BROOKLYN HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Last week, I made an appointment at the Brooklyn Historical Society to look through their manuscript collection and peruse the incredible typography and lettering.

The building itself is pretty amazing (with some of the nicest doorknobs I’ve ever seen). It was built in 1881, designed by architect George B. Post specifically for the Long Island Historical Society (as the Society was then known). Books and magazines from the last several hundred years line the stacks of the library, and nearly all of them contain beautiful letterforms.

I looked through boxes and boxes of club ephemera, certificates, and maps from the 19th and 20th centuries. Here are a few good ones:

The Historical Society library is open to the public, but if you want to look at the archives and manuscript collections, you’ll need an appointment.

(Though it creates a nice ambience for a library, the lighting is not ideal for photographing documents, so please excuse the not-so-great photos.)

Brooklyn Historical Society
128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
brooklynhistory.org


WARD LOCK’S EDINBURGH AND DISTRICT

I love these little red guides by Ward, Lock & Co. In addition to nearly 200 pages of text, this thirteenth edition features six beautifully illustrated maps and several pages of great ads (“Northern Ireland is Worth Seeing!”).

Ebenezer Ward & George Lock opened their publishing business in 1854 on Fleet Street. In 1892, they began publishing their guide books in red cloth covers (originally they had been hard, green covers). Today, Ward, Lock & Co. is owned by Octopus Publishing Group.

Ward, Lock & Co. Edinburgh Cover

Ward, Lock & Co. Edinburgh

Ward, Lock & Co. Edinburgh

Ward, Lock & Co. Edinburgh

Ward, Lock & Co. Edinburgh

Ward, Lock & Co. Edinburgh

Ward, Lock & Co. Edinburgh Map

Ward, Lock & Co. Edinburgh

Ward, Lock & Co. Edinburgh Map

Ward, Lock & Co. Edinburgh Map

VERNACULAR CARTOGRAPHY

As a directionally-challenged native New Yorker plagued by poor eyesight, short-term memory loss, and a distaste for GPS, I find it incredibly difficult to navigate the streets of any given neighborhood. About 10 years ago, I started drawing little maps on scraps of paper to help me get places. I can’t read maps, so they were never really helpful, but now I have hundreds of these from all over the world. I should invest in a compass.

Vernacular Cartography

Vernacular Cartography

Vernacular Cartography

Vernacular Cartography

Vernacular Cartography

Vernacular Cartography