The SSI Collection is housed in the Library of The London College of Communication (formerly The London College of Printing) at the Elephant & Castle, London. It is open to members only, on presentation of a current SSI Library Card. It is stored in a series of locked cabinets and cupboards and the key can be obtained from the Information Desk (see “Visiting The Library” below).
Members should be aware that the Library is reference only. The main book collection is held in two glass-fronted cabinets and the book catalogue is on the bottom shelf of the right-hand one. There are three further cupboards housing Large Books, Journals, Catalogues and various other related items. For anyone wishing to browse the book catalogue prior to visiting, an electronic file is available, free of charge, on application to the SSI Librarian, Donna Foster, firstname.lastname@example.org.
With a booklist running to over 26 pages, not to mention catalogues, journals and other items, it is impossible to list everything here. Perhaps some examples may give an idea of the scope of the Library.
The Collection spans more than a century and a half, the oldest book in the list being Manual of Writing & Printing Characters by Wilme and published in 1845. There are, of course, a large number of books by Edward Johnston including Writing & Illuminating & Lettering (various editions).
There are many books on the practical aspects of calligraphy, as well as the history of manuscripts (eg. A Guide to Western Historical Scripts by Michelle Brown, 1994). The art of illumination is well represented (eg. Medieval Illuminators & Their Methods of Work by J J G Alexander, 1994), as is heraldry (eg. C W Boutell’s Heraldry by Scott Giles, 1958).
There are a number of foreign books, most notably German (eg. Hermann Zapf ein Arbeitsberight by Hermann Zapf, 1984; Alte Deutsche Minneleider by Anna Simons, 1922). Other disciplines represented are : type design (eg. On Type Design Past & Present by Stanley Morison, 1962); painted lettering (eg. The Painted Inscriptions of David Jones by Nicolete Gray, 1981); lettercutting (eg. Letter Cutting in Stone by Richard Grasby, 1989), and books about individual scribes (eg. More than Fine Writing. Irene Wellington: Calligrapher 1904-1984 by Heather Child and others, 1986).
Many examples of journals from around the world are included in the Collection, as well as various catalogues relevant to the calligrapher.
The Library holds a full collection of the Lay Members’ Exhibition slides. Members are reminded that if they wish to view the slides, they need to provide their own viewer.
Monday to Friday 09.00 — 22.00
Saturday & Sunday 10.00 — 20.00
It is advisable to check the College website for up-to-date opening dates and times prior to your visit.
London College of Communication Library
Elephant & Castle
London SE1 6SB
Telephone: 0207 514 6500 (switchboard)
By train: Elephant & Castle
By tube: Elephant & Castle (Bakerloo and Northern lines)
By bus: 1, 12, 35, 40, 45, 53, 63, 68, 133, 136, 148, 155, 138, 171, 172, 176, 188, 196, 333, 343, 344, 360, 363, 415, 453, 468, P5.
VISITING THE LIBRARY
Members should take their signed SSI Library Card with them when visiting the Library to show on arrival at the Main Reception desk. Entry will not be granted without it. If you need a replacement Library Card, please email your request to Julie Chaney.
The SSI Library is on the first floor in the Department of Learning Resources. From the Main Reception, go through the security barrier, up the stairs to the first floor; at the top turn right then immediately right again. Directly ahead of you will be the Information Desk where staff will assist you in collecting the key and locating the SSI Library cabinets. The box holding the key also contains a Visitors’ Book which should be signed on each visit. Please return the keys and the book when you leave.
Wheelchair access is available but please ask the staff on the main reception desk for directions and assistance.
If you would like further help regarding the SSI Collection or visiting the Library, please contact the Librarian, Donna Foster, email@example.com