Otto and Marie Neurath Isotype Collection smaler

The Otto and Marie Neurath Isotype Collection is the most comprehensive archive of the work of the Isotype movement. It documents methods of designing and disseminating data that have played a major role in twentieth-century graphic design thinking. Given to the University of Reading by Marie Neurath in 1971, the Isotype Collection includes documents, correspondence, published works, and artefacts relating tot the history, principles, working methods, and products of the movement, from its begginings in 1920s Vienna through to its later incarntions in The Hague, Oxford and London.

The Isotype Collection offers excellent opportunities for scholars interested in European social history between World Wars, inter-War modernism, the history of information design, and campaigns and initiatives that address social and economic planning, public health, housing, and other dimensions of life. The collection will be equally valuable to anyone involved in graphic design of data, museum design, or communication of complex issues to children, particularly in history, and in the natural and physical sciences.

Items from the collections can be seen on the Isotype revisited website.

Eric Kindel is Curator of the Otto and Marie Neurath Isotype Collection. Email:

Maurice Rickards Collection of Ephemerasmaller

The collection of ephemera was first built up by Maurice Rickards in order to demonstrate the diversity of ephemera and their potential for study. It is a representative collection of material consisting of around 20,000 items, which are used in relation to teaching both withinthe Department and on the Centre's shortcourse. It also provides scholars with material for research. Maurice Rickards donated this collection ro the Foundation for Ephemera Studies, who have placed it on permanent loan to the University.


The collection is housed in the Centre for Ephemera Studies  

The Non-Latin Typeface Collectionsmaller

The Non-Latin Type Collection comprises material relevant to typeface design for world scripts. The collection includes a unique set of drawings for typefaces in Arabic, Indian, Thai and other scripts, documentation that supported the original development of these typefaces, and a wide range of examples of printing, including newspapers and ephemera.

The Non-Latin Type collection supports research and teaching in the design of typographic resources for world scripts. The part of the collection comprising type drawings is unique: there is only one comparable collection worldwide (in Andover, Massachussetts) but its focus is largely  on the Latin scripts, the Deparment's collections are unique on a worldwide scale.

The Non-Latin Type Collection is also used extensively for teaching within the MA programmes we offer: very intensivelt in the MA Typeface design, but also within MA Book Design and MA Information Design, where conventions of document design across the world are discussed.

Fiona Ross is Curator of the Non-Latin Type Collection. Email:

Hans Schmoller Collection

Hans Schmoller followed Jan Tschichold as typographer at Penguin, and went on to be Head of Production and Director. His major achievements while at Penguin include Buildings of England, Pelican History of Art and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.

The Hans Schmoller Collection comprises of materials such as book designs, layouts, specifications, grids, proofs, and notes for the Shakespeare.

Banks and Miles Graphic Design Archives

The archive contains examples of the work of the partners Colin Banks and John Miles, of Banks and Miles, including working drawings and specifications, finished designs, presentations and models, publications, and work-related correspondence, as well as a large number of slides of their work.

Design work by Banks and Miles was fundamental to the development of the corporate identity of many national institutions- clients included London Transport, the British Council, the Post Office, British Telecom, the Consumer Association and the institute of Mechanical Engineers.

Much of the design work was directly llinked to the development of typefaces: the double-line alphabet for the Post Office, the phone book typeface for British Telecom, and the New Johnston typeface for London Transport which gave a new digital format to Edward Johnston's classic lettering of 1916. A full set of original Johnston wood type used by London Transport is also part of the archive.

Things to do now

  • Find out about our research
  • Meet our staff
  • Access to the collections and archive is by appointment, and requests should be made to Laura Weill,

Find out more about how we use the collections on our new blog

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See also

  • School of Arts and Communication Design 
  • Research at the University
  • Consultancy at the University




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