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A hand list of Kelly’s 1964 folio

by David Shields. Average Reading Time: about 7 minutes.

Kelly, Rob Roy. Wood type; specimens of nineteenth century American wood type with introductory notes. Kansas City, Mo: Rob Roy Kelly, 1964. Print.

Issued in a tan buckram covered solander box with printed paper label on front cover, titled: Wood type; specimens of nineteenth century American wood type with introductory notes. Consists of introductory notes and index bound in printed paper wrappers with black plastic spiral spine titled: American Wood Types 1828–1900, Volume One; 95 loose broadside plates, numbered, displaying 130 complete alphabets, some printed in black and red, and 2 additional unnumbered leaves showing some wood cuts used in that period. Text by Rob Roy Kelly, with editing by Georgia O‘Connor. Part of the text was previously published in Design Quarterly 56, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Limited edition of 45 copies pulled on a hand press from wooden type. 35 copies distributed by the Chiswick Book Shop, 45 West 57th Street, New York City.

Final versions of folio page 1 (left) and page 45 (right).

Final versions of folio page 1 (left) and page 45 (right).

 

Of the 45 numbered copies produced, 27 are held in known locations documented as follows. The bibliographic descriptions and library call numbers are copied from each institution. Acquisition information is included where known. Unlocated folio numbers marked in red.

No 1
Theodore R. McKeldin Library, University of Maryland
College Park, Maryland
[11] p., [97] leaves of plates : ill. ; 58 cm.
Special Collections Oversize Z250 .K4 1964

No 2

No 3

No 4   listed for sale in Blackwell’s rare books catalog B16 (c.2010)

No 5

No 6

No 7
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Library
Queens, New York
[12] p., plus 97 plates, in portfolio.
MoMA Queens Special Collections Flat 65 K35

No 8
American Antiquarian Society
Worcester, Massachusetts
6 leaves : ill., 97 plates ; 57.3 cm.
Z698 K29 And PF

purchased from the Chiswick Book Shop September 14, 1964

No 9

No 10

No 11
Graphic Arts Collection (GAX), Princeton University Library
Princeton, New Jersey
[10] p., 95, [2] leaves of plates : ill. (woodcuts) ; 60 cm.
Oversize 2014-0022E

No 12
Bird Library, Syracuse University
Syracuse, New York
7 leaves, 97 specimen sheets ; 57 cm.
Bird-Special Collection Z250.5.K29 A5 ff

No 13
Butler Rare Books & Manuscripts Library, Columbia University
New York City, New York
v. illus., plates.
BOOKART Z250 .K29 1964

acquired by means of the Albert Ulmann Fund for the Graphic Arts Collection

No 14
John M. Wing Foundation on the History of Printing Collection
Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois
[12] p., 97 leaves of plates (some col.) ; 61 cm.
Case Wing oversize Z 40583 .4595

No 15
The Robertson Davies Library, Massey College, University of Toronto
Toronto, Canada
1 portfolio ([10] p., 95, [2] leaves of plates) : ill. ; 59 cm
Rare Book BIB K29.9 am 1964 FF

No 16
Hugh M. Morris Library, University of Delaware
Newark, Delaware
1 portfolio ([12] p., 95, [2] leaves of plates : ill.) ; 60 cm.
Special Collections Z 250.A2 K45x 1964

includes two sheets displaying Morgan Press headliner type not included in pagination, measuring 28 cm

No 17
Amherst College Library
Amherst, Massachusetts
6 ℓ. : ill., 97 plates ; 57.3 cm
Archives & Special Collections / xx / RBR US 1964 K2

No 18

No 19
William Colgate Printing Collection, Rare Books Library, McGill University
Montreal, Canada
[10] p., [97] leaves of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 60 cm.
Colgate I. Kelly

No 20
Pratt Institute Libraries
Brooklyn, New York
[12] p., 97 leaves of plates (some col.) ; 61cm.
Brooklyn Closed Stacks Oversize 745.6 K29

date stamped, December 14, 1964 (unclear if this is an acquisition or processing date)

No 21

No 22
Special Collections & University Archives, San Diego State University Library
San Diego, California
1 portfolio ([12] p., 95, [2] leaves of plates : ill.) ; 61 × 48 cm
Special Collections Folio Z250.A2 K45 1964

gift of Dick B. Yale, 2002

No 23
Rare Books Collection, Andersen Library, University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Minneapolis, Minnesota
1 portfolio (12 unnumbered pages, 95 pages, 2 unnumbered leaves of plates : illustrations) ; 61 × 48 cm.; volume
Flat Z 019.31 f Am355

No 24
Fine Arts Library, Indiana University
Bloomington, Indiana
v. illus., plates.Issued in portfolio.
Special Collections Z250 .A2 K29

purchased at Chiswick Book Shop, Aug. 19, 1964, for $75.00, it should be noted that correspondence between Al Gowan and Rob Roy Kelly about the acquisition of this particular volume is held at the Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas, Austin

No 25

No 26
Grolier Club
New York City, New York
[10] p., 95, [2] leaves of plates : ill. (woodcuts) ; 60 cm.
\35.2\K29\1964\Folio 12/31/99 C

acquired 2002, excellent condition with slight wear on lower spine and edges and water spots on box cover, coil binding in good shape all pages in good condition

