Johann Wilhelm Klein’s 1807 Printing Device for the Blind

Johann Wilhelm Klein (1765-1848) was a pioneer of education for blind people. According to online sources, “on 13 May 1804 Klein began to teach a young blind man, James Brown, at home, with government support. Thus arose the first blind institute in Germany. Klein’s mission in life was now the care of the blind, the education and career guidance to make it in the world of work. in 1807 Klein presented his Stachelschrift, a printing device with which he could type the upper-case letters of the Latin script and create marks in dotted form in the paper. For the blind this writing was not easy to read and to write by hand was hard even for the sighted. Klein rejected Braille because of their dissimilarity from the script of the sighted.”

In 1819 he wrote a Textbook for Instruction of the Blind, see: Johann Wilhelm Klein (1765-1848) Lehrbuch zum Unterrichte der Blinden: um ihnen ihren Zustand zu erleichtern, sie nützlich zu beschäftigen und sie zur bürgerlichen Brauchbarkeit zu bilden (Wien : Gedruckt bey Anton Strauss, 1819). Ex 2008-1453N Gift; History of Education Collection in honor of Harold T. Shapiro’s Cabinet, 1988-2001 Here is the entry on another Klein box from the exhibition “Touching the Book.”

Our box, a gift from Bruce Willsie ’86, has a hinged slatted lid over a felt ‘writing’ pad over a small paper drawer with an adjacent compartment for storing the printing blocks. There are 25 smaller printing blocks (lacking ‘X’), a stop block, a spacing block, and 21 larger printing blocks (lacking ‘E’, ‘H’, ‘I’, ‘V’, ‘W’, & ‘X’, with and additional ‘M’). The box is 33 x 34 x 10 cm.

I have not checked this bibliography but it might be helpful:

Friedrich Benesch (1977), “Klein, Johann Wilhelm”, Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB) (in German), 11, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 742–743

August Hirsch (1882), “Klein, Johann Wilhelm”, Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB) (in German), 16, Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 97–98

“Klein Johann Wilhelm”. In: Österreichisches Biographisches Lexikon 1815–1950 (ÖBL). Vol. 3, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna 1965, p. 382.

Klein, Johann Wilhelm in Constant of Wurzbach, Biographical Encyclopedia of the Empire, Austria, volume 12, page 51, Vienna, Imperial Court and State Printing 1864

Karl Heinz Scheible: Johann Wilhelm Klein . In: Wulf-Dietrich Kavasch, Günter Lemke and Albert Schlagbauer (eds): 2002, ISBN 3-923373-54-6, pp. 313–357


Louis XIV Performs Apollo



Giacomo Torelli (1608-1678), Scene e machine preparate alle Nozze di Teti, balletto reale representato nella sala del piccolo Borbone (Paris, 1654). Bound with: Giacomo Torelli (1608-1678) and Giulio Strozzi (1583-1652), Feste theatrali per la Finta Pazza drama del Sig. Giulio Strozzi. Rappresentate nel piccolo Borbone in Parigi quest’anno 1645 (Paris, 1645). Text in French and Italian. Provenance: From the library of the late-eighteenth-century Milanese engineer Giacomo Antonio Besana. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020- in process

Together with the Marquand Art and Archaeology Library, the Graphic Arts Collection acquired a first edition of this royal ballet, staged for Cardinal Mazzarino (1602-1661) with the participation of Louis XIV (1638-1715, King of France 1643-1715). Detailed plans for the inventive staging are by Giacomo Torelli (1608-1678), one of the most talented Baroque theater designers. This variant B edition in an early vellum binding retains two additional leaves with Torelli’s verses “Per la ricreazione e fuoco di Gioia,” engraved title page, plus the five folding double plates. Many pages are uncut.



Copying the dealer’s note in full:

In 1645, Torelli arrived in Paris and directed the refurbishment of the Palais Royal, the theatre built by Cardinal Richelieu. There he staged several appreciated performances, winning over not only the title of “Grand Sorcier”, but also the patronage of Cardinal Mazzarino. This famous “Noces de Pèlee et de Thétis” were staged by Torrelli in 1645, at the Petit Bourbon, with King Louis XIV dancing the role of Apollo. The libretto was composed by Francesco Buti, the music by Carlo Caproli and the ballets by Isaac de Benserade. The lavish scenographic apparati are thoroughly documented in this book, which contains the preparatory plans attributed directly to Torelli by Bjustrom. The opening verses and the following eight descriptions were penned by the Friuli librettist Giovanni Battista Amalteo, active in Vienna. The remarkably neat engravings were made by Silvestre Israël (1621-1691) after François Francart (1622-1672).

The acclaimed performance remained memorable as one of the first in Paris to exploit such complex machinery, insomuch that this edition was commissioned to eternalise this very aspect of the play. The copy also retains Torrelli’s large and inventive plates related to Finta Pazza, another work staged at the Petit Bourbon in 1645. The play had already been hailed as a great success at the premiere in Venice on 14 February 1641, with music composed by Francesco Sacrati. One can find here the title-page and the plates of the first edition of Finta Pazza, which circulated independently from the libretto, as was the case of the copies recorded by Vinet. Likewise, Gourary’s copy is with no text and intriguingly bound together with the Nozze di Teti, also without text, and other 13 suites of French and Italian theatrical, architectural and garden ornament.

This acquisition can be studied in the Firestone Library Special Collections reading room, when it reopens.


