Example of Frederic Goudy's type design.
(Located in Folder 8: Display Sheets of the Frederic Goudy Collection)

Collection Information
Volume of Collection:
One Box
Collection Dates:
Reproduction Rights:
Permission to reproduce or publish material in this collection must be obtained in writing from the McLean County Museum of History.
Alternative Formats:
Other Finding Aids: Record in National Union Catalog Manuscripts Collection On-Line
Location: Archives

Historical Sketch

  Frederic W. Goudy was born in Bloomington in 1865. Goudy spent his early years in Bloomington where he became interested in the arts, especially when he purchased a pantograph machine, an instrument used for copying pictures, figures, or diagrams. Goudy also won a prize at the county fair for a pencil drawing. He also continued to develop his artistic creativity while his family moved around Illinois. He provided his Sunday school classroom with a stenciled version of the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, and selected Bible verses. His work for his church provided him the opportunity to provide lettering on work wagons and banners.

  Goudy moved to Hyde County, South Dakota, to sell real estate with his father. After his excursion to South Dakota, Goudy moved back to Illinois in 1895, and established a printing shop, Camelot Press, in the Chicago area. Goudy sold the shop and married Bertha M. Sprinks, continuing to work in the Chicago area. He established a second printing shop, Village Press.

  Frederic Goudy started designing printing type and became world renowned. He was responsible for the design of 120 different type designs while most designers only become famous for one or two. Goudy and his wife relocated to New York. She passed in 1935. His studio in Marlboro, New York, along with 75 original designs and matrices of 107 typefaces were destroyed by a fire in 1939. Frederic William Goudy died in 1947 at the age of 82.

Scope and Contents Note

  This collection consists of eleven folders. The folders contain biographical materials, newspaper articles, magazine articles, and booklets produced in tribute to Frederic W. Goudy. There are a few examples of the type designs developed by Frederic Goudy.


Box and Folder Inventory

Folder 1:
Biographical Material
Excerpt (pp. 18-36) detailing Goudy's Bloomington years from autobiography Goudy's Type Designs: His Story and Specimens (New Rochelle, New York: The Myriade Press, 1978)
Excerpt (pp. 1-13) detailing Goudy's Bloomington's years from biography Behind the Type: The Life Story of Frederic W. Goudy by Bernard Lewis (Carnegie Institute of Technology, 1941)


Folder 2:
Images; photocopied pictures from Behind the Type: The Life Story of Frederic W. Goudy by Bernard Lewis (Carnegie Institute of Technology, 1941)
Life size portrait-bust in bronze, by Jo Davidson
John F. Goudy, 1883
Amanda Goudy, about 1878
Goudy at age eight
Goudy at age twenty-seven
At work in the mill
The pantagraph
William Morris' Klemscott press
Goudy as author, and part of his large library
Bertha and Fred on Sunday afternoon
A study in contentment
In the Carnegie design studio, February 1938
The ruined mill
Goudy at Deepdene


Folder 3:
Newspaper Articles (including Pantagraph obituary)
"Goudy Given Irish Medal," Pantagraph, March 20, 1937, p. 9
"Fire In Goudy Type Shop Destroys 107 Original Designs," Pantagraph, January 31, 1939, p. 12
"Famous Type Designer, Native of Bloomington, Tells of Career," Pantagraph, March 8, 1940, p. 22
"Famed Type Designer, Native of Bloomington, Reaches 80," Pantagraph, March 15, 1945, p. 3
"Frederic Goudy, Type Designer, Dies in East," Pantagraph, May 12, 1947, p. 2
"F. W. Goudy Is Dead; Type Designer, 82," New York Times, May 12, 1947, p. 21
"Master of Type" (editorial), New York Times, May 13, 1947, p. 24
"Goudy Home Sold; To Become Shrine," Pantagraph, May 6, 1948, p. 6
"Rites for F. W. Goudy," New York Times, May 16, 1947, p. 23
"Fred W. Goudy, Native of Bloomington," Pantagraph, date, page unknown


Folder 4:
Magazine Articles
"Glorifier of the Alphabet" by Milton MacKaye in The New Yorker (January 14, 1933): 20-24
"Sales Stimulating Typography for Advertisers . . ." by Frederic W. Goudy as told to L. M. MacMillan in The Advertiser's Sketch Book (1937): 146-147
"Frederick W. Goudy-Man of Letters, 1865-1947" by Paul A. Bennett in Publisher's Weekly (June 7, 1947): 2855-2860
"Craftsmen in a Machine Age" by Kurt Beske in The Quarterly Journal of the Library of Congress (April 1977): 97-15
"The Typographic Heritage of Frederic William Goudy" by John Dreyfus in The Newberry Library Bulletin (August 1978): 322-327


Folder 5:
Mary F. Corbitt Paper
"Frederic W. Goudy, Typographer" by Mary F. Corbitt, University of Illinois Library School, May 1951 (30 pp. with bibliography)


Folder 6:
Normal History Club Paper
Excerpt from "Leaders In the Fine Arts" by Mrs. Richard G. Watts; bottom of page 9 through middle of page 13; original in Normal History Club Collection box


Folder 7:
Goudy Tributes
Goudy the Type Master (June 1941), booklet published by Underwood Elliott Fisher Company, New York
Frederic William Goudy (Philadelphia, 1947)
"A Keepsake Tribute to Frederic W. Goudy to Commemorate the Goudy Centennial Dinner March 8, 1966," Men's Faculty Club, Columbia University, New York
Typographer's Digest (Spring 1969)
"The Types of Frederic W. Goudy and the Village Letter Foundery" (undated; source unknown)


Folder 8:
Display Sheets
3 sheets from Swan Service with a display of Goudy Bold- 294, Italian Old Style-243, and Goudy Old Style-38
17 sheets from Superior Type Setting, St. Louis, MO. With a display of Goudy Handtooled-383, Goudy Open-291, Goudy Heavyface Italic-3801, Goudy Heavyface Condensed-382, Goudy Bold-294J, Goudy Bold Italic-294K, Goudy Text-327, Goudy Handtooled Italic-3831, Goudy Heavyface-380, and Goudy Light-38E


Folder 9:
Type Designers Exhibition
"American Type Designers and Their Work," program and invitation for exhibition at Lakeside Press Galleries, R. R. Donnelley & Sons Company 1947-1948


Folder 10:
1954 Typographic Calendar
Note: Lanston Monotype Machine Company calendar; Goudy featured in January


Folder 11:
Beilenson Biography, 1965
The Story of Frederic W. Goudy by Peter Beilenson (Mt. Vernon, NY: Peter Pauper Press, 1965). 68 pgs., printed for the Goudy Centennial, 1965.


McLean County Museum of History Collections and Research