Bruce Rogers Collection

Song of Roland

Song of Roland

Song of Roland 1906

Thanks to the generosity of Dr. Harold M. Marvin, Davidson class of 1914, and due to his friendship with a longtime patient and friend, the Smith Rare Book Room holds a valuable collection of books designed by the noted typographer, Bruce Rogers.

Bruce Rogers was born in Linwood, Indiana in 1870.  He graduated from Purdue, and spent a number of years as an illustrator in Indianapolis before moving to Boston in 1896.  For 16 years he was associated with Houghton Mifflin in Boston as a book designer, first designing trade editions.  In 1900 he was asked to take charge of their limited edition and fine typography books, and for the next 12 years he designed more than 100 “Riverside Press” editions.

Centaur 1915 - 1st page

Centaur 1915 – 1st page

After leaving Houghton Mifflin, Rogers designed one of his most noted works, The Centaur, printed in a typeface which he had developed during years of experimentation, and, known as “centaur” type, was to be considered one of his most significant achievements.  During his long career, Rogers also served as Printing Advisor to the Cambridge University Press and to Harvard University, as well as working with the printing house of William Edwin Rudge in New York.

Centaur 1915 - Title page

Centaur 1915 – Title page

Bruce Rogers is considered a printer and designer of great versatility and variety, and is noted for both the works he designed and the typefaces he created.  Many of the books in the library’s Bruce Rogers Collection were inscribed to Dr. Marvin by Bruce Rogers, and a few were originally a part of Rogers’ own personal collection.

Thanks to Dr. Marvin for his generosity in giving us this important and beautiful collection.

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