Touring work by Alison Saar, Dianne Smith, Wangechi Mutu, and Nobuho Nagasawa

Back in 2008, Alison Saar was commissioned to create “Swing Low,” a two-tone bronze statue of Harriet Tubman (died 1913) in a traffic island at West 122nd Street, St. Nicholas Avenue, and Frederick Douglass Boulevard in Harlem. Thirteen feet tall, the memorial shows Tubman striding fearlessly forward despite roots pulling on the back of her skirt. The base illustrates moments from Tubman’s life, alternating with traditional quilting symbols.

“Harriet Tubman is shown with the force of a locomotive coming on full steam with the ruffle of her petticoat acting as a cattle guard to push all resistance aside. Artist Alison Saar designed stylized portraits of “anonymous passengers” of the Underground Railroad in Tubman’s skirt, some of which were inspired by West African “passport masks.” Around the granite base of the monument are bronze tiles alternately depicting events in Tubman’s life and traditional quilting patterns. Trailing behind Tubman’s skirt are roots which symbolize the pulling up of roots by the slaves and all they had to leave behind and Tubman’s uprooting of the slavery system itself.”

Dianne Smith touching up her piece of the Harlem Black Lives Matter mural.

A Black Lives Matter mural, with letters painted in both directions on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard from 125th to 127th Street, was designed and completed by local community residents, apart from the six other murals painted across New York City’s five boroughs by Department of Transportation workers.

The artists are also cleaning and repairing it each day. Seen above is Dianne Smith who is responsible for the two Ts, incorporating the faces of Sandra Bland, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd’s daughter along with text by James Baldwin. Other artists who contributed designs for the mural include LeRone Wilson, Jason Wallace, Omo Misha, Guy Stanley Philoche, LesNY Felix, Thomas Heath, and Joyous Pierce.


Although the Metropolitan Museum of Art remains closed until the end of the summer, visitors can still enjoy Wangechi Mutu’s “The NewOnes, will free Us,” four bronze sculptures mounted in the building’s 5th Avenue façade. This is the first time works of art have been placed in the four niches and when Mutu’s temporary exhibit is over, another artist’s work will take its place.

Born in Nairobi, Kenya, Mutu trained in sculpture at Yale University, from which she received her MFA in 2000. Her work often references modern and classical mythologies, while they conflate histories and traditions of Africa and Europe. For “The NewOnes,” she was invited to establish a dialogue between “the artist’s practice and our physical Museum, its collection, and our visitors. …Mutu took this traditional function and turned it on its head. Here, the caryatids have been liberated from their supporting role: these magnificent, commanding figures assert their power and independence, and directly engage with all who visit the Museum.”


“Luminescence” by Nobuho Nagasawa, is one part of the newly constructed Hunter’s Point Park in Long Island City, Queens. The installation of seven cast concrete domes represent the seven phases of the moon, using white Portland cement integrated with phosphorous particles, pigment, and reflective silicon carbide grains. Best seen at sunset when Nagasawa’s moon’s begin to glow as the evening approaches.

“In the field of public art, Nagasawa completed more than thirty public art and intervention projects with successful interdisciplinary collaborations with architects and engineers internationally. They include civic projects such as city halls, government plazas, research laboratories, libraries, greenways, and transportation infrastructure. They range in scale from a 3000-foot long state highway retaining wall and large sculptures integrated within the architecture and landscape, to human-scale projects.”

Her works has been published in books including: Japanese Art After 1945: Scream Japanese Against the Sky (Alexandra Munroe, 1994), Lure of the Local: Senses of Place in a Multicentered Society (Lucy Lippard, 1997), Epicenter: San Francisco Bay Area Art Now (Mark Johnstone, Leslie Aboud Holzman, 2002), and Art after the Bomb: Iconographies of Trauma in Late Modern Art (Darrell Davisson, 2008).


"Luminescence" (2018) by Nobuho Nagasawa at Hunter's Point South Park, Long Island City, New York from Nobuho Nagasawa on Vimeo.

The Case of Lewis H. Douglass

The National Typographical Union was founded in 1852 and renamed the International Typographical Union (ITU) in 1869, the same year the first female printers were accepted as members.

Also in 1869, Lewis Henry Douglass (1840-1908), the oldest son of Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), joined the Government Printing Office in Washington D.C., as the government’s first African American typesetter. In keeping with current standards for professional workers, he sent in his application to join the local branch of the ITU. This was the beginning of a protracted battle with union members arguing about whether a “colored printer” should be allowed to join their union.

When it looked as though the Columbia chapter (Washington, D.C.) was going to accept Douglass’s application, a special national committee was appointed to study the “Negro question.” Only a few years after the Civil War, the topic was deemed too sensitive to resolve immediately and they left admittance of colored printers “to the discretion of Subordinate Unions.”

May 16, 1869, the question was finally raised at a meeting of the Washington D.C. chapter, the largest meeting ever convened, and there was massive confusion, both local and national disagreement voiced, proposals and then, counter proposals. Finally, the Union proceeded to vote on all the other candidates proposed for admission, leaving Douglass for last but just before that last name was proposed, a motion to adjourn was made and the meeting was over.

“It is said that Lewis H. Douglass, colored printer, was yesterday transferred from the case to a position as copy holder in the Government Printing Office. This action would seem to take the question of the admission of colored members to the Typographical union out of the control of such organizations, as copy holders are not required to be members of such Unions. But the issue having been raised, it will probably be pressed to a decision.”—Philadelphia Inquirer June 2, 1869

“The Negro Question and the Printers–The Case of Lewis H. Douglass” The Baltimore Sun, May 17 1869


Many letters were written to the President of the International Typographical Union, Douglass was called a ‘rat,’ someone who works outside the union, especially for lower wages. While still a teenager, he had apprenticed in Rochester, New York, as a typesetter for his father’s newspaper The North Star and after the Civil War, Lewis and his brother, Frederick Douglass, Jr. went to Denver where Henry O. Wagoner taught them all aspect of printing. Douglass never applied for union membership at either location and this was used against him, claiming he was trying to subvert the newly formed union.

