I was over the moon to discover a new calligraphy resource that’s practically on my doorstep.
The Murray Library at The University of Sunderland is now home to the Archive of the International Research Centre for Calligraphy.
The collection is one of the largest in the UK of books and journals about calligraphy, book binding and handwriting.
It also includes a facsimile of the Lindisfarne Gospel, which is kept in secure storage.
Viewing the calligraphy collection
My calligraphy group from Westoe Crown Community Hub and I wasted no time in making the trip along the coast road from South Shields to view the collection.
The library staff were kind enough to reserve us a spot, so we could pull the books out and read them to our hearts’ content.
The collection includes workbooks and guides by reknowned calligraphers, including Eric Gill, Edward Johnston, Patricia Lovett and Tom Gourdie.
There were also titles covering papermaking, art and design, heraldry and typography, as well as Italian, Chinese and Arabic calligraphy.
Calligraphy through the decades
Some of the books dated back to the 1940s and had that lovely aroma that comes from the yellowing pages of a well-thumbed, vintage book.
Among my favourites were Lettering for Children (actual calligraphy too, not just handwriting) and the Bond-style cover of ‘Modern Trends in Letterpress Printing’ from the late 1950s.
My students found plenty of inspiration too, breaking their pens out and even searching online for their own copies of some of the titles on the shelves!
The library is open to the public and the collection is housed on the upper floor, next to the oversized book collection. The books can only be loaned to staff and students however, so take a notebook!