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Professor James Mosley

  • I teach the history of letterforms and typography to BA and MA students
  • I act as advisor to PhD students working in this area

Areas of interest

I was librarian of the St Bride Library from 1958 until my retirement in 2000. I have lectured at the University of Reading since 1964. I have written and lectured in several countries on the history of letterforms and printing types, and the technical and cultural influences that have shaped them.

My research interests include the history of typefounding, as documented by my first-hand experience of the practice, and the recovery and assembly of original materials – like punches, matrices, and related equipment – and also surviving types.

Another topic I have followed has been the making of a new type for the Imprimerie Royale, Paris, from the 1690s onwards. This work has been the basis of numerous articles; of the exhibition on the "romain du roi" in Lyon that I curated in 2002, with its associated publications; and a supplementary piece on "the making of the book" of the Médailles de Louis le Grand (1702) in Bulletin du bibliophile, 2008. My note on Des Billettes in Typography papers 9 is another product of my research in this area. The project is still ongoing. I am currently editing a transcription of the whole of Jaugeon's unpublished account of making types.

See my blog Typefoundry for serious writing about my research.