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About Calligraphy Books
Writing manuals offer essential information for the history of handwriting in the early modern period: cultural and ideological settings; teaching methods; technical parameters such as quill-cutting, ink-making, and the many subtleties of handling the pen; the typology of scripts; and questions of style, from general trends and changes to stylistic affinities or influences between single masters. These manuals are a hybrid product, part book and part set of prints, reproducing documents usually dealt out to students of handwriting in manuscript form. The Newberry Library houses the world's most extensive (several hundred) and well-balanced collection of early copybooks from European countries, and we have incuded a dozen extraordinary French examples in this site.