the art of penmanship

I sometimes think I was born in the wrong century. I do hand bookbinding and have a bindery in my basement with Amish-made tools of the trade. I write with a fountain pen. And I read about the history of fine penmanship (see Ames’ Guide to Self-Instruction in Practical and Artistic Penmanship, Daniel T. Ames, 1884). Ames also penned this:

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So, I took a few minutes to dive into the stacks… and this what I found.

Frederic W. Goudy, The Alphabet and Elements of Lettering (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1952).


Reuben Leaf, Hebrew Alphabets: 400 B.C.E. to Our Days (Bloch Publishing Co, 1950).

For Hebrew lettering, I also recommend Peretz Prusan, A Guide to Hebrew Lettering (New York: Union of American Hebrew Congregations, 1981)


Ada Yardeni, The Book of Hebrew Script: History, Palaeography, Script Styles, Calligraphy & Design (London: The British Library, 2002)

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