San Francisco Public Library

Book Selections from the Harrison Collection of Calligraphy and Lettering

7/20/12 - 8/26/2012

Main Library

Skylight Gallery - 6th Floor

100 Larkin St.

For almost 50 years the Richard Harrison Collection of Calligraphy & Lettering has been a part of the San Francisco Public Library. Richard Harrison (1909-1990), a San Franciscan who loved calligraphy and was a lettering artist himself, began to acquire original works from noted English scribes in the 1950s. In 1963 he chose the library as a permanent home for his splendid collection, which became part of the Special Collections Department, now known as the Book Arts & Special Collections Center. Until the end of his life, Richard Harrison continued to add to and provide support for the collection which bears his name.

In addition to original works by an international array of contemporary calligraphers, Richard Harrison also donated his many calligraphy books to the library. These form the basis of the current reference collection, which continues to grow through both purchase and donation, supporting the in-depth study of the history, art and craft of written forms. The collection includes facsimiles of famous illuminated manuscripts, including the Lindisfarne Gospels and the Book of Kells, and historical writing books from the sixteenth century to present day. Books on the history of the alphabet, the development of letter forms, the history of illumination and inscriptional lettering find a place here, as do exhibition catalogues, how-to manuals, and books on the lives and careers of individual lettering artists. Displayed is a selection of books chosen to illustrate the richness and variety of one of the San Francisco Public Library’s unique reference collections.

Upcoming Events

Job Seekers' Drop-In
Monday, October 24, 2016, 10:00 am
Main Library, Bridge TechLab Workstation - 5th Fl
OWL: Older Writers Laboratory
Monday, October 24, 2016, 10:00 am
Bernal Heights, Bernal Heights Meeting Room
Toddler Tales & Playtime
Monday, October 24, 2016, 10:15 am
Merced, Merced General Floor Area

More related events

Upcoming Classes

Résumé Workshop
Monday, October 24, 2016, 10:00 am
Main Library, Latino/Hispanic Rms A & B
Nutrition and Healthy Choices
Monday, October 24, 2016, 11:00 am
Main Library, Learning Studio
Tai Chi at Noon
Monday, October 24, 2016, 12:00 pm
Eureka Valley, Eureka Valley General Floor Area

More related classes

Current Exhibits

Fear of An Atomic Age!
Through Thursday, December 15, 2016
Main Library, Government Information Center
Don Quixote and the Golden Age
Through Thursday, December 1, 2016
Main Library, International Center
San Francisco Neon
Through Sunday, October 30, 2016
Main Library, Music Center - 4th Floor

More related exhibits