“…acting in the interest of the minority, without any instructions from the Union—without the knowledge, advice, or consent of its membership—[someone] introduced a resolution, which was adopted by that body, censuring the Congressional Printer for employing L. H. Douglass, ‘an avowed rat’ calling upon Columbia Union to reject his application, and pledging the support of the National Union in such action.”

The Washington chapter wrote to leadership, calling this action “unjust, absurd, and unparalleled,”

The minority group that was against Black members threatened to eradicate the Columbia chapter and in response, the majority group that supported Douglass threatened to withdraw entirely, writing “If [the Union votes against Douglass] we shall … withdraw from the National Union and to organize a new National Typographical Society, which shall be founded on the principles of justice to all men, regardless of race or color.”

“That there are deep-seated prejudices against the colored race no one will deny; and these prejudices are so strong in many local unions that any attempt to disregard or override them will almost inevitably lead to anarchy and disintegration . . . and surely no one who has the welfare of the craft at heart will seriously contend that the union to thousands of white printers should be destroyed for the purpose of granting a barren honor of membership to a few Negroes.”–Printers’ Circular reprinted in Proceedings of the International Typographical Union of 1870 (Philadelphia, 1870), p. 140.

Two years went by and Douglass was still neither admitted to membership nor rejected. By this time, several other Black compositors had applied for union membership along with Douglass, including his brother Frederick Douglass Jr., William A. LaVelette, and Keith Smith. Eventually LaVelette withdrew his application. Keith Smith was admitted to the union in 1872(?), and Lewis Douglass is said to have been satisfied with another situation. No record of a vote on either Douglass men can be found. Lewis Douglass went on to help establish and publish The New National Era, a weekly newspaper aimed at Washington’s African American community.


Read more: Philip S. Foner and Ronald L. Lewis, editors. The Black Worker, Volume 1: The Black Worker to 1896. Temple University Press, 1978. JSTOR, Accessed 17 July 2020.

See also:

In the Library Frederick Douglass Family Materials from the Walter O. Evans Collection April 22 – June 14, 2019 (National Gallery of Art, 2019)

African American Faces of the Civil War: An Album edited by Ronald S. Coddington (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012).

Aaron Guest, Newark Printer

There were two printers named Aaron Guest working in and around Newark, New Jersey, in the mid-1800s. The first might have been African American, born about 1806 and died in Passaic County, New Jersey, in 1893. He was married but no other specifics are listed. The second Aaron Guest was born about 1808, bought a home in Bergen County, New Jersey, married, and is listed as White.

He/they had a printing business in 1838/39 at 104 Market Street; 1840-46 at 121 Market-Street; and 1847-50? at 333 Broad-Street, in the rear. In 1851, the printing shop at 333 Broad Street was sold to Stephen Holbrook, and Guest’s 1851 address was simply “Michigan.”

These are the books printed by one or both Aaron Guests (about 1806-1893) in Newark, NJ 1837-1848. Are they by one or two men?

Edward Sayers, A manual on the culture of the grape,: with a dissertation on the growth and management of fruit trees, adapted to the Northern States (N.J.: Published by the author, and sold by most seedsmen & booksellers in the Union. Aaron Guest, printer, 1837).

Charter of the Bank of New-Jersey (Newark, N.J.: A. Guest, printer, 1837).

Charles Fitch, Views of sanctification (NJ: Aaron Guest, printer, 1839).

James William Charles Pennington, An address delivered at Newark, N.J. at the first anniversary of West India Emancipation: August 1, 1839 (N.J.: Aaron Guest Printer, 1839).

Tyler Thacher, Perfectionism examined (Newark [N.J.] Aaron Guest, Printer; New-York: Sold by John S. Taylor, 1840-1845).

Directory of the city of Newark, compiled by Benjamin T. Pierson. Printed by Aaron Guest, 121 Market-St., 1840-46; 333 Broad-St., in the rear., 1847-48.

Samuel E. Cornish (1795?-1858), Theodore S. Wright, Theodore Frelinghuysen, and others, The Colonization Scheme Considered: in its rejection by the colored people–in its tendency to uphold caste–in its unfitness for Christianizing and civilizing the aborigines of Africa, and for putting a stop to the African slave trade: in a letter to the Hon. Theodore Frelinghuysen and the Hon. Benjamin F. Butler (Newark [N.J.]: Printed by Aaron Guest, 121 Market-Street., 1840).

Charles Fitch, Letter to the Newark Presbytery (N.J., Aaron Guest, printer, 1840).
Hon. Benjamin F. Butler; by the pastors of the Colored Presbyterian Churches in the cities of Newark and New York
(Newark: Aaron Guest. 1840)

William Raymond Weeks, Letter to the Rev. Charles Fitch on his views of Sanctification, by the Pastor of the fourth Presbyterian Church (Newark. Aaron Guest, 1840).

Henry William Herbert, The Magnolia: 1841 (New-York: A. & C.B. Edwards, no. 3 Park Row. Aaron Guest, printer., 1840).

James Hewson, Every man his own lawyer, or, The several modes of commencing and conducting actions in the Court for the Trial of Small Causes in the State of New Jersey: rendered plain and easy, with a variety of forms for drawing statements of demand: together with numerous references to the state laws and decisions of the Supreme Court (Newark [N.J.]: A. Guest, printer, 1841).

