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GfT Fonts

GfT Fonts

As described in "Type Classification Systems" in Chapter 2, while editing GW, a large-scale comprehensive union catalog of incunabula, German scholars compiled Typenrepertorium, a list of the different types used by printers during the incunabula period. They also started to publish a collection of the facsimiles of type specimens in 1907 through the organization called Gesellschaft für Typenkunde des 15. Jahrhunderts. The main figures involved in the compilation of this collection were distinguished incunabula scholars from various parts of Europe, including K. Haebler, I. Collijn (1875-1949), E. Voullième (1862-1930), V. Madsen (1873-1941) and K. Ohly (1892-1970). Entitled Veröffentlichungen der Gesellschaft für Typenkunde des 15. Jahrhunderts, the 33-volume collection of 2,460 plates containing facsimiles of incunabula types collected by these scholars was published over a period of more than 30 years. This useful material is commonly known by its abbreviation "GfT"; for example, the 158th plate is described as "GfT158."

The NDL owns GfT plates 1-2400 (Bd. 1-32) with the last volume missing. This section includes lists of GfT plates owned by the NDL in which facsimiles of type founts (a set of letters starting with A for which their corresponding punches were produced) have been created. The GfT plates include some 1,900 founts used by about 700 printers (of which 800 were used by German printers, 600 by Italian printers and 300 by French printers). You can see around 140 of these founts in this online exhibition.

Lists of GfT Founts

The following lists of GfT founts indicate the numbers of the GfT plates on which each fount is listed. The cities in which the printers were active are grouped into the eleven areas as specified below. Within the same area, data is arranged in the order of (1) city name, (2) printer’s name and (3) type number.

Explanatory note

  1. City names
    All city names are written in the English form. Therefore, the German city of Köln is listed as Cologne.
  2. Printers
    The ISTC spelling is used here. Please note that the spellings of some printers' names differ from those used in Haebler's Typenrepertorium or GfT. For example, the printers referred to as "Konrad Stahel und Matthias Preinlein" in Typenrepertorium are listed as "Conrad Stahel and Matthias Preunlein" here. Similarly, the printer referred to as "Mohnkopfdrucker" in Typenrepertorium is listed here as "The Poppy Printer."
  3. Type numbers and sizes
    The type numbers and sizes given in Typenrepertorium are used here and therefore correspond with those given in GW.
  4. "M" pattern numbers
    The number for each pattern of the letter "M" classified in Typenrepertorium is shown here. There are no "M" pattern numbers for the Roman type.

Collection of Images of GfT Founts

Click on the Collection of Images of GfT Founts below, and you will see the images of the letters "A" and "a" from various founts.

In this collection, images are shown for 110 Gothic founts and 29 Roman founts.

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