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Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

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Tuesday, February 08, 2011

BLACK LETTER PAMPHLET

I wrote the following missive to the Forteana email group the other day, and had no joy. So it is over to you guys:


"You folk are a unique repository of arcane knowledge. Does anyone have any idea what a "black letter pamphlet" is/was?

I am proofreading a book by one of my authors who uses the term, but admits that he just copied it from somewhere and doesn't know what it means..."

6 comments:

Syd said...

From about the 17th Century, it became a common practice for English printers to use a (Black-letter) Gothic style type face when producing news pamphlets. Thus these came to be known as "Black letter Pamphlets".
The practice of using this style of type face continued - particularly in Germany - until the 19th Century.
Quite why the printers used this Gothic type face is a bit of a puzzle, as it can be quite - if not very - difficult to read.

Geordie Paranormalizer said...

Hi Jon - I've emailed the question to a Professor of Languages I know. I'm pretty confident - 99%, actually - that she'll know what this is. Watch this space...

Geordie Paranormalizer said...

Hi Jon - I've emailed the question to a Professor of Languages I know. I'm pretty confident - 99%, actually - that she'll know what this is. Watch this space...

Chris Clark said...

A pamphlet printed in blackletter (i.e. Gothic) typeface? Or is that too obvious? Suggests 17th century to me.

nopolys said...

Jon;
From the information you provide I surmise this is what is being talked about; Blackletter is the older name for Gothic style lettering. This style was first used in about the 11th cent. and was commonly used until sometime in the 17th cent. (the term Gothic is an Italian Renaissance term) Blackletter was considered a faster method of publication than some extant methods from the 11th-17th centuries. After the 17th cent. some privately published pamphlets and books still utilized blackletter as it was felt it gave the publication more gravitas. There are several styles contained within blackletter and the print style would be indicative of how "elevated" the text should be viewed. A quick look at the dates of your pamphlet or if possible a peek into the earliest editions would confirm this. (Blackletter is one word)

Geordie Paranormalizer said...

"...my understanding is that it is written in that ornate kind of Gothic script beloved by the Victorians and Germans..."

From my language expert colleague. Hope this helps.