one side and an advertisement for the Calcutta match company on the other (used in an unknown Indian publishing house). [Caution this item weighs more than 90 lbs], circa 1900.
Box 41
Lithographic stone depicting choir boys on one side and an advertisement for the Hollister Distilling Co. of St. Paul, Minnesota, on the other, 20th century.
Box 13
Woodblock of the Verbascum plant done by Giorgio Liberale and Wolfgang Meyerpeck for Pietro Andrea Mattioli's 1562 Prague Discorsi (220 x 155mm). Facing the woodblock is a printed leaf taken from the published edition., 1561.
Box 31
Woodblock with image of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus at the Belgian shrine of Scherpenheuvel. (12.5 × 9.5 inches), circa 1605.
Box 27
Woodblock of saint with a cross in his right hand and his left hand outstretched above a blasphemer with smoke coming out of his mouth.Floral ornaments (214 x 160 mm)., 17th-18th centuries.
Box 26 Item 1
Oblong woodlock (326x135 mm) with six scenes in two rows of three. Story without words of a romantic tale of family reunited. Done by Dubuc (France). Proof pasted to back., [1830s].
Box 26 Item 2
Woodblock for wood engraving of an American Civil War battle, 1860s.
Box 5
Six woodblocks depicting a variety of domestic and shop scenes including one caricature. Early 19th century. Purchased from the children's literature collection of Justin G. Schiller, Heritage Auctions, 16 December 2020, lot 45528.
Box 43
Five wood engravings of buildings at the Centennial Exhibition, Philadelphia, 19th century.
Box 18 Item 2 to 6
Nineteenth-Century wood engraving block of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre . Copper mounted on wood. 75 x 50 mm. with an edition of 25 proofs done at the Common Press, 2007, circa 1830, 2007.
Box 25
Japanese woodblock. For a mochi box label (17.5 x 13.5cm)., circa 1850.
Box 32
Two Japanese woodblocks. Gift of Shirley Luber, 2018., [late 19th century].
Box 32
Four wooden blocks for printing patterns on textiles, including two with handles., 20th century.
Box 33
Linotype slugs for printing "The War in 3 Pages" by Dwight D. Eisenhower. Privately printed in Philadelphia., 1952.
Box 6 Item 1
Collection of type letters with per-letter-divider and instructions on how to set the type, 20th century.
Box 14
Composing stick and pieces of metal type, 20th century.
Box 39
Linoptype slugs used to print page 141 of Michael Suarez, "Historiographical Problems and Possibilities in Book History and National Histories of the Book" Studies in Bibliography v. 56 (2003-2004)., 2003.
Box 35
Round clay seal of the city of Eindhoven with latin text stating "Sigillum Opidi de Endehoven" and a four-legged animal in the middle. Reproduced in the Netherlands, 1990s.
Box 8 Item 1
Collection of 104 wood and rubber hand stamps featuring letters, numbers, punctuation marks, and symbols, 20th century.
Box 10
Collection of 34 wood and rubber hand stamps from the Penn Libraries system with stamps for marking different collections., 20th century.
Box 10
4 typewriter balls, 20th century.
Box 3
Flong used to print the front page of the Auburn Citizen (NY), 1918-10-12.
Oversize Item 1

Manuscript fragment later used as a frisket for in printing in red and black (more information), 15th century.
Call Number Ms. Coll. 591 Folder 42
Printed galley proof from the Journals of the House of Commons featuring a speech by William Gladstone, with handwritten annotations and amendments in Gladstone's hand., 1867.
Box 29 Folder 5
Printed broadside showing offset from wet-ink folding, 1727.
Box 29 Folder 7
Printed book wrapper on blue paper for ESTC T140789 (1751), entitled "Number XI The Continuation of Mr. Rapin's History of England, From the Revolution in MDCLXXXIII, to the Accession of King George II. Containing the Reigns of King WILLIAM, Queen MARY, Queen Anne, and King GEORGE I.", 1751.
Box 29 Folder 4
Issue of the Gentleman's Magazine (London) for May 1774 with its original blue paper wrappers, 1774.
Box 30 Folder 14
Teaching materials for understanding paper folding and book-making. Reproductions of paper featuring Chain Lines/Watermarks, circa 2010.
Box 28 Item 1
Replica sheet of printed pages from an edition of Don Quixote (unfolded and uncut), circa 2010.
Box 28 Item 2
Copy of "A History of Inner Asia" by Svat Soucek (Cambridge University Press, 2000) featuring a significant set of printing errors including multiple blank pages., 2000.
Volume 5
Copy of a facsimile edition of Arthur Hobson Quinn's 1899 "Pennsylvania stories" produced by the Penn Libraries as part of an "On-Demand Editions" project. This copy is large with a Kirtas Publishing logo on the cover., [2010].