No 27

No 28
Toronto Public Library, Special Art Room Stacks
Toronto, Canada
Vol. 1: [10] p., [97] leaves of plates
Special Collections Oversize, 655.24 K25 V. 1

No 29
Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California
[12] p., 97 leaves of plates (some col.) ; 61cm.
Special Collections Oversize ** Z250.K298a

No 30

No 31

No 32
Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas, Austin
Austin, Texas
[12] p., 96 leaves of plates (some col.) ; 61cm., missing plate number 28

acquired through Dr. Bernard Karpel in late 1966, transferred to the Rob Roy Kelly American Wood Type Collection held by the Design Division, College of Fine Arts in 1993
Edition detail

No 33
Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
[10] p., 95, [2] leaves of plates : plates ; 60 cm.
Z250.A2K4 1964 ff

purchased with Caplan Funds December 13, 1984

No 34
Private Collection
Megan O’Connell, Salt & Cedar, Detroit, Michigan
(full set, needs annotation & description)

No 35

No 36
Baker-Berry Library, Dartmouth College
Hanover, New Hampshire
[12] p., 97 leaves of plates (some col.) ; 61cm
Z250 .K4

No 37

No 38
Chapin Library, Williams College
Williamstown, Massachusetts
1 portfolio ([12] p., 95, [2] leaves of plates : ill.) ; 61 cm, lacks plate 65
Gr.Arts Kelly ffolio

gift of William Gilger, III, September 1964

No 39
Huntington Library
San Marino, California
1 v. (variously paged) : ill. (part col.) ; 60 cm
Rare Books 376980

No 40

No 41

No 42

No 43
Special Collections & Archives, Kent State University Library
Kent, Ohio
6 l. : ill., 97 plates ; 57.3 cm
Special Collections f Z250 .K4 1964

No 44
Cary Graphic Arts Collection, Wallace Library
Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York
[12] p., 97 leaves of plates (some col.) ; 61 cm
x655.24 K29a / Flat 105356

also holds a second unnumbered/unsigned copy of introductory matter with plates numbered 72, 66 & 73 in binding

No 45
Houghton Library, Harvard University
Cambridge, Massachusetts
6 ℓ. : ill., 97 plates ; 57.3 cm.
HOU PF TypTS 970.64.447

gift of Henry Schniewind, November 27, 1970

Final versions of fly sheet (left) and index page (right).

Final versions of fly sheet (left) and index page (right).

 

In addition to this list of 27 identified copies, locations of four complete folios have been narrowed though not yet confirmed.

The University of California, Santa Cruz, UCSC Library appears to have a full copy of the folio but notes that while it is a signed copy it is not a numbered edition (Spec Coll Oversize Z250 .K45 1964). It is not clear if this is miss-noted or if there were signed but unnumbered copies that Kelly distributed on his own.

The Burton Historical Collection at the Detroit Public Library also holds a copy (Rare Books 655.24 A53). The online information does not indicate an edition number, and the Library currently cannot locate its copy to directly check this information.

In correspondence between Rob Roy Kelly and the Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) dated September 8, 19641 indicated that Kelly donated a full folio to KCAI. Further research is needed as this folio is not included in KCAI’s online library catalog and the correspondence unfortunately does not indicate the edition number of Kelly’s donation. It has not yet been confirmed if the institution still holds a copy.

Information found online indicates that Swann Auction Galleries of New York City actioned a complete signed copy on June 4, 1998 (Lot 3) but do not indicate the number of the edition. They have not yet responded to my inquiry for more information in regards to this transaction.

Final versions of folio page 73 (left) and page 86 (right).

Final versions of folio page 73 (left) and page 86 (right).

 

In addition to the 45 complete folios, it seems smaller truncated sets were also made and distributed that included the pages of introductory text and index bound in printed paper wrappers with black plastic spiral spine and include three of the numbered broadside plates bound with the text. Four of these sets have been located.

Special Collections Library at the University of Kentucky holds a set with plates 70, 82 and 85 (Folio Collection 655.24 K298 Folio 344).

Special Collections at the University of Buffalo Library holds a set with plates 14, 29 and 71 (Rare Books Oversize Z250.A2 K35 1964).

The Milne Library at the State University of New York, Geneseo holds a set with plates 49, 57 and 58 (Special Collections X Z250.A2 K39, v.1).

The Cary Graphic Arts Collection at Rochester Institute of Technology, in addition to  No 44 noted above, also holds a truncated set with plates numbered 66, 72 and 73.

Michael Babcock at interrobang letterpress holds a set with plates 18, 32 and 69.

Currently Barbara Farnsworth, Bookseller, A.B.A.A. (West Cornwall, Connecticut) has a set for sale that includes plates 29, 46 and 56.

It is my hope that with the publication of this list, locations of the remaining complete folio may come to light.

Final versions of bound cover (left) and  text page (right).

Final versions of bound cover (left) and text page (right).

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  1. Paul, William D., Jr. Letter to Rob Roy Kelly. 8 September 1964. Rob Roy Kelly Correspondence, 1950–1970. The Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin. /