William Torrey, Address delivered at the temperance convention, held at Morristown, N.J., December 13, 1843; with the proceedings and resolutions of the convention, and also of that held at Hackettstown, N.J., September 26, 1843 (NJ: Aaron Guest, Printer, 1843).

Alexander Gilmore, Review of a sermon preached by N. Murray, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, Elizabethtown, N.J., at the dedication of a church in Kingston, Pa. (Newark [N.J.]: Aaron Guest, printer, 121 Market-Street, 1843).

Charles Warren, Constitution of the Juvenile Temperance Band, with the duties of the officers and members, to which are appended some counsels of wisdom, and other instructive exercises (New Jersey Juvenile Temperance Band.: Aaron Guest, Printer, 1844).

Oliver S. Halsted, Address upon the character of the late the Hon. Isaac H. Williamson: delivered before the bar of New-Jersey, September 3d, 1844 (Newark, N.J.: Aaron Guest, printer, 1844).

An act to incorporate the Morris and Essex Rail Road Company passed January 29, 1835: with the supplements, passed March 2, 1836; February 22, 1838; January 24, 1839; March 1, 1842, and February 25, 1846. Morris and Essex Railroad Company (N.J.: Aaron Guest, Printer, 1846).

James Munks, Confession of James Munks, who was executed on Saturday, January 23, 1819 for the murder of Reuben Guild (N.J.: Aaron Guest, printer, 1847).

J.B. Condit, A time to die: a discourse delivered at the funeral of John S. Condit, M.D., of Lodi, Hudson County, N.J.: in the Second Presbyterian Church, Newark, April 7, 1848 (N.J.: Aaron Guest, printer, 1848).

Prospectus of the Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company: with tables of rates for single and joint lives, annuities, and endowments, 1848 (New Jersey, Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company. N.J.: Aaron Guest, printer, 1848).

“Theodore Sedgwick Wright (Class of 1828) claims a special place in Princeton Seminary history as the first African American to attend and graduate from the Seminary. He attended from 1825 through 1828. The Board of Director’s Minute Book specifically stipulates that his race should be no bar to his admission to the Seminary (he had already been turned down by a number of institutions to which he had applied): “Dr. McAuley, on behalf of the Presbytery of Albany, applied to the Board to have Theodore Wright, a fine young man of color, admitted into the Seminary. Whereupon, resolved that his color shall form no obstacle in the way of his reception.”

“Wright was ordained by the Presbytery of Albany on February 5, 1829. He was named pastor of the First Colored Presbyterian Church of New York City and served the congregation until his death in 1847. By all reports his pastorate was a very successful one, his congregation rapidly growing until they had to find a new meeting place and eventually becoming the second largest African American church in New York City. He and his congregation were active in the Underground Railroad, helping escaping slaves in their travels from the American South to freedom in Canada. In addition, Wright served as an agent of the New England Anti-Slavery Society and worked with other anti-slavery organizations, traveling and lecturing in the cause along with such other well-known African American abolitionists as Frederick Douglass.”

Read more:

Robert Lewis Pendleton, Pioneer Printer of Washington

Robert Lewis Pendleton (1865-1929), one of the first African American printers to establish their own firm in Washington D.C., founded the R.L. Pendleton Company, also called Pendleton’s Quality Printing House, in 1886. Over the next 44 years, his shop operated at several Washington locations including 524 10th NW.; 1103 F NW. and 609 F Street NW.

Born in Marianna, Florida, Pendleton was listed as a job printer by age of sixteen, later moving to New York City in 1884 to work on the New York Globe. The following year he was printing at the People’s Advocate in Washington D.C. and then, established his own printing business, specializing in jobs for African American organizations. Among the books he printed were those written by his wife, Leila Amos Pendleton, author of A Narrative of the Negro (1912).

In 1910, Pendleton formed the American Negro Monograph Company with John W. Cromwell, his former boss at the People’s Advocate, as the editor. They attempted to republished important African American essays that had gone out-of-print, including The confession, trial and execution of Nat Turner, the Negro insurgent (1910); Contemporary evolution of the Negro race (1910); Biography of Benjamin Banneker (1910); and The social evolution of the Black South by W.E.B. Du Bois (1911).


For many years, Pendleton also taught printing at Howard University and was an active supporter of the school (see his advertising in the early yearbooks). He and his wife were also active with the Black fraternal order of the Scottish Rite Masons Temple, where he served as the Sovereign Grand Commander of the Southern jurisdiction. When they were not allowed to join or use the main Temple, Pemdleton organized Black members to build their own Temple 10 blocks away.

In addition to the American Negro Monograph series, he printed the following:

Anniversary address on the occasion of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church, Washington, D.C., 1841-1916. Grimké, Francis J. 1850-1937. Washington: R.L. Pendleton, Printer, 1916

Articles of incorporation, constitution and by-laws of the S. Coleridge-Taylor Choral Society of Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C.: Press of R.L. Pendleton, 1904

The Atlanta Exposition Souvenir Cook book: a safe guide to ordering and cooking. Bailey, Ida D., Mrs, compiler. Washington, D.C.: R.L. Pendleton, 1895

The blot on the eschutcheon [sic]: an address delivered before the Afro-American League, Branch no. 1, at the Second Baptist Church, Washington, D.C., April 4th, 1890 / Bruce, John Edward. Washington: R.L. Pendleton, Printer, 1890

Catalogue of the third annual exhibition of the Tanner Art League (Colored): Art rooms, Dunbar High School, Washington, D.C. [Washington, D.C.]: [Tanner Art League], 1922

