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Raymond Franklin DaBoll Papers

Identifier: Wing-Modern-MS-DaBoll

Scope and Content of the Collection

Correspondence, artwork, and other files of Chicago and Arkansas calligrapher and designer, Raymond F. DaBoll.

The largest part of the papers consists of correspondence with a wide group of friends and colleagues and with an extensive list of clients. These files also include original artwork and finished specimens of DaBoll’s calligraphic and design projects. The Other Work series includes research and production notes for the Chautauqua book, other personal projects, and work performed for unidentified friends or clients. A Biographical series includes articles, awards, exhibit materials, and photographs. The Subject Files consist of clippings organized by DaBoll to support his artwork; there is also an extensive ephemera collection.

Long-term clients include Abbott Laboratories, the Arkansas Industrial Development Commission, Bond Wheelwright Co., Higgins-McArthur Co., the National Geographic Society, and Purdue University. Extensive and significant correspondences include colleagues like Lanore and James Cady, Rodney Chirpe, Rick Cusick, Fred Eager, Frank M, Kofron, Egdon H. Margo, Richard B. Nall, Harry J. Owens, Robert J. Palladino, Margaret and DeForest Sackett, Paul Standard, and Paul Vandervoort II.


  • Creation: 1905-1982
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1930 - 1982



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Raymond Franklin DaBoll Papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Raymond Franklin DaBoll Papers are the property of the Newberry Library. Copyright to the work of Raymond F. DaBoll is the property of the Briggs and Marilyn Da Boll Family Trust. Other copyrights may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from the collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

Biography of Raymond Franklin DaBoll

Chicago and Arkansas calligrapher and designer.

Raymond Franklin DaBoll (1892-1982) was born June 19, 1892 near Clyde, New York, he studied at the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute (now RIT, Rochester Institute of Technology) and came to Chicago in 1912, where he continued his education at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Chicago Academy of Art. In Rochester he also studied singing, a hobby he pursued for the rest of his life. In 1915, he started working for Chicago advertising agencies. His work at Bertsch & Cooper allowed him to develop his interest in lettering. He went freelance in 1929, and had an extensive list of clients in Chicago and nationally.

In 1952, DaBoll and his wife, Irene Briggs DaBoll, moved to Newark, Arkansas. There he retained many of his Chicago clients but also developed client relationships in Atlanta and elsewhere in the South. In semi-retirement he began to work on a book jointly authored with his wife, Recollections of the Lyceum and Chautauqua Circuits. DaBoll wrote and lectured widely about calligraphy. DaBoll was a founding member of the Society of Typographic Arts (1927), served on its board and in several other capacities, and did extensive art work for the society, most importantly the design of Paul Standard’s Calligraphy’s Flowering, Decay, & