Engelmann Archive of Proofs and Samples has been digitized

engelmann samples4 Last summer, we announced the acquisition of three amazing albums filled with chromolithographic proofs and samples from Godefroy Engelmann (1788-1839) and his Société Engelmann père et fils, including examples from both houses in Paris and in London. https://graphicarts.princeton.edu/2014/07/21/archive-of-proofs-and-samples-from-the-societe-engelmann-pere-et-fils-ca-1839/ [old post]

http://pudl.princeton.edu/objects/3484zk471 [new digital collection]

Now, every page with every printing sample has been digitized and made available online to researchers around the world. While we don’t believe there is a chronological sequence within the volumes, the printing for each of their projects is placed together with a blank sheet in between the next project. As we identify the books and commissions represented here, we will add the appropriate indexing terms.

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It is our hope that printing and book historians will find this useful and report back to us as the organization of this complex collection becomes apparent. You are welcome to share comments on this page or send them to Princeton directly.

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The publisher and printer Godefroy Engelmann I (1788-1839) had offices in a number of locations, including Rue Cassette No.18, Paris (1817); Rue Louis-le-grand No 27 à Paris (1827); Rue du Faub No.6, Montmatre, Paris (after 1829); Paris & Mulhausen (1826); 66 St Martin’s Lane, Strand, London (1826-7); 92 Dean Street, Soho, London (1827-9); and 14 Newman Street, London (1829-30).

The British Museum identifies Engelmann as: “Lithographic printer, famed ‘Körner’ (grinder) for crayon-lithographs and patentee of chromolithography. Originally from Colmar; trained in Munich; set up press in Paris in June 1816. He improved lithography, particularly by developing lithographic wash in 1819. In 1825 he created a new company in association with Jérémie Graf and Pierre Thierry and named ‘Société Engelmann et Cie’. In 1826 an annex company is founded in London and named ‘Société Engelmann, Graf, Coindet et Cie’, which was dissolved in 1833. Then Engelmann returned to Mulhouse and created the company ‘Société Engelmann, père et fils’.”

Take a look:  http://pudl.princeton.edu/objects/3484zk471

Picturesque Views in the North-Western Province of India

murray views of indiaJohn Murray (1809-1898), Picturesque Views in the North-Western Provinces of India … with Descriptive Letter-press by Major-General J.T. Boileau (London: J. Hogarth, 1859). 12 pp., 26 salted-paper and albumen prints from paper negatives. Rebound in half straight grain red morocco over publisher’s red cloth covered boards. Purchased in part with funds provided by the Friends of the Princeton University Library and the Graphic Arts Collection. GAX 2015- in process

murray views of india5The Graphic Arts Collection is thrilled to have acquired one of the most important publications of nineteenth-century photography in India. We are now the only library in the United States with a complete copy of John Murray’s Picturesque Views in the North-Western Provinces of India. OCLC records other copies at Trinity College Dublin; the British Library; the National Library of Scotland; the Victoria and Albert Museum; and University of Oxford.

This volume includes the best of Murray systematic record of Indian antiquities at four historic sites, including Agra, Mathura, Sikandra, and Fatehpur Sikri. While his views are primarily architectural, they are also populated with figures working and living within these striking settings. In this way, the photographs serve as a living record of India both before and after their first war for Independence, known to the British as the Indian Rebellion of 1857.

The geographic subjects depicted are as follows: Entrance to the Jumna Musjid; East pavilion and part of the Taj Gardens; The Jumma Musjid; Interior of the Delhi Gate of the Fort of Agra; Part of the river face of the fort; North face of the Khas Muhul; East side of the Khas Muhul; The Dewani Khas; A river-side view; Entrance gateway, Etimad-ood Dowlah’s tomb; West Pavilion, Etimad-ood-Dowlah’s tomb; The Cheenee Kee Rozu; Views on the banks of the Jumna; Gateway of the gardens of Secundra; Mausoleum of the Emperor Akbar at Secundra; A Hindoo Mut’h; Enclosure and Gateway at Futehpoor Seekree; Mausoleum of Shekh Suleem Chishtee; and Views at Nynee Tal.

Scottish-born John Murray served as an officer in the Bengal Medical Service, living and working in India from 1833 to 1871. In 1848, Murray was appointed civil surgeon of Agra and for the next 20 years the main focus of his professional life was the fight against cholera. He learned to make calotypes (paper negatives) in 1849, exhibiting with the Bengal Photographic Society in 1857. That year, Murray returned for a brief sojourn in London, where he showed his photographs to publisher J. Hogarth, who agreed to sell both individual prints and in sets. In 1859, Hogarth published the present book containing 26 of Murray’s photographs.murray views of india2

Regarded as one of the greatest of the early British photographers, Murray created extraordinarily large negatives and from them, positive salt and albumen prints, as much as 20 inches in length. The prints are recognized for their artistic quality, their technical prowess, and for their documentation of mid-century Indian architecture, which was the doctor’s other love.