Character: the true standard by which to estimate individuals and races and by which they should estimate themselves and others. This address was delivered before the Presbyterian Council at its session which was held in the Berean Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, Pa., October 27, 1911. Grimke, Francis James, 1850-1925. Washington: R.L. Pendleton, 1911

Charitable institutions in colored churches / Crummell, Alexander, 1819-1898. [Washington, D.C.]: Press of R.L. Pendleton .., 1892

Constitution of Free Grace Lodge, no. 1343, of the G.U.O. of O.F., organized September 23, 1867: revised February 20, 1884. Grand United Order of Odd Fellows in America. Washington, D.C. (934 F. St., N.W.): R.L. Pendleton, Printer, 1891

Constitution of the American Negro Academy. American Negro Academy. Washington, D.C.: R.L. Pendleton, 1905

A discourse delivered at the funeral services of Mr. George F.T. Cook: Held at the Fifteen Street Presbyterian Church, Washington, D.C. August 10th, 1912. Grimké, Francis J. 1850-1937. Washington: Printed by R.L. Pendleton, 1912

The elements of permanent influence. Discourse delivered in the Fifteenth street Presbyterian church, Washington, D.C., Sunday, February 16, 1890, Blyden, Edward Wilmot, 1832-1912. Washington: R.L. Pendleton, Printer, 1890

Excerpts from a Thanksgiving sermon, delivered November 26, 1914, and two letters addressed to Hon. Woodrow Wilson, President of the U.S. Grimké, Francis J. 1850-1937. [Washington, D.C.], [Printed by R.L. Pendleton], 1914

Gideon bands for work within the race and for work without the race: a message to the colored people of the United States: a discourse delivered in the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church, Washington, D.C., Sunday, March the 2nd, 1913 / Grimké, Francis J. 1850-1937. Washington, D.C.: R.L. Pendleton, 1913

A glance at the life of Ira Frederick Aldridge / Peyton, Fountain. [Washington]: [Printed by R.L. Pendleton], 1917

A glance at the past and present of the Negro: an address … delivered at Church’s Auditorium before the Citizen’s Industrial League of Memphis, Tenn., Sept. 22, 1903. Terrell, Robert Herberton, 1857-1925. Washington: R.L. Pendleton, 1903

A heavenly vista; the pilgrimage of Louis G. Gregory. Gregory, Louis G. [Washington], [Printed by R.L. Pendleton], 1900s

History of Felix Lodge no. 3, F.A.A.M. or Freemasonry in the District of Columbia from 1825 to 1908. / Severson, William H., 1845-. Washington, D.C.: Press of R.L. Pendleton, 1908

History of the Bethel Literary and Historical Association.; being a paper read before the Association on Founder’s Day, February 24, 1896. Cromwell, John Wesley, 1846-1927. Washington, D.C., Press of R.L. Pendleton, 1896

Incidents of hope for the Negro race in America: a Thanksgiving sermon, November 26th, 1895 / Crummell, Alexander, 1819-1898.; Murray, Daniel Alexander Payne, Washington, D.C.: R.L. Pendleton, 1895

The Jim Crow Negro / Cromwell, John Wesley, 1846-1927. Washington, D.C.: Press of R.L. Pendleton, 1904

Life and works of Phillis Wheatley: containing her complete poetical works, numerous letters, and a complete biography of this famous poet of a century and a half ago. / Wheatley, Phillis, 1753-1784; Renfro, G. Herbert,; Pendleton, Leila Amos,. Washington, D.C.: [R.L. Pendleton], 1916

Manual of Plymouth Congregational Church of Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C.: R.L. Pendleton, printer, 1892

Memorial in honor of the late Justice John Marshall Harlan, associate justice of the United States Supreme Court. Monday evening, December 11th 1911, Metropolitan A.M.E. Church, Washington, D.C. . [Washington, D.C.], [R.L. Pendleton, Printer], 1911

Missing pages in American history, revealing the services of negroes in the early wars in the United States of America, 1641-1815, Wilkes, Laura E. 1871-1922. [Washington, D.C.]: [Press of R.L. Pendleton], 1919

A narrative of the Negro / Pendleton, Leila Amos, 1860- . Washington, D.C.: Press of R.L. Pendleton, 609 F Street, N.W., 1912,

The Negro from A to Z / Cosey, A. B. 1863- Washington, D.C.: Press of R.L. Pendleton, 1897

Paradise (Cleveland Park) and other poems. Jackson, Laura F. Washington, D.C.: R.L. Pendleton Printer, 1920

[Programme of] The Hiawatha trilogy, Coleridge-Taylor, Samuel, Corp : First Congregational Church (Washington, D.C.). [Washington, D.C.], [R.L. Pendleton] 1905

Progressive Negro. Washington; a souvenir album of some of the beautiful Negro churches, halls, public school buildings …. Washington: R.L. Pendleton, 1909

Race rhymes / Clifford, Carrie Williams, 1862-1934. Washington, D.C.: [Printed by R.L. Pendleton], 1911

Race solidarity / Thomas, Charles M. 1873-. Washington, D.C.: R.L. Pendleton, 1917

Reconnaissance soil survey of the San Diego region, California / Holmes, L. C.; Pendleton, R. L. Washington: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Bureau of Soils: G.P.O., 1918

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: an ode of welcome. Hayson, Maxwell Nicy. [Washington, D.C.]: [R.L. Pendleton], 1906

The shades and the lights of a fifty years’ ministry: jubilate / Crummell, Alexander, 1819-1898.; Cooper, Anna J. Washington, D.C.: St. Luke’s Church: [R.L. Pendleton, Printer], 1894

