BORSODI, VICTOR H. Bruce Rogers collection, 1924-1975
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Victor H. Borsodi: Collection of Bruce Rogers Material, 1924-1975

RLIN ID No.
NYGG02-A130

Main Entry
Borsodi, Victor H., collector.

Title
Collection of Bruce Rogers material, 1924-1975 (bulk 1951-1975).

Physical Description
4 boxes (1.8 linear ft.)
1 photograph
1 silhouette

Historical/Biographical Note
American type and book designer, Bruce Rogers graduated from Purdue University and first worked as a book and newspaper illustrator. Rogers relocated to Boston, eventually joining the Riverside Press of the Houghton-Mifflin Co. in 1896. After leaving the press in 1912, he created the Centaur typeface and designed for several presses, including the Harvard and Oxford University presses. Victor H. Borsodi was a New York City bibliophile whose collecting interest centered on the work of Bruce Rogers.

Scope and Contents Note
Correspondence, artwork, mechanicals and related materials for three books designed by Bruce Rogers: The twelve moneths (sic) by Nicholas Breton (1951); The Life of St. George (text from a translation by William Caxton from The Golden Legend (1957); and a projected version of the 1750 edition of Philidor’s Chess Analysed (195-?). Also: proofs, printing plates, and copies of the “book label” (bookplate) Rogers designed for Victor Borsodi Collection. Also includes the autograph manuscript of Bruce Rogers’ memoir informally titled “My first quarter century,” as well as a typescript by Borsodi about his purchase of this item from Rogers and correspondence between Borsodi, E. H. Mundell and Ben Grauer about possible publication. Other correspondents include, but are not limited to: Will Ransom, Paul Standard, Norman H. Strouse, Frederic Warde and Stone & Kimball. Also: a type specimen for Rogers’ Centaur typeface; undated pages from dealers catalogs featuring work of Rogers; some printed material related to the Riverside Press; invitations and Christmas cards designed by Rogers; articles about Rogers; and a silhouette and photograph of him.

Names
Breton, Nicholas, 1545?-1626? The twelve moneths. 1951.
Borsodi, Victor H. Correspondence.
Clarke, Bert, correspondent.
George, Saint, d. 303. Life of Saint George. 1957.
Mundell, E. H., correspondent.
Philidor, F. D. (Francois Danican), 1726-1795. Chess analysed. 1951.
Ransom, Will, correspondent.
Rogers, Bruce, 1870-1957.
Standard, Paul, correspondent.
Strouse, Norman H., correspondent.
Warde, Frederic, 1894-1939, correspondent.
Way, Daniel J., correspondent.
Stone & Kimball, correspondents.


Subjects
Book design. United States. 20th century.
Centaur roman type.
Type specimens. United States. 20th century

Genres
Bookplates. United States. 20th century.
Christmas cards. United States. 20th century.
Galleys (proofs). United States. 20th century.
Invitations. United States. 20th century.
Mechanicals. United States. 20th century.
Photographs. Connecticut. Fairfield. 20th century.
Photomechanicals. United States. 20th century.
Printing plates. United States. 20th century.
Silhouettes. United States. 20th century.
Type specimens. United States. 20th century.

Occupation (as reflected in collection)
Book collectors. New York (State). New York. 20th century.
Book designers. United States. 20th century.
Printers. United States. 20th century.

Location
Grolier Club, 47 East 60th Street, New York, N.Y. 10022-1098.


Collection Inventory

Box 1
Projected edition of 1750 edition of Philidor’s Chess Analysed, ca. 195-?

Editions of Philidor, 1750-1824:
Philidor, F. D. (Francois Danican). Chess analysed; or, instructions by which a perfect knowledge of this noble game may be in a short time acquired. (London: Printed for J. Nourse and P. Vaillant, 1750).
_______. Chess analysed. 3rd. ed. (London: Printed for J. Nourse and P. Vaillant, 1773).
_______. An easy introduction to the game of chess (Philadelphia: H. C. Carey et al., 1824).

Bruce Rogers (BR) projected edition of Philidor:
Working papers for BR edition based on 1750 text for publication by Clarke & Way. 1 folder. File includes original design for title page and sample pages and artwork, 8 ALS from BR to Bert Clarke and typescript of introduction written for this edition.
Correspondence with printers. File includes cost estimates from Aldus Printers and Marchbanks Press.
Galley of BR reprint of 1750 edition set in Caslon type. 2 sets. One set has corrections in red ink; some are in the form of paste-downs.
Extra art work for Philidor. 1 folder. Mechanicals with notes.
Holograph list of moves in Philidor’s games with notes and one page of typed errata. Spiral
notebook with ruled pages and brown cover with “Philidor” on cover. 21 cm.

Box 2
The Twelve Moneths by Nicholas Breton (1951).