It has been the great demand for Murray’s individual images that has led dealers and collectors to disbind and cut-up copies of this volume, leaving few in their original format, We are happy to preserve the book as Hogarth and Murray conceived of it.


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The preliminary text is written by Major General John Theophilus Boileau (1805-1886), who entered military service in the Indian Army in 1820. Boileau rose to the position of Superintend Engineer in the Public Department of Works for the North-West Provinces, at Simla, before retiring with the rank of Major-General. Like Murray, Boileau was also active in British society and was named a fellow of the Royal Society.


musik africaanIs it a novel or a biography or an artists’ book hybrid? The three-volume set is from the wonderful South African publisher Fourthwallbooks. I will quote the prospectus because I could not do better.

Nagmusiek is a startling addition to contemporary South African fiction and biography. The book is both a scholarly study of the Afrikaans composer Arnold van Wyk and a work of fiction in which the author/biographer—who is and is not Stephanus Muller—highjacks his own literary undertaking. It is an extraordinary meditation on the art of biography, on South African classical music under the apartheid regime, and on the complicated relationship between life and fiction.

Van Wyk’s musical composition, for which this book is named, is a ‘modernist poem of loss, of pain, of flickering memory, of dignified death’. Muller sets out to explore Van Wyk’s work and in the process creates an epic and genre-defying work of his own. This is an important book, a profoundly scholarly undertaking that will be a vital contribution to the field of Van Wyk studies in South Africa, but at the same time a groundbreaking work of experimental fiction.

Stephanus Muller was raised in the Karoo and studied music and musicology at the universities of Pretoria, South Africa and Oxford. He teaches musicology at the University of Stellenbosch, where he is also the founder and head of the Documentation Centre for Music (DOMUS).

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musik africaan6Stephanus Muller, Nagmusiek (Johannesburg: Fourthwall Books, 2014). Graphic Arts Off-Site Storage RCPXG-8841451


Love Bites

If you are a lover of British caricature, consider joining your friends in Oxford for James Gillray@200: Caricaturist without a Conscience? on March 28 and 29, 2015, organised by Todd Porterfield, Université de Montréal; Martin Myrone, Tate Britain; and Michael Burden, New College, Oxford; with Ersy Contogouris, Université de Montréal

gillrary222The two-day symposium is being held to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Gillray’s death, and in conjunction with the Ashmolean Museum’s exhibition, Love Bites: Caricatures of James Gillray, based on New College’s outstanding collection.

AN00144479_001_lThe conference website states: “James Gillray’s reputation in the two centuries since his death has been as varied and layered as his prints. Trained at the Royal Academy, he failed at reproductive printmaking, yet became, according to the late-eighteenth-century Weimar journal London und Paris, one of the greatest European artists of the era. Napoleon, from his exile on St Helena, allegedly remarked that Gillray’s prints did more to run him out of power than all the armies of Europe.

In England, patriots had hired him to propagandize against the French and touted him as a great national voice, but he was an unreliable gun-for-hire. At a large public banquet, during the heat of anti-Revolutionary war fever, he even raised a toast to his fellow artist, the regicide, Jacques-Louis David. Gillray produced a highly individual, highly schooled, and often outlandish body of work with no clear moral compass that undermines the legend of the caricaturist as the voice and heart of the people.”



Saturday March 28
I: Gillray in the Media Age
10.30 Douglas Fordham, University of Virginia
‘A Media Critic for the Intaglio Age’
11.00 Esther Chadwick, Yale University
‘Gillray’s Tree of Liberty: political communication and epistolary networks in the radical 1790s’
11.30 Kate Grandjouan, Visiting Associate Professor, Department of Art History,
University of Belgrade
‘Gillray’s French jokes: the “sick-list” casualties of the 1790s’

12.00 Lunch
II: Gillray in the Colonial Networks: Positionings on Race and Slavery
1.00 Julie Mellby, Graphic Arts Curator within Rare Books and Special Collections at Firestone Library, Princeton University
‘The Sale and Resale of English Beauties in the East Indies’
1.30 Amanda Lahikainen, Aquinas College
‘James Gillray and Representations of Napoleon’s Egyptian Campaign:
Islam as Republican Sacrilege’
2.00 Katherine Hart, Senior Curator of Collections & the Barbara C. and Harvey P. Hood
1918 Curator of Academic Programming, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth
‘James Gillray, Charles James Fox, and the Abolition of the Slave Trade: Caricature and Displacement in the Debate over Reform’
2.30 Coffee
III: The Artist and Formal Means
3.00 Ersy Contogouris, Université de Québec à Montreal
‘Gillray’s Preparatory Drawings’
3.30 Cynthia Roman, The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University
‘James Gillray and the Satiric Alternative to Painting History’