Volume 6
Copy of a facsimile edition of Arthur Hobson Quinn's 1899 "Pennsylvania stories" produced by the Penn Libraries as part of an "On-Demand Editions" project. This copy is much smaller than the above., [2010].
Volume 7
Collection of numerous letter examples in facsimile. Two folded sealed white envelope addressed to "To my dear Colleague"; 41 photocopies (one folded) of a letter from Mary Shelly to Isabella Baxter Booth (3 March 1829); 21 photocopies of a letter signed by Samuel Johnson in November 1762; 31 photocopies of a letter from Edward Burne-Jones to Gray Hill c. 1888; photocopies of a letter to the Countess of Huntington from 1556/7., 2000s.
Box 28 Item 3
Copy of The Pigeon Needs a bath by Mo Willems (ca. 2014) published by Hyperion in which the text block has been improperly glue backwards within the boards, rendering it impossible to open or read.
Volume 8
Selection of four 1980s music fan magazines from the collection of the Gotham Book Mart. Includes Faces Rocks, Circus Raves, Creem, and Hit Parader.
Box 30 Folder 18
Copy of Laura Riding, Progress of Stories. Dial Press, 1982 in thirteen unbound gatherings from the printer. Each with a serial number on the edge to indicate binding order. From the Collection of the Gotham Book Mart.
Box 47
Nine unbound issues of La Guirlande (no. 3-no. 11) 1919-1920. Each is enclosed in sealed paper bands but these are not likely the originals from the publisher. Color plates inserted throughout the issues and late 20thc. Bibliographical notes included on most issues. From the Collection of the Gotham Book Mart., 1919-1920.
Box 47
Copy of the Journal of Modern Literature in unopened brown mailing wraps from Temple University Press to the Gotham Book Mart. Vol. 5, No. 1, Feb., 1976, 1976.
Box 47
Copies of the American Spectator nos. 1-30 (except nos. 11,16, 28). Copies from vols 1-2, are still folded and enclosed within colored publisher's bands for sale. From the collection of the Gotham Book Mart. , 1932-1935.
Box 48
Blue paper dust wrapper for Drama from Ibsen to Brecht by Raymond Williams (Oxford University Press, 1969). The publisher has pasted a paper slip over the author's affiliation on the title page in order to correct it., 1969.
Box 30 Folder 19
Model of a Medieval Girdle Book. Made by Alice Austin for the Penn Libraries., 2017.
Box 11
Vellum book binding removed from text block., circa 18th century.
Box 23
Leather-bound book cover with pastedown of marbled paper removed from Penn Libraries' copy of Holinshed's Chronicle (now Furness Folio DA130 .H7 1587), [circa 18th century].
Box 30 Folder 8
Two 18th century printed books converted into secret boxes by cutting out interior pages. One apparently intended for storing cigarettes., 18th century, 20th century.
Box 39
Teaching set of historical bookbinding models., 2018.
Box 38
Two sheets of printed French portraits. While the engraving is identical between the two, the size and quality of the paper onto which the impression was made differ., 18th century.
Box 29 Folder 6
Facsimile copy of the Virginia Gazette for 13 July 1746. The issue contains a map of the battle of Culloden made using type ornaments., [1990s].
Box 29 Folder 1
Grey tray with photo-engraved portrait of Rev. E.E. Gilbert and picture of M.E. Church from Cherokee, Iowa., 20th century.
Box 14
Two boxes of rolled paper slips containing quotations from the Bible. These were intended for use with tweezers to select slips at random. Presented to the Penn Libraries by Lynne Farrington, Mitch Fraas, and John Pollack in honor of the retirement of Prof. Peter Stallybrass (2018)., early 20th century.
Box 36
Printed booklabel from the Fabricii Bibliotheca Latina, [18th century].
Box 30 Folder 11
Price list for railway tickets from Paris to Lyon and the Mediterranean from 1898, 1898.
Box 30 Folder 12
Collection of printed tickets from: Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Combined Shows Inc; Young Men's Christian Association; The Reading; and Customs Service, 19th and 20th centuries.
Box 30 Folder 10
Four trading stamp books issued by Holden Red Stamps and Gold Bell Gift Stamps as well as an envelope of Top Value stamps. Circa 1960s. Gift of Andrea Gottschalk, 2013.
Box 30 Folder 15
The American Gelatine Postcard Catalogue with 4 post cards, 20th century.
Box 30 Folder 5
Post card from the National Cash Register Co. in Dayton Ohio, circa 1900.
Box 30 Folder 5
Two printed bookmarks c. 1900. A man and a woman reading/searching for books, a woman on a white dress holding a red book, a woman sitting and reading (labelled "knowledge" on top), and a section titled "this is the place"., 1900.
