Portuguese type specimens

António FonsecaAntónio Fonseca Posts: 5
edited March 2020 in History of Typography

Hi Everyone!

I have been dedicated to investigating Portuguese type specimens for about a decade, having sponsored their digitization in some libraries. I have already written two small articles about two foundries and at this moment I’m writing about another one. I found catalogs in Spain, France, and the United States, and since the big collectors are here, I decided to ask for help trying to find more. For example, recently I noticed one that was on the site of a used bookstore in Toronto, Canada, but I was too late- someone bought it!

My question is::  does anyone here have Portuguese type specimens in their collections, or do they know where they might be? Some companies like Imprensa Nacional Casa da Moeda, A FUNTIPO, Gini, Fundição Manuel Guedes, Fundição tipográfica Portuense and Fundição tipográfica Portuguesa.

Any information that helps to locate a catalog is welcome.


António Fonseca


  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 2,723
    Have you been in contact with the Letterform Archive, in San Francisco?
  • Have you been in contact with the Letterform Archive, in San Francisco?
    António, quick link to save you searching: https://letterformarchive.org/about/
    their email address is at the bottom.

  • Rafael SaraivaRafael Saraiva Posts: 30
    edited March 2020
    If you don't know them already, these Brazilian researchers could be of help:

    Isabella Ribeiro Aragão
    Priscila Lena Farias
    Edna Lúcia Oliveira da Cunha Lima
  • António, it seems that you are interested in acquiring books, not only looking at them. You would do well to make standing inquiries among the antiquarian booksellers who specialize in typographic books. You can find a comprehensive listing of them by searching the website of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ilab.org) and some of the national organizations, such as the Asociación Ibérica de Librarias Anticuarias (ailaasociacion.com). Antiquarian booksellers know more about their specialties than most librarians, as they keep track of private collectors with holdings in certain specialties who might be interested in selling some or all of their books, either now or in the future. This is how they make their living.

  • Thank you all for the infos.

    @John Hudson @Paul Hanslow
    Yes, I've already contacted the Letterform Archive and found some material.

    @Rafael Saraiva
    Yes, I've already read their articles and contacted some of them.

    @Scott-Martin Kosofsky
    This is still something that has not yet happened, although it has already been thought of. Thank you!

    With my post, my hope is that someone here has some material. The fact that some books are is US and Canada, perhaps some owner will let me know.

    Thank you all!

  • Stephen ColesStephen Coles Posts: 975
    edited March 2020
    Hi António. I’m not sure who you talked to at Letterform Archive, so maybe you already know this, but here are the eight Portuguese foundry catalogs we have in the collection. (This doesn’t count any ephemeral booklets or single sheets which would require more searching as they are organized here by typeface.) If you’re interested in sponsoring their digitization I’d love to talk.
  • António FonsecaAntónio Fonseca Posts: 5
    edited March 2020
    @Stephen Coles Thank you very much for the info.
    I send a PM by your personal page!

  • @Stephen Coles I found this tweet!
    This catalog is not in the eight Portuguese foundry catalogs that Letterform Archive has in their collection. Do you know why?

  • Great question! I'll try to track it down next time I’m in the Archive. (This may be a few days as we're currently working from home due to coronavirus precautions.)
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