gillray115Sunday March 29
IV: The Artist and Literary Means
10.15 David Taylor, Assistant Professor, Dept. of English and Comparative Literary
Studies, University of Warwick
‘Gillray, Milton, and the “Caricatura Sublime”’
10.45 Rachel M. Brownstein, Professor of English, City University of New York
‘James Gillray and Jane Austen: Aesthetic Affinities’
11.15 Coffee
V: Gillray, the People, the Academy and Revolution
11.45 Katarzyna Murawska-Muthesius, Associate Lecturer, Department of History of Art, Birkbeck College, University of London
‘Caricature’s unconscious: James Gillray and the Academy’
12.15 Ian Haywood, Professor of English Co-Director, Centre for Research in Romanticism
University of Roehampton, London
‘Gillray’s valediction: The Life of William Cobbett’

Six billboards found

allen and co billboards3Taking a few minutes to finally unfold this small pile of paper led to a happy Friday afternoon discovery. The Graphic Arts Collection has six billboard size lithographs, probably meant for the outside marquee of a London theater. We have prints for The Pirates of Penzance; Rudigore; Trial by Jury; Patience; The Mikado; and H.M.S. Pinafore.

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Once unfolded, four sections merge to form a poster approximately 96 x 80 inches, printed in bright, unmodulated colors. Each one has the logo of S. C. Allen and Company Limited, a printing firm that was active in the 1920s-1930s, in London and Belfast, Northern Ireland. Their main office is listed as 4 Lisle Street, London WC2 7BG. Note: on the one above, their company logo is placed over another company’s logo, meaning the poster was reused.
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Each one is designed by the famous British poster artist Stewart Browne, active at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. There is a good interview with the artist in this journal : Frank Millward, “A Chat with Stewart Browne,” Poster 2, no. 10 (April 1899): 146–47. Graphic Arts Off-Site Storage RCPXG-6990572, also available online.
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Not Your Standard American Dictionary

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Laurie Spitz and Amee J. Pollack, Spitz & Pollack’s New Standard and Movable Dictionary of the American Language: Comparing Selected Words and Phrases, Re-Interpreted with Full Definitions Abridged ed. (New York: Spitz & Pollack Publishers, 2005). One of 35 copies. Gift of the artists. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2015- in process.

spitz dictionary3It isn’t often we get a book with a warning. This one comes with two. The first reads: Caution: Rule of Accountability Applied. This is a handmade, movable book requiring the readers to take action to change the text. However, excessively harsh pulling of the pieces–whether in anger or empathy with the contents–will result in permanent damage.

The second: Warning: First Amendment Invoked. Spitz & Pollack’s New Standard and Movable Dictionary, Abridged Edition, is fully protected by copyright and the First Amendment. All persons are warned against infringing on our rights.
spitz dictionary8The Graphic Arts Collection is very lucky to add one of the last copies of this limited edition artists’ book to our library. The offset and digitally printed volume includes eight movables, including wheels, slides, dissolves, and spinners.

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spitz dictionary4Amee J. Pollack and Laurie Spitz have collaborated on many projects but Pollack singled out this dictionary, completed in 2005, as one of her favorites. “Bush was re-elected, and it was quite upsetting to Laurie and me,” she said. “So we created a dictionary with movables and it was a reinterpretation of words for our times.” Manipulate the circle and the word oil becomes spoil; reason becomes treason; and so on.
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“René Char: Poetry and War”

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René Char has long been recognized as one of France’s greatest modern poets, whose prolific career began with Surrealism and ended only with his death in 1988. On February 27-28, 2015, Princeton University will host a series of academic talks, a film, and readings of Char’s work by poets, critics, and students.


This colloquium, open to the public, will address philosophical, historical and aesthetic issues raised particularly through Char’s texts from 1938-1947. It will include remarks by filmmaker Jérôme Prieur and several scholars, a conversation with Marie-Claude Char, René Char’s widow and editor of numerous books on his poetry, as well as a set of readings and translations by well-known poets, translators and members of Princeton’s French theater company, L’Avant-Scène.
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char summons

This colloquium is co-sponsored by the Office of the Dean of the Faculty, the Department of French and Italian, the Department of English, the Humanities Council, the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, the University Center for Human Values, and the Department of Comparative Literature.

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René Char (1907-1988), The Summons of Becoming: Marking the Centenary of a Poet. Poems by René Char, translated by Mary Ann Caws with lithographs by Ed Colker (Millwood, N.Y.: Haybarn Press, 2007). Copy 37 of 50. Graphic Arts Collection GAX oversize 2010.0383Q. “This portfolio edition was conceived to celebrate the centenary of René Char, poet and leader in the French Resistance during World War II.” — colophon. “The images were hand-colored as pochoir by the artist.”