The Silver Bluff Church: a history of Negro Baptist churches in America / Brooks, Walter H. 1851-1945. Washington, D.C.: R.L. Pendleton, 1910

Soil survey of the Ukiah area, California / Watson, E. B. 1864-1926.; Pendleton, R. L. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1916, 1919

Soil survey of the Riverside area, California / Nelson, J. W.; Watson, E. B.; Pendleton, R. L.,, and others. Washington: G.P.O., 1917

The story of Frederick Douglass: with quotations and extracts. Wilkes, Laura E. 1871-1922. Washington, D.C.: R.L. Pendleton, printer, 1899

Syllabus of an extension course of lectures on race contacts and interracial relations; a study in the theory and practice of race. Locke, Alain, 1885-1954. [Washington, D.C.], [Printed by R.L. Pendleton], 1916

Three letters addressed to the New York Independent, Winston Churchill, Rev. “Billy” Sunday. Grimké, Francis J. 1850-1937.; Churchill, Winston,; Sunday, Billy. [Washington]: [Press of R.L. Pendleton], 1915

What the negro has done for himself, (a study of racial uplift). Moore, Lewis B., Rev. [Washington, D.C.], [R.L. Pendleton], 1910

The young people of to-day and the responsibility of the home in regard to them. Grimké, Francis J. 1850-1937. [Washington, D.C.]: [Press of R.L. Pendleton], 1909

Portrait of the author, Increase Mather

Robert White (1645-1703) after Jan van der Spriet (active 1690-1700), Crescentius Matherus [Portrait of Increase Mather], 1688. Engraving. Bound in: Increase Mather (1639-1723), The Life and Death of That Reverend Man of God, Mr. Richard Mather, Teacher of the Church in Dorchester in New-England : [seven lines of quotations] (Cambridge [Mass.]: Printed by S.G. and M.J. [i.e., Samuel Green and Marmaduke Johnson], 1670. William H. Scheide Library, 101.19


A few months ago, a live webinar was held to investigate the woodcut portrait of Richard Mather (1596-1669) by John Foster (1648-1681), recognized as the first cut printed on a European press in Colonial  America. The print is assumed to have been created in honor of Mather’s death around 1670. While Princeton University Library holds a copy of that print, in William Scheide’s copy of The Life and Death of That Reverend Man of God, Mr. Richard Mather someone has inserted an engraved portrait of the author, Increase Mather, rather than the woodcut.

Thanks to our digital studio, we now have a complete surrogate copy of the volume along with the engraving to study at home.


The Scheide volume has a dedication signed: Increase Mather. Boston N.E. Septemb. 6. 1670. The pasted in engraving holds the inscription: Crescentius Matherus. Aetatis Suae 49. 1688. Vanderspirit pinxit. R. White Sculp. Londini. This tells us that it was engraved by Robert White (1645-1703) after a drawing by Jan van der Spriet (active 1690-1700),

The portrait shows Increase Mather, aged 49, with long hair, wearing skull-cap and bands. According to Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society (1894), “Mather’s portrait was painted in 1688 [see below], during his visit to England, where, as an agent of the Massachusetts Colony, he had gone in the spring of that year. The artist was John vander Spriett, a Dutch mezzotint engraver of little note, who had studied under Verkolie at Amsterdam, where he had painted a few portraits. He afterward went to London, and died there about the year 1700.”

Presumably Dr. Mather, on his return home in the spring of 1692, brought back to Boston this painting of himself. Inasmuch as his eldest child, Dr. Cotton Mather, inherited the larger part of his estate, it is very likely that the picture passed into that son’s possession, and thence into the hands of his grandson Samuel. Within a few months after Dr. Mather’s portrait was painted in London, it was engraved by Robert White, an English artist of some note (born 1645, died 1704), who had made many other likenesses of distinguished persons.

It is a small copperplate engraving, about six inches by four in size, representing the bust in an oval frame, and the whole resting on a pedestal, and bears the legend “Crescentius Matherus. AEtatis Suae 49. 1688.” In the two lower corners, below the pedestal, are the following words, in small script: “Vanderspirit pinxit. R. White Sculp. Londini.” It is of excellent workmanship, the hatching is soft and delicate, and the handling of the hair graceful. While the engraver has taken some liberties in his production and has slightly changed the pose of the figure, it is evident that he followed this identical portrait.

According to White’s biography written for the British Museum, the artist was the “foremost pupil of [David Loggan, 1634–1692], and inherited his position as the leading line-engraver for the print trade. His earliest print was made in 1666, and his last in 1702. His output was huge, and has never been fully catalogued. [George Vertue, 1684-1756]‘s list, reproduced by Walpole, has several hundred plates. Vertue got some information from White’s son, George: ‘Robert White Engraver did not only learn of Mr Loggan but from his infancy had an inclination to drawing & made essays in engraving and etching before he knew Loggan. He drew many buildings for Loggan & engrav’d, besides he imploy’d much of his time in drawing from the life black led upon vellum’”.

While most of White’s portraits are found as frontispieces, “A small number he published himself at his house in Bloomsbury Market …. He is said to have charged about £4 for a small plate, but up to £30 for a large one.”


18th-century British vue d’optique

A view in Covent Garden showing St Paul’s Church on fire, as people watch from a roof nearby. “As it appeared on Fire, at eight O’Clock on Thursday Evening, 17th Sepr. 1795.”

