I'm aware that some of you do their research on old type by going into archives. Furthermore there are possibilities to see rar type specimens on platforms like archive.org.
Admittedly I feel a bit overwhelmed as a graphic design student looking for examples of old metal type. Where and how do you do your research for example on specific typefaces like a Granjon, Garamond or Griffo (I mean prints done with the original matrizes of their workshops – not reissues)?
(Now it's more like looking for something specific and getting something other like nice surprises I wasn't looking for.
Like this fine discovery:https://euvs-vintage-cocktail-books.cld.bz)
I'm thrilled to hear your perspective on this matter!
Oooh! Thanks for that link! I now have a much higher quality .pdf of the Hypnerotomachia than I used to! That's one of my two favourite books!
In the meantime, the Internet Archive does indeed host quite a few foundry catalogs. Their images — if captured by their machines or provided by David MacMillan — are generally decent. Google’s are poor and useful only for reference, as Jacob said. Gallica’s are excellent. Silver Buckle has a good quality digital collection of American type specimens.
Speaking of the Hypnerotomachia, Letterform Archive also holds a very clean copy. Here’s an image we shot for our publication, The Occasional, which recently shipped out to our mailing list.
We photograph our collection with a 100-megapixel camera and raking light, so the result is much less flat than scans. It does mean there isn't extreme contrast on the type edges, so it’s not best for tracing a letterform, but it’s great for getting as close to the real printed page as possible.
You can request hi-fi captures from any object at the Archive for $25/image. (With extra fees for any further reproduction.) Contact us with requests for specific typefaces, foundries, or printers.
"On the origin of patterning in movable Latin type : Renaissance standardisation, systematisation, and unitisation of textura and roman type".
Also here: https://www.lettermodel.org/