One of my favorite tourist and travel mementos are pencils. They are small and fit easily into my suitcase. Sadly, they are not as common to find as they once were. So I was tickled to see that the Book Arts & Special Collections at the San Francisco Public Library had a stamped pencils on the front desk.
When I asked the librarians if they would mind if I took one of the pencils to commemorate my visit, they held up a jar so that I could pick a “nice one.”
I visited the Book Arts & Special Collections to see calligraphy and original typography designs. Since a lot of the material is rare, original drawings or small run prints, there were signs everywhere, written in beautiful script, reminding visitors to use pencils only.
Even the folders and folios were beautifully handwritten in pencil. This folder was filled with hand lettering created by the head of the font group at Hallmark, Rick Cusick. Sadly, I was asked not to photograph any of the original work so this is as close as I can show you.
If you’re interested in calligraphy or the history of type design, I recommend visiting the Richard Harrison Collection of Calligraphy and Lettering.
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I am a member of the Boston Athenaeum and we’ve got wonderful pencils. Shall I grab one for you?
Are you guys still using old, personalized EF Blackwings at the Athenaeum? I have a boxed dozen of those that I definitely spent WAYYY too much on. But it went to benefit the Athenaeum, so I’m happy about that. 🙂
(In case anyone doesn’t know what I’m talking about, here’s a wonderful post at the Blackwing Pages about them.)
My goodness. Truthfully, I’m not sure if these are the same but I aim to find out on Saturday. Will report back!
Oooh. I *LOVE* it.
I love that you’re talking about my bailiwick – special collections and libraries! Do you have a collection of pencils from these places?
I have pencils from some museums and a couple hotels, but not many libraries. I have a theory that your only need three of anything to start a collection so I’m well on my way.
I am a new follower and love your website, posts and point of view. As a long-time journal writer I go nuts for pen, paper and office supplies. Great suggestion about collecting pencils as souvenirs. My desk is filled with pen and pencils cups. I think I’ll start a new cup just for souvenir pencils.
I love how that pencil has the stamping on different sides. The effect of continuing the “message” onto adjoining sides of the hexagon really appeals to me for some reason. 🙂
Where might one have custom copy pencils made? You’ve got so many amazing sources.
I can find other options, but for those with a penchant for fine pencils, I would recommend ordering custom pencils from Palomino directly. There are other options and I’ll look into it and give you some other options in the future.