Dummy and notes in hand of BR. File includes some loose signatures for printed book.

Nicholas Breton. The Twelve Moneths and Christmas Day from “Fantastickes” (New York: Clark &
Way, 1951). Printed at The Thistle Press; BR composed the text and executed the design.
1 copy; in slipcase.

Life of St. George (October House Classics edition, 1957).
[Note: BR’s last project was a projected series of October House Classics, named after his Fairfield,
Connecticut home that would print medieval texts in modern types but using old spelling. The
Life of Saint George was published a few weeks before his death in 1957 in an edition of 300 copies.]

Working papers. 1 folder. File includes: 14 ALS from BR to Daniel J. Way (1954-1956) and illustrations
(some in color) of armorial shields used in the edition.

Box 3
Book label design by BR for Borsodi (VHB):
Proofs of BR design for VHB book label sent to BR by Clarke & Way.
Book label signed by BR, framed and matted.
Photomechanical for BR design. Laid in a case with 4 laminated proof copies and copy of
ALS from BR to VHB, 28 Feb 1954.


Box 4
Correspondence by and about BR
BR correspondence:
ALS to Stone and Kimball (Chicago publishers), 4 May 1895. BR acknowledges
payment of $15.00 for design of A Little Sister to the Wilderness. 2 p.
BR. 2 ALS. 4 Apr. 1924 (4 p.); 16 Aug. 1929 (1 p.)
BR. ALS 14 May 1924 to “Lawrence.” 2 p. Written on Harvard University Press stationery.
BR to Will Ransom. 2 ALS, 17 May 1937 (2 p.); 10 Oct. 1950 (2 p.).
BR to Will Ransom. 1 TLS, 27 Dec. 1955 with TLS to VHB.

VHB correspondence:
David J. Way (partner in Clarke & Way) to VHB. TLS 29 May 1957. Way discusses BR’s
funeral.
Norman Strouse to VHB. TLS 12 Jan. 1961.
Providence (Rhode Island Public Library to VHB. TLS, 18 May 1967. Discussed
BR holdings in the PPL. 2 p. with attached photocopies.
Jane Quinby TLS to William Edwin Rudge, 26 April 1932. Inquiry about titles designed by
BR for Rudge. The letter has been annotated with requested information by Frederic Warde.
VHB. TL (copy) to Paul Standard at Publisher’s Weekly asking about Standard’s
article in the 6 Nov. 1967 issue on the Arrighi types and enclosing copy of the Quinby
letter. 1 p.
VHB and E. H. Mundell of Indiana. ALS from E. H. Mundell 15 May 1975; TL (copy) from
VHB to Mundell 1975 May 27.

BR Ephemera and Miscellaneous Items
Houghton Mifflin’s Riverside Press Editions. Lists. 1904, 1906.
Houghton Mifflin. Notice of BR’ departure.
Houghton Mifflin. Receipt of award for Riverside Press editions.

Knaufft, Ernest. Early art training of BR at Purdue University. Press of the Woolly Whale,
1935. This copy has marginal comments and corrections by BR. [9] p. Paperbound in black
covers. VHB book label on verso along and pasted-down unidentified dealers catalog slip.

Newberry Library. Exhibit of BR material. Oct. 1940.

Type Talks. Oct. 1950. Publication of Advertising Typographers Association of America. Cover design by
Albert Schiller for “King Bruce” in honor of his 80th birthday.
October House. Announcement of forthcoming reissue of “October House Classics.”

“Bruce Rogers at 84.” 14 May 1954. Printed by S. R. Shapiro. One of 84 copies printed at the Thistle Press
(New York City) and inscribed “Vic/con amore. We have so much fun. Shap.”

Monotype Corp. Type Specimens. New series of Centaur Types of BR and the Arrighi Italics of
Frederic Warde. File includes:
“On Friendship.” 1916. Paperbound booklet with red cover, inscribed by BR. 150 copies printed.
Sales catalogs of items designed by BR.
“Dean of Design.” MD Magazine (May 1970). Tearsheets.

Grolier Club invitation to BR Centennial. April 1970. Printed by Joseph Blumenthal.
BR Christmas card, 1955. Reproduction of watercolor of BR birthplace in Indiana.
Invitation to BR’s 86th birthday party from Edna Beilenson with cancellation announcement.
Invitation to BR’s 87th birthday party from Edna Beilenson.
Obituary notice by Edna Beilenson.
Obituary in American Printer (Oct. 1957) by P. K. Thomajan.
A remembrance of Bruce Rogers: a gentle man (sic) from Indiana. Brochure prepared by Philip and Fanny
Duschnes (booksellers of New York City).

Photograph. BR and unidentified woman in garden of his Fairfield, Conn. home. Black & white (20 x 25
cm.).
Silhouette of BR. 2 copies and plastic template.
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