Although the subject of typefounding is treated in the Encyclopédie of Denis Diderot and Jean le Rond d'Alembert, the state of the availability of this material to the anglophone typefounder is unsatisfactory. In part this is due to the way in which the subject was addressed in the original text, but primarily it is due to issues in the way that the Encyclopédie has been reprinted and translated in both the print and digital eras. This Notebook is an attempt to lay out for the English-speaking typefounder what is presently available.
For a more detailed look at the available versions of the Encyclopédie, in general, see the general CircuitousRoot Notebook Artifice -> Preliminary Studies -> Research Sources and Artificers' ResourcesResources -> Important Texts -> The Encyclopédie of Diderot and d'Alembert .
The article "Contre-Poinçon" (Vol. 4, p. 139), which is illustrated in Fig. 52 of Plate III of "de la Gravure." This article makes reference to the article "Gravure des poinçons à lettre," but no such article exists.
"Gravure de Caracteres d'Imprimerie," Vol. 7, p. 903. This is just a brief entry. It makes reference to the articles "Poinçons de Fonderie" and "Caractere." No article "Poinçons de Fonderie" exists. Presumably "Caractere" refers to "Caracteres d'imprimerie."
One of the sections within the article on punches ("Poinçons"), Vol. 12, p. 868, does define it as a "en terme de Fondeur de caracteres." This entry refers to the set of plates for "Poinçons" (which does not exist) and to the article "Gravure des poinçons a lettre" (which does not exist).
"Gravure en lettres, en geographie et en musique." Plate vol. 3 (ARTF vol. 22). [OR IS IT Plate Vol. 4? gallica PDF 190ff] This is really on engraving for intaglio printing. Similarly, see "Gravure en metailles et en cachets" in the same volume.
"Caracteres d'Imprimerie" & "Fonderie..."
This is an extract, in PDF format, of one article and one set of plates (with captions) from the Encyclopédie. Together, these contain the bulk of the material on typefounding. The article is "Caracteres d'Imprimerie," from Vol. 2, pp. 650-666. (1752). The set of plates is "Fonderie en caracteres d'imprimerie, précédée de la gravure des poinçons, Les deux Arts contenant huit Planches" from the second volume (first part) of plates (1763). This volume of plates has no overall pagination; there are three pages of captions followed by eight plates.
The source for the page images gathered here is the scan presented by the ARTFL Encyclopédie Project of the University of Chicago. These page images are in the public domain.
All material from Diderot & d'Alembert's Encyclopédie reprinted here is in the public domain. The reprints here remain in the public domain.
All portions of this document not noted otherwise are Copyright © 2014 by David M. MacMillan and Rollande Krandall.
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