Box 30 Folder 6
Printed Member's Pass for the House of Representatives for Mr. Swedley to access the 77th Congress., 1941.
Box 30 Folder 10
Poster designed by Russel Maret entitled "La tipo grafia non e trasparente", 2010.
Box 30 Folder 9
Collection of 3 miniature books (The Flaw by Roland Ashford Phillips, Something just as Good by Montague Glass, & And the Greatest of These by Montague Glass) and miniature music sheet book for an anthem entitled "Red, White and Blue.", 20th century.
Box 30 Folder 10
University of Pennsylvania Libraries printed loan punchcard, 20th century.
Box 30 Folder 7
Blank Book bound in leather. Only one page used. Signed by George Alderson, Pembroke College, Oxford, 1820.
Volume 2
6 sound recording cylinders "Edison Gold Moulded Records Echo All Over the World", circa 1910.
Box 9
"The Cat had Nine Lives" Film cassette. An International Filmbook for the Optigraph machine, 1950s.
Box 37
Stereoscope viewers with circle logo of a deer and word: "monarch", 20th century.
Box 15
Kodak 5.25 inch Floppy Diskette., 1990s.
Box 14
Image in glass of dental structure, 20th century.
Box 30 Folder 13
Childrens book titled "Safe Racing" in the shape of a car, circa 2000.
Box 14
Yellow plastic roadsign named "Next Water Hole 275 km", circa 2000.
Box 14
Blue Waterproof childrens book titled "The Rainbow Fish" by Marcus Pfister, 1990s.
Box 14
Baby album closed with purple bow, circa 2000.
Volume 1
Cut letters, numbers and shapes of blue cloth, 1990s.
Box 22 Item 5
Scrabble Game with pasted words to the board, extra letters, instructions and paper with missing pieces, 1990s.
Box 14
Four book safes. Three created from hollowed-out 18th century French imprints bound in leather. One of these consists of two volumes glued together to form a larger storage area, another includes the remnants of cigarettes and matches. The fourth was created from an early 20th century edition of Last of the Mohicans. .
Box 42
Six empty postcard albums dating from the late 19th to early 20th century, these include albums with an assortment of binding styles and materials including mother of pearl and felt. From the collection of the Gotham Book Mart.
Box 46 Box 45
Bates auto-numbering stamp, circa 1900.
Box 3
Four Parchments made of different animal skins (calfskin, goatskin, etc.), 2 quills, and a teaching scroll from Pergamena, circa 2010.
Box 16
Red "Magic Etch a Sketch Screen" Board.
Box 17 Item 1
Blue travel Magna Doodle board.
Box 17 Item 2
White board with drawing of a hummingbird and a flower and list reading: "groceries, dishes, water plants, do homework, meet J for dinner".
Box 17 Item 3
Modern replicas of wax writing tablets of different sizes and one wax-tablet-notebook with sylus, 2008.
Box 20
NeoCyclostyle Duplicating Apparatus.
Box 21
Collection of different types of paper: an envelope of carbon paper brand Perfect, blue Eaton's Nerkshire typewriter paper envelope with paper inside, and two samples of pink rag paper.
Box 22 Item 1
Selection of Samples ca. 1976 of "University Products' Museum and Archival Quality Materials" – paper and cardstock tipped into a folder.
Box 30 Folder 17
Box 22 Item 2
Silica Black book slate with writing on the inside and another blank Black Silica Quartz-Surface Book Slate.
Box 24 Item 1
Slate book with inscription "Pat D. Feb. 15th 1870. Reissued Feb. 18th 1870." on top, circa 1870.
Box 24 Item 2
Ideal Duplicator with instructions on how to use it.
Box 22 Item 4
Hekto-Printer copier sheets for use in a hectographic printing device.
Box 22 Item 6
Copying books.
Box 30 Folder 2
Carbon paper duplicating sheet with text written at top and bottom, both starting with phrase "Who will believe my verse in time to come.".
Box 30 Folder 3
Unused box of Carter's Midnight Carbon paper. 8.5 x 11 inches. Ca. 1960s.
Box 30 Folder 16
Black Magnet Board, 2000s.
Box 30 Folder 4
Blue's Clues Crazy Slate with red "pencil", 2000s.
Box 30 Folder 4
1870s Hektograph Gelatin Copier Illustrated Trade Card, 1870s.
Box 30 Folder 1
Tesukiwashi taikan (手漉和紙大鑑 ). 5 cases of paper samples (1000 mounted samples) with 7 volumes of explanatory books. Samples mounted on kozo paper and enclosed in paper wrappers with explanatory letterpress, in groups of 50 in paper portfolios. (More information), 1973-1974.
Box 50-55

Print, Suggest