Rare Books on
Calligraphy and Penmanship


Click here for an alphabetical list by Author

Welcome to the IAMPETH Rare Books page. Here you will find classic, vintage books on penmanship and calligraphy from the 1800's and early 1900's - the "Golden Age" of American Penmanship.

Preserved in digital format, we offer them here in their entirety for current and future generations of calligraphers, penmen and pen artists. We hope you enjoy them.

If you find these materials useful, and would like to support the organization that makes this site possible, please consider joining IAMPETH or making a donation.

A Special Thank You to the folks
that scanned the books

Get Adobe Reader For the PDF files, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader (free). The PDF files are quite LARGE

Click on the book title to view the book online.
Click the ADOBE PDF link to download the entire book.


Ames' Guide to Self-Instruction in Practical and Artistic Penmanship, Daniel T. Ames, Author and Publisher, 1884


Ames - The Daniel T. Ames Notebook, A wonderful collection of penmanship from the early 1860’s from one of America’s preeminent penmen and teachers

ADOBE PDF Arm Movement Method of Rapid Writing, The, Charles Paxton Zaner, 1904
ADOBE PDF Art of Penmanship, Eleazer Huntington, 1821
ADOBE PDF Art of Writing, The, John Jenkins, 1813
ADOBE PDF Bible Pearls of Promise, Real Pen-Work Publishing, 1867
ADOBE PDF The Blue Book, Compiled by L.E. Stacy, 1907  Text-converted PDF
ADOBE PDF C.C. Canan Collection of Penmanship - The Canan Book, Canan/Zanerian College, 1921, Copyright © by Zaner-Bloser, Inc. Used with permission.  All rights reserved.
ADOBE PDF Champion Method of Practical Business Writing, Mary L. Champion
  Clinton Clark Scrapbook, Clinton H. Clark
ADOBE PDF Compendium of Spencerian or Semi-Angular Penmanship, Platt Rogers Spencer, Sr., 1866
ADOBE PDF Complete Compendium of Plain Practical Penmanship, L.M. Kelchner, 1901
ADOBE PDF Francis B. Courtney Scrapbook, F.B. Courtney, courtesy of Bob Hurford
ADOBE PDF Gaskell's Compendium of Forms (the section on writing), G.A. Gaskell, 1883
ADOBE PDF Gaskell's Complete Compendium of Elegant Writing, G.A. Gaskell, 1879
ADOBE PDF Gems of Flourishing, Charles Paxton Zaner, 1888
ADOBE PDF Gems of Penmanship, John S. Duncun, 1858
ADOBE PDF Gems of Penmanship, J.D. Williams and S.S. Packard, 1867
ADOBE PDF How To Become A Good Penman, An advertising packet by F.W. Tamblyn
  IAMPETH Scrapbooks - A remarkable collection of Golden Age penmanship
ADOBE PDF L'écriture Américaine par D'Avignon - "American Writing" by D'Avignon, circa 1840
ADOBE PDF Lessons in Advanced Engraver's Script, penned by Louis Madarasz, published by C.W. Jones
ADOBE PDF Lessons in Engraver's Script, C.W. Jones, editor, 1914
ADOBE PDF Lessons in Ornamental Penmanship, C.P. Zaner, 1920
ADOBE PDF Lessons in Ornamental Penmanship, P.Z. Bloser (Copies by E.A. Lupfer), 1948
ADOBE PDF Lessons in Practical Penmanship , H.P. Behrensmeyer
ADOBE PDF Madarasz Book, - The Secret of the Skill of Madarasz, Madarasz/Zanerian College, 1911, Copyright © by Zaner-Bloser, Inc. Used with permission.  All rights reserved.
ADOBE PDF Metodo Palmer de Caligrafia Comercial, A.N. Palmer Company, 1949.  Donated by Mauricio Aguilar.  Please visit his website www.VintagePen.net
ADOBE PDF Modelli di Calligraphia , Prof. Giovanni Tonso , 1929. Donated by David Saunders
ADOBE PDF Modern Business Penmanship, Edward C. Mills, 1903
ADOBE PDF Muster Alphabete, circa 1885
ADOBE PDF New Spencerian Compendium, Spencerian Authors, 1879
ADOBE PDF New Standard Practical Penmanship, Spencer Brothers, 1881
ADOBE PDF New Zanerian Alphabets, C.P. Zaner, 1900
ADOBE PDF Ninety-five Lessons in Ornamental Penmanship, C.W. Jones, editor, 1914
ADOBE PDF Noyes's Penmanship, Enoch Noyes, 1839
ADOBE PDF Oberlin Business College - Compendium of Penmanship, C.A. Barnett, J.T. Henderson and J.N. Yocom, 1901
ADOBE PDF Palmer Method of Business Writing, A.N. Palmer Company, 1935
ADOBE PDF Palmer's Penmanship Budget, A.N. Palmer, 1919
ADOBE PDF Penmanship Made Easy, George Comer & Oliver Linton, 1864
ADOBE PDF Penman's Leisure Hour, McDonald Business Academy, penwork by F.F. Wildish, 1894
ADOBE PDF Portfolio of Ornate Penmanship, The A.N. Palmer Company
ADOBE PDF Practical Penmanship Being A Development of the Carstairian System, Benjamin Franklin Foster, 1830
ADOBE PDF Real Pen Work - Self Instructor in Penmanship, Knowles and Maxim, publisher, 1881
ADOBE PDF Real Pen Work Compendium of Penmanship, Ivison, Blakeman, Taylor and Co., publisher, 1880
ADOBE PDF Recueil Méthodique de Principes d' Ecriture "A Methodical Collection of Principles of Writing", P. Meyrat, circa 1920's
ADOBE PDF Spencerian Script and Ornamental Penmanship, Volume I, Chapters 1,2 and 8, Michael R. Sull, 1989.  Used with Permission.  All rights reserved.
ADOBE PDF Steel Pen Trade 1930-1980, A.A.S. Charles, 1983.  Used with permission.  All rights reserved.
ADOBE PDF Studies in Pen Art, W.E. Dennis, 1914
ADOBE PDF Sykes's Manual of Penmanship, Sykes, circa 1885
ADOBE PDF Theory of Spencerian Penmanship, Spencer Authors, 1874
ADOBE PDF 19th Century Swedish Copybook, dated December 9, 1858 and penned by Carl Damm, a tutor, this copybook contains 12 pages of handwritten forms of Copperplate/Engraver's Script. Contributed by Evan Lindquist.


Writing is, of all arts...

Writing is, of all arts, universally admitted to be that which is most useful to society. It is the picture of the past, the regulator of the future, and the messenger of thought.