John Scott (1774-1828) after a drawing by B.F. Scott, St. Paul’s Covent-Garden… 1795. Hand-colored engraving. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020- . Gift of Bruce Willsie ’86. Engraved text:

Was Built by that Celebrated Architect Inigo Jones, in 1640 by the direction And at the Expence of the Earl of Bedford, Ancestor of the present Duke, to whom the Land was granted by Edward VI in {1552 – This Structure was Erected} as a Chapel of Ease to St Martins in the Fields – and remarkable for its Majestic Simplicity, which never fail’d to Attract the Eye of the Curious – It was seperated from St Martins, Constituted an Independent P{arish, and confirmed in 1660 – When the Patronage was vested in the Earl of Bedford, and remained as it came from the Hands of the Original Architect – until the above Accident, which happen’d while Repairing

Thank to a generous donation by Bruce Willsie ’86, the Graphic Arts Collection has eleven new hand-colored vue d’optique, primarily from the 18th century. Here are a few scenes.

Charles Grignon, the Elder (1721-1810) after Giovanni Antonio Canal, known as Canaletto (1697-1768), A View of the Canal, Chinese Building, Rotundo, &c. in Ranelagh Gardens, with the Masquerade.Vue du Canal, du Batiment, Chinois, de la Rotunda, &c, des Jardins de Ranelagh un jour de Masquarade, 28 February 1752. Hand colored engraving. Printed for and sold by Robt Sayer at the Golden Buck opposite Fetter Lane Fleet Street. Also lettered in French: Vue du Canal, du Batiment, Chinois, de la Rotunda, &c. des Jardins de Ranelagh un jour de Masquarade. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020- . Gift of Bruce Willsie ’86

“Pleasure gardens were the great melting pots of 18th-century society and centres for public entertainment. First opened in 1746, Ranelagh Gardens in Chelsea boasted acres of formal gardens and tree-lined promenades. Visitors came to admire the Chinese Pavilion, watch the fountain of mirrors and attend musical concerts held in the great 200-foot-wide Rotunda. Originally designed to appeal to wealthier tastes, pleasure gardens soon became the haunt of the rich and poor alike, where both aristocrats and tradesmen enjoyed spectacles side by side.”-British Library

View of the Inside of the Courts of the Priests in Solomon’s Temple, with the manner of the Preparing & Offering the Sacrifices according to the Vision of the Prophet Ezekiel, May 12, 1794. Printed for Rob.t Sayer at the Golden Buck opposite Fetter Lane Fleet-street, London. Hand colored engraving. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020- . Gift of Bruce Willsie ’86.

Note the large basin on the left: Brazen Sea by Morris Jastrow, Jr., Ira Maurice Price, Marcus Jastrow, and Louis Ginzberg, “The brazen laver of the Mosaic ritual; made by Solomon out of bronze captured by David at Tibhath and Chun, cities of Hadarezer (I Chron. xviii. 8). It served the same purpose for the officiating priests of Solomon’s Temple as did the layer for those officers at the tabernacle. The dimensions of the sea (I Kings vii. 23-26) were as follows: height, 5 cubits; circumference, 30 cubits (consequently it was about 10 cubits in diameter); and a handbreadth in thickness. It was capable of holding 2,000 “baths”; on the smallest calculation, about 17,000 gallons. “Under the brim of it round about there were knops which did compass it, for ten cubits compassing the sea round about; the knops were in two rows, cast when it was cast” (ib. 24). This great brazen vessel was set on the backs of twelve brazen oxen; three of them facing each cardinal point, and all of them facing outward…”–


Jacques Rigaud (ca.1681-1754), A View of the Royal Palace of Hampton Court. Vüe du Palais Royal de Hampton Court, ca. 1760-1765. Hand colored engraving. Printed for & Sold by Rob.t Sayer at the Golden Buck Opposite Fetter Lane Fleet Street. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020- Gift of Bruce Willsie, ‘86.

“…The reliable witness George Vertue tells us that Queen Caroline’s designer Charles Bridgeman commissioned Rigaud to come to England in early 1733, to draw and engrave four views of royal domains at Greenwich, St. James’s Palace, and Hampton Court Palace (and Rigaud did publish these in Paris, 1736).” –Read more in Richard Quaintance’s “Unnamed Celebrities in Eighteenth-Century Gardens: Jacques Rigaud’s Topographical Prints” —


Afrofuturism: The Graphics of Octavia E. Butler

Please join us for the latest in our series of live webinars highlighting Special Collections at Princeton University Library. This month focuses on speculative fiction, also called Afrofuturism, of Octavia E. Butler.

January 2020 brought the release of the much anticipated Parable of the Sower: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Octavia E. Butler, adapted by Damian Duffy and illustrator John Jennings, the follow-up to the no.1 New York Times bestseller Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by the same award-winning team. Butler’s groundbreaking dystopian novel offers a searing vision of America’s future. Set in the year 2024, Parable presents a country marred by unattended environmental and economic crises that lead to social chaos. Residents shelter indoors, warned against venturing outside into a world eerily similar to our contemporary COVID-19 existence.

Adapting Parable and Kindred to a graphic novel format is an astounding achievement and we are fortunate to have both Damian Duffy and John Jennings with us to discuss how they accomplished it. Their adaptations capture the energy and raw emotion of Butler’s prose with visual acrobatics and succinct verbal interchanges. Join this lively discussion with Graphic Arts Curator Julie Mellby, focusing on their graphic adaptations of classic literature, along with a look at their future projects.


Date: Friday, July 31, 2020
Time: 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EDT
Location: Virtual


Octavia E. Butler (1947–2006) was a renowned African-American author who was awarded a MacArthur “Genius” Grant and PEN West Lifetime Achievement Award for her body of work.

Damian Duffy is a cartoonist, scholar, writer, and teacher. He holds a MS and PhD in library and information sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he is on faculty.