For information and a schedule of events, please consult the Princeton University website (http://complit.princeton.edu/events)

Pathé Baby Collection


In the summer of 2008, Professor Rubén Gallo discovered a treasure trove of 800 French silent movies along with the Pathé Baby home movie projector to play them. This morning, nearly seven years later, we finalized the digitization, cataloguing and mounting of these films on the internet for the world to see.

All the title frames have been transcribed and translated, so that the films are key word searchable in English and French. Give it a try:

Many people worked on this project. We must begin by thanking Lynn Shostack and the David A. Gardner ’69 Magic Project for their encouragement and generous support. Thanks to grants in both 2009 and 2010, we were able to partner with the Colorlab Preservation Laboratory of Rockville, Maryland, which is one of the few companies in the United States capable of undertaking the arduous process of hand-cleaning, replasticizing, and transferring the 9.5 mm film stock to a digital medium.

Each one minute film was treated individually, and a pause was inserted at a total of 11,067 title frames to give enough time for them to be read. Then, the combined digital files had to be broken up again into each physical reel, to preserve the films in their original length. Finally, the files were converted to a universally readable format that could be played by all browsers.

Over the last few years, Vicki Principi and Ben Johnston have been the primary forces bringing this project to completion, overseeing the transcription, translating, and cataloguing of each reel. A website was designed so that all this data can be searchable by viewers around the world. In addition, a number of Princeton University students worked on this project, including Ghita Guessous, Oren Lurie, Christopher McElwain, Iriane Narcisse, Christian Perry, and Mengyi Xu.

Please join me in congratulating them on their great work. Now, enjoy the movies.




Daguerre’s Diorama

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Seventeen years before Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre (1759-1851) perfected the capture of images on a silver-coated copper plate (daguerreotypes), he created the Diorama with the help of the architectural painter Charles Marie Bouton (1781-1853). The barn-size building was elaborately constructed to present a life-size painting moving past spectators with constantly changing light effects that gave the illusion of changing times of days, or weather or seasons or other magically moving pictures.

Daguerre’s Diorama opened in Paris during the summer of 1822 and was an immediate success. Within a year, a second auditorium opened in London. Each 30 minute show presented two paintings, usually one outdoor scene and one religion interior.

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Vue du Château d’Eau prise du Boulevard St. Martin. Metz: Nicolas Gengel et Adrien Dembour, 1840. Hand colored wood engraving. Graphic Arts Collection GA2015- in process

vue d'optique daguerre3This vue d’optique or optical view of the Diorama comes from the Metz studio of Adrien Dembour (1799-1887) and his successor Nicolas Gengel, where over 100 workers were employed.

Like the studios nearby in Nancy and Epinal, the Metz shop produced colorful, popular prints of historic sites and urban landmarks. This print is meant to be view with a zograscope.

We are calling this a wood engraving, but Dembour devised a relief etching process around 1834, which he called ecktypography. The relief copper plate was inked and printed the same as a woodblock. It is possible this is a metal relief print.



More articles and images about Daguerre have been collected by R. Derek Wood.


yeats poems

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired a first edition of a 1935 selection of William Butler Yeats’ poetry, privately printed by the Cuala Press, 133 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin, for Eleanor Lady Yarrow. Its pages are, as yet, uncut and it is still bound in its original light blue paper wrappers.

Not only is our book one of only 30 copies printed by the poet’s sister, Elizabeth Corbet Yeats (1868-1940) but it is Miss Yeats’ own copy, with her bookplate inside the cover [pictured to the left].

The hand colored frontispiece [seen below] was designed by Dublin artist Victor Brown, a frequent Cuala Press contributor, then heightened with gold. Miss Yeats added hand drawn initials and ornaments throughout the volume.

The collection includes nine W.B. Yeats’ poems: “The Lover Tells of the Rose in his Heart,” “Into the Twilight,” “He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven,” “The Fiddler of Dooney,” “The Lake Isle of Innisfree,” “When You are Old,” “A Faery Song,” “The Song of Wandering Aengus,” and “The Pity of Love.”

This book is considered one of the rarest and most desirable of all the Cuala Press books (only one copy is known to have appeared at auction in the past thirty years) and we are thrilled to add it to Princeton University Library’s already extensive Irish collection.

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William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), Poems (Dublin: Cuala Press, 1935). One of 30 copies. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2015- in process.

For more on Elizabeth Yeats and the Cuala Press, see the exhibition website:


yeats poems6The Lake Isle of Innisfree
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin built there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine been rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.