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Letter Arts Review records

Identifier: Wing-Modern-MS-LAR

Scope and Content of the Collection

Material primarily from the period of Karyn Gilman's ownership of LAR. In addition to extensive correspondence from some of the leading figures associated with western calligraphy of the late 20th and early 21st century, there is also a substantial collection of informal photographs and slides taken by Gilman of many of these calligraphers.

Includes correspondence, layouts, and computer printouts relating to “Words of Risk”, “Celebrating American Poetry”, and “Lines/Letters/Images”, all separate publications by LAR. A selection of printed works by other publishers relating to calligraphy and lettering arts is included as well.

Business files, form letters, and press releases have information on the day-to-day operation of the magazine and contain sketches for the Calligraphy Review and Calligraphy Idea Exchange logos by several prominent calligraphers. Other significant items are correspondence regarding the organization of the Association for the Calligraphic Arts, and printed calligraphic and typographic specimens by various artists.

Issues of Calligraphy Idea Exchange, Calligraphy Review, and Letter Arts Review are individually cataloged as Wing folio Z43.A1 C347.


  • Creation: 1969-2003
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1980 - 1998



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Letter Arts Review records are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Letter Arts Review records are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections at

History of Letter Arts Review

Quarterly magazine devoted to contemporary and historical lettering, calligraphy, typography, and text-based art.

Letter Arts Review (1994 to present) was originally called Calligraphy Idea Exchange (1982-1987), then Calligraphy Review (1987-1994). These names reflected the growth of the magazine from a craft publication to a journal for calligraphy to a quarterly periodical covering a broad range of lettering arts. The first issue of Calligraphy Idea Exchange (CIE) was published by Salem Kirban, Inc. and edited by Eileen Kirban. Karyn Gilman, then of Norman, Oklahoma, an early editor of the CIE, purchased the magazine in 1985 and sold LAR to John Neal Bookseller of Greensboro, North Carolina in 2001.


7.7 Linear Feet (16 boxes and loose magazines)


Correspondence, calligraphic samples, advertising and press releases, magazine issues, publications, catalogs, and photographs documenting the publication of Letter Arts Review (formerly Calligraphy Idea Exchange and Calligraphy Review), a quarterly magazine devoted to contemporary and historical lettering, calligraphy, typography, and text-based art.


Papers are organized in the following series:

Series 1: Correspondence: Contributors, 1985-2002
Boxes 1-7
Series 2: Form Letters and Press Releases, 1980s-1990s
Box 7
Series 3: Letter Arts Review, 1983-1998
Volumes 1-14
Series 4: Words of Risk, 1988-1990
Boxes 8-9
Series 5: Photographs and Slides, 1980s-1990s
Boxes 9-9a
Series 6: Publications and Catalogs by Other Publishers, 1969-2001
Boxes 10-12
Series 7: Business Files, 1984-2003
Boxes 12-13
Series 8: Calligraphy Conferences and Workshops, 1990-1998
Box 13
Series 9: Association for the Calligraphic Arts, 1997-1998
Boxes 13-14
Series 10: Calligraphic and Typographic Specimens, 1981-1990s
Boxes 14-15

Collection Stack Location

3a 60 12


Gift, Karyn Lynn Gilman, 2015.

Processed by

Robert Williams, 2020.

Inventory of the Letter Arts Review records, 1969-2003, bulk 1980-1998
Robert Williams
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States