Skip to Main Content

Friedlander Collection: Home

Personal library of Elizabeth Friedlander.

About the Collection

The collection comprises the personal collection of Elizabeth Friedlander and reflects her interest in book design, printing, typography, calligraphy and the arts. The collection has 440 items which are predominantly 20th century based with a small number from the 18th – 19th centuries.

The collection was presented by Gerald Goldberg in 1984/1985.

The collection prefix before the call number is: Friedlander.

Biographical History

Elizabeth Friedlander (1903-1984) was a German-born artist and designer, who lived in Kinsale, Co. Cork. During her varied career she designed covers for Penguin books, the Nonesuch Press and other prestigious publishing houses. Friedlander began her foray into the world of graphic design by studying art at the Berlin Academy, specialising in typography and calligraphy, under Emil Rudolf Weiss. She then worked for the Jewish publishing house of Ullstein Verlag, Berlin, designing headings for its fashion journal Die Dame.  

In 1936 because of the Nazi regulations she moved to Milan and worked for the publisher Mondadori (1936-8) and for Editoriale Domus (from February 1937). In 1939 she arrived in London with a Domestic Service permit (obtained through the Society of Friends Emergency Committee) which allowed her to work as a maid. With the help of Francis Meynell she secured work at the advertising agency Mather & Crowther, later also working in ‘black propaganda’ for the Political Intelligence Department, Central Office of Information. She remained in the UK after World War II ended and she worked freelance for publishers, designing over 20 patterned papers for the Curwen Press. In 1948 Friedlander was commissioned by Jan Tschichold, the new art director at Penguin Books, to do some title lettering and, most significantly, to design patterned papers for covers of the Penguin Music Scores (issued 1949-61; EF’s covers: early 1950s) and Penguin Poets. During the following decade she drew roundels for the Penguin Classics series (her later Penguin work was commissioned by Hans Schmoller), worked for the Folio Society, and lettered presentation scrolls and rolls of honour. From 1951 she was the calligrapher to the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, lettering Rolls of honour. Her ornamental borders were issued by Linotype (1952) and Monotype (‘The Friedlander borders’, 1958). In 1961 Friedlander moved to Kinsale, Ireland, from where she continued to design bookplates, book-jackets, catalogues, and calligraphic maps, as well as lettering Irish proverbs on parchment.


Collection Highlights

More Information

UCC Library Archives Service holds: