This collection contains more than 3,000 examples of contemporary calligraphy including: original specimens, manuscripts,
broadsides, handwritten books, fine prints, teaching sheets, drawings, and sketches by approximately 500 scribes and lettering
artists. Perspective on the development of book hands is provided by a selection of medieval through 17th century leaves and
books. Acquisitions to this collection are ongoing.
Richard Harrison was born in Lithuania in 1909 and came to the United States as a young child, where his family settled in
Hazelton, Pennsylvania. It was there that Richard Harrison's interest in calligraphy began. In 1925 he moved with his family
to the West Coast, spending most of his adult life in San Francisco. He entered the California School of Fine Arts after high
school; nurturing a life-long interest in art, Harrison embarked on the serious study and practice of calligraphy in 1954.
He also began to collect original calligraphy, concentrating on work by English calligraphers.
126 manuscript boxes, 24 oversized flat boxes, 45 flat files
(63 Cubic Feet)
Copyright has not been assigned to the San Francisco Public Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from
materials must be submitted in writing to Book Arts & Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of
the San Francisco Public Library as the owner of the physical items.
Collection is open for research and is available for use during Book Arts & Special Collections hours.