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The Printer's Art Collection

Identifier: SC-MS-084

Scope and Contents

This collection contains six groupings representing the printed book. The six series are: Choice Examples of Early Printing and Engraving [Facsimiles from Rare and Curious Books]; Choice Examples of Oriental Printing and Engraving; Choice Examples of Paleography [Facsimiles from Rare and Curious Manuscripts of Oriental Countries]; Choice Examples of Book Illumination [Facsimiles from illuminated manuscripts and illuminated books of early date]; Ancient Bible Pages [Facsimiles of Title Pages and Original Leaves]; and Parchment pages.

The facsimiles are partial in nature, single pages derived from several genres of manuscripts and early books including religious texts, grammer programs and historical texts. Items range in date from 700 to 1796; the majority are products of the 15th and 16th centuries. Each facsimile includes a description of the identified page.

The ancient biblical pages are derived from the Stanley Slotkin collection. Sloktin owned a collection of approximately 200,000 biblical texts and in 1969, he started to dismember the texts, donating them page by page to inquiring libraries, schools and churches. Each original page in mounted on paper with a reproduction of the corresponding title page.


  • Creation: Undetermined


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Copyright Statement

Copyright retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United StatesĀ  copyright law.

Historical Note

Books or manuscripts having letters, initial words, or borders painted in gold or silver, as well as colors, are said to be illuminated. These features result in a compound of illustration and ornament. Until the 14th century, illumination was done by monks in religious houses. However, after that period, groups of artists traveling from country to country or working in major cities in workshops were commissioned by wealthy nobles and other lay persons to create illuminations. The patron specified the number of initials and scenes he required for a particular piece, and it was not unusual for several artists to work on one manuscript.

Paleography is the skilled study of ancient writing, in which the date of a manuscript can be determined by examining the manner in which the characters on it were made.


2 Containers (Contains 1 oversize box and 4 folders)

Language of Materials



This collection consists of examples of illuminated works, which have been broken into six series: Early Printing and Engraving, Oriental Printing and Engraving, Examples of Paleography, Examples of Book Illumination, Ancient Bible Pages, and Parchment pages.

Acquisition Information

Several individuals contributed to this collection. Dr. William Madison Randall donated the arabic text, "Chapter of Kuran-Tah." Mrs. Allan D. Howland donated the parchment page from an early manuscript from the estate of Mrs. Dorothy Weatley in 1969. Stanley S. Slotkin donated the remaining items in this collection.

Processing Information

Originally processed by Lana Donaldson Taylor in 1993. In 2014, part of this manuscript collection was re-foldered and re-housed with current archival standard materials by Christine Hockaday.

The Printer's Art Collection
Special Collections Staff
1993 May 28
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Randall Library Special Collections Repository