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Harry Carter

Harry Carter (1901–82) was an English typographer and writer. After an education at Bedales School and Oxford University, then training to become a barrister at Lincoln’s Inn, he turned to typography, first (1928–9) as an apprentice at the Monotype Corporation, then working first for a printer (Kynoch Press in Birmingham) and then a book-publisher (Nonesuch Press, London). During the Second Word War he served in the British army, and also during this time continued to design and cut type, and to do typographic history. After the war he worked for HMSO (the official state publisher in Britain) as a typographer. In 1954 he became Archivist to the Oxford University Press, working there until his retirement in 1980. In this capacity he became a leading figure in the work of discovery and cataloguing at the Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp. Notable among his publications, under his own name and in collaboration, were Fournier on typefounding (1930), an edition of Moxon’s Mechanick exercises (with Herbert Davis, 1958), Type specimen facsimiles (with others, under the editorship of John Dreyfus, 1963 & 1972), Civilité types (with H.D.L. Vervliet, 1966), Stanley Morison’s John Fell (1967), A view of early typography (1969), and the first volume of a History of Oxford University Press (1975), Charles Enschedé’s Typefoundries in the Netherlands (1978).


Large 21 avoet

A view of early typography: up to about 1600

Harry Carter / Introduction by James Mosley

A reprint of this long-out-of-print and now classic work, which summarizes what can be known about the production and use of type in the first 150 years of printing. Originally a set of lectures, the book is an informal discourse by a master of his topic. The argument is illustrated with a large gathering of pictures. A new introduction by James Mosley explains the significance of the book and gives a short account of Carter’s life and work.

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