John Jennings is the newly appointed director of Megascope, Abrams ComicArt’s graphic imprint as well as a professor of media and cultural studies at the University of California, Riverside.

Anaïs Nin and Louise Bourgeois

(c) Museum of Modern Art.

Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell (1903–1977), known professionally as Anaïs Nin (pronounced Ana East Neen) and Louise Joséphine Bourgeois (1911–2010) were two of the strongest, most self-sustaining women of the 20th century. Together they produced a stunningly beautiful image/text narrative, He Disappeared Into Complete Silence, although they may never have met.

As Nin was signing a contract with Dutton Publishers in 1946 and preparing to close Gemor Press, where she and Gonzalo More had been hand-printing books since 1942, she expected to publish only one more title. A large folio edition of her House of Incest, which appeared in Paris in 1936 under the imprint Siana editions (Anais spelled backwards), was to be printed and published in a limited run of 50 copies. Then Stanley William Hayter (1901-1988), director of Atelier 17, the print workshop where Nin’s husband printed, walked in with another project.

Nin with Frances Steloff, at Gotham Book Mart


In the 1930s, Nin, her husband Hugh Guiler, More, Hayter, and Bourgeois were all living and working in Paris but when the city started mobilizing for war, they each made their separate ways to New York City. Just before leaving France, More worked with Hayter on Atelier 17’s limited edition Fraternity, which was completed in March of 1939.

When the Hayter’s studio reopened in New York, Guiler studied etching there and several of his wife’s hand-printed editions include her husband’s prints under the pseudonym Ian Hugo. Nin’s Diaries contain several mentions of Hayter stopping by Gemor Press on Macdougal Street or later 13th Street when they expanded their printing shop to include an etching press.

Nin credits Hayter with teaching her and More to print relief copperplate etchings and with bringing them work when they needed the money. There is never a mention of titles or publications, just the fact that he would bring work to their shop if an artist needed letterpress text with their fine art prints.

This might have been the case with Louise Bourgeois’s He Disappeared Into Complete Silent. There is no mention of Bourgeois in Nin’s Diaries, or of the project. Neither is Nin mentioned in Bourgeois sources. It is a tragedy the two never really collaborated. By this time, More had foolishly given away all the money needed to run the business and Nin had no choice but to close the door.

We would show more of the Gemor Press editions but someone has removed them from Firestone Library and the books will have to be replaced. Be careful when buying or selling these books to check for a Princeton property stamp inside.

In Paris
The House of Incest by Anaïs Nin. Paris: Siana éditions [1936].

The Winter of Artifice by Anaïs Nin. Paris; [printed in Belgium]: Obelisk Press, 1939.

Fraternity by Stephen Spender, translated by Louis Aragon. Paris: Stanley William Hayter, 1939). Text printed by Gonzalo More.

In New York City
Winter of Artifice by Anaïs Nin. Metal relief prints by Ian Hugo. [New York: Gemor Press], 1942. First edition 500 copies.

Four Poems by Sharon Vail. New York: Gemor Press, 1942.

Several Have Lived by Hugh Chisholm; Prints by André Masson. New York: Gemor Press, 1942.

Misfortunes of the Immortals by Max Ernst and Paul Éluard. Translated by Hugh Chisholm. New York: Black Sun Press (printed at the Gemor Press), 1943.

Alphabet du décor by Berthie Zilkha. pen drawings by Madison Wood. [New York: Gemor Press], 1944. 68 pages. Edition: 300

Ardentissima cura: a poem by Bernardo Clariana; translated by Dudley Fitts. New York: Gemor Press, 1st ed. 1944. [12] pages ; 22 cm. Edition: 400.

Ho! watchman of the night, ho! by Lee Ver Duft. New York: Gemor Press, 1944. 30 pages ; 23 cm. Edition: 300. Cover Art by Mastrofski.

Quinquivara by C. L. Baldwin; engravings by Ian Hugo. New York: Gemor Press, 1944.

Under a Glass Bell by Anaïs Nin. Line engravings on copper by Ian Hugo. [New York, Gemor Press, 1944]

This Hunger by Anaïs Nin; with five colored hand-pulled woodblocks by Ian Hugo. [New York] Gemor Press, 1945. [1]-183 [1] pages, 4 leaves woodblocks. 23.2 cm. Edition: 1000 copies and limited deluxe edition: 50 copies.

A Child Born Out of the Fog by Anaïs Nin. [New York], Gemor Press, 1946. 2 preliminary leaves, 1-6 pages, 1 leaf 20 cm.
A Child Born Out of the Fog by Anaïs Nin. [New York]: Gemor Press, 1947. 4 unnumbered pages, 6 pages, 2 unnumbered pages ; 19 cm. ?2nd edition?

Moods and Melodies by Henriette Reiss. New York: Gemor Press, 1946. 2nd ed.

Mujer, Estados Unidos de América: poema radiofónico by Tana De Gámez. New York: Gemor Press, 1946.

Nine Desperate Men by C. L. Baldwin. [New York] Gemor Press 1946.

Rendezvous with Spain: A poem by Bernardo Clariana: Translated by Dudley Fitts and illustrated by Julio de Diego. New York Gemor Press 1946. Edition: 520 copies (100 in black and white, 400 in color; 20 deluxe copies have been hand colored by the artist).

He Disappeared into Complete Silence by Louise Bourgeois. Introduction by Marius Bewley. New York: Atelier 17; Printer of text: Gemor Press, printer of images: Atelier 17, 1947.

House of Incest by Anaïs Nin. New York: Gemor Press, 1947. 43 cm. Linotype and etchings. Edition: 50.