Rob Roy Kelly’s 1964 American Wood Types folio

Hello List

I am working on tracking down all 45 copies of Rob Roy Kelly’s 1964 American Wood Types folio
I’m working on building this census to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Kelly’s publishing his folio (though I have missed that anniversary by a few months…)

I have currently located 27 of the 45, the list as it is compiled so far can be found on a (slow) blog I keep

I’m sharing this info in hopes of tracking down the remaining copies. If any of you all might have leads on where to find the remaining 18 copies that I have yet to account for, I would be most grateful for any info you might be able to share.

I’ve also written a short entry on the history of Kelly’s folio, for its 50th anniversary as well

my thanks

and happy new year


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Hi David,
I know one of these is in the collection of the Herb Lubalin Study Center at Cooper Union. Send them a message for more info and they’ll be happy to help.


Thanks for the lead Dan

Check with the Kansas City Art Institute Library
He taught at KCAI in Foundations for a time.
His son/namesake still lives in KC.
I remember seeing a copy of this folio at Glenn Books.
They bought RRK’s library before he moved away.


Thanks Calvert, I’ll get in touch with Glenn Books to see if they have a record of that. I do have some correspondence that indicates Kelly donated a copy to KCAI just before he started working there. The folks in the library are trying to track it down for me. (And if I might offer just a slight clarification Kelly was the Chair of the Graphic Design Department—he was hired in Fall 1964 to start the program, and then left for Carnegie-Mellon in 1974.)

Thanks again

That’s good to know.
I don’t know much about his history in KC.
I may have gotten it wrong but it’s possible
he did some stints in Foundations.
The stories of his teaching style,
as I understood them,
were from Foundations classes.

I’ll ask Russell Ferguson what he remembers.

In 1978 when I got here, Glenn Books
still had much of his library.
Glenn Books is gone.
Much of the inventory went to Trupenny Books.
which moved to Phoenix[?] maybe.

Have you already checked
with the Hallmark Creative Division Library?
Seems highly likely they would have a copy.

Thanks for the further leads. I’ll contact True penny and Hallmark.

I did also have some other information about Kelly’s Library being donated to the University of Kansas. It is unclear how it arrived there or what portion of his library it may have been. Unfortunately KU’s Library informed me that, several years back, they absorbed Kelly’s books into the main library holdings and no longer track the list of what was donated.

Kelly was the chair at KCAI when I arrived in Kansas City in 1971. It would be interesting to know exactly what Kelly’s Library was. I believe the books Glenn Books had were on consignment (something to do with Kelly’s divorce). It seems appropriate that KU absorbed what they had of his into the main library. The copy of Pen and Graver I bought of his at Glenn Books had a library envelope (for check out) glued on the inside back cover and a library number written on the front cover; he obviously made his books available to students.
It’s a long shot but you might ask Phil Metzger’s son if he has a copy of the Kelly folio. Metzger was the prop. of the Crabrass Press and knew Kelly well enough to have invited him to parties at the house. It’s possible that Phil had a copy in his library. Phil’s son’s name is also Phil (though not a jr., they called him Flip). I think he ended up with most of the library. His email is [email protected]. He’s also a printer, and he’s a librarian so he might have other contacts that could help you.