Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Manual for Writers of Dissertations

[Title page. Click for a larger view.]

Who was Kate Turabian? The University of Chicago Press can answer that question. I found this pamphlet yesterday, discarded. It’s a 1949 reprint of a 1937 publication, free to Chicago advanced-degree candidates (“50 cents,” says the inside front cover). This sixty-one-page manual is the predecessor of A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, now in its seventh edition.

I can admire a typewriter as machine art, but reading the details of document preparation in this manual reminds me of how little glamour I find in the idea of using a manual typewriter. Been there, done that. No thanks.

[“4. Typewriter ribbon.--A black ribbon, medium- or clean-inked rather than heavy-inked, should be used. A sufficient number of ribbons should be used to ensure a relatively even blackness throughout the thesis. it is recommended that the total number required for a job of typing be in hand before the work is begun and that the ribbons be used in rotation. That is, use ribbon one for, say, twenty-five pages, then ribbon two for the next twenty-five pages, and so on until each of the ribbons has been used for the same number of pages, repeating the sequence as many times as necessary to complete the typing job.” And by the way, the Dissertation Secretary has a list of “competent thesis typists.” Click for a larger view.]

Can anyone identify the typeface used on the title page? The usual online resources can’t.

1:30 p.m.: Daughter Number Three identified the typeface in a comment: it’s Bernhard Gothic. Thanks.

Related reading
All typewriter posts (Pinboard)

[“Sixty-one-pages”? Yes. As the Manual says, “In isolated cases in ordinary text matter every number of less than three digits should be spelled out.”]

comments: 3

Daughter Number Three said...

Ooo, ooo, I win! It's Bernhard Gothic. (And for a treat, Michael, you might want to read up on Lucien Bernhard.)

Michael Leddy said...

Thank you, DN3. I just looked him up and realize that I’ve seen Pelikan advertisements with his work. I really like the n in this font — so distinctive and jaunty.

As you were making a comment, I was writing a post that cites your comment about tightly spaced text. So thank you again.

Daughter Number Three said...

The low crossbars on the "t"s are what always get my attention. Released in 1929, it has an overal visual similarity with Kabel (1927). Not sure if that arises from a design zeitgeist or an attempt to fill the same niche and catch some sales.