Monday, March 2, 2015

Manuscript Monday—More from the Nelson C. Hawks papers

N.P. Hawks ledger, 1872, Nelson C. Hawks papers, Kemble MS 3, California Historical Society
This 1872 ledger is one of the many treasures found in the Nelson C. Hawks papers. Kept in 1872 for Hawks' Rural Press in Delafield, Wisconsin, it contains approximately 130 specimens of the press' work, including billheads, broadsides, advertisements, certificates, and election tickets. Hawks was never afraid to mix a variety of bold types, and these examples from his Wisconsin job printing days demonstrate the young printer's confidence, style, and joie de vivre. It is hard not to feel a personal affection for Hawks, a sickly Midwestern boy whose early childhood was marked by intense physical suffering. Nonetheless, Hawks pursued his adolescent love for printing with great zest and perseverance, and was rewarded by a long and happy career as one of San Francisco's preeminent printers.

The finding aid to the Nelson C. Hawks papers is available on the Online Archive of California: http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/c8nk3j92/

Marie Silva
Archivist & Manuscripts Librarian
msilva@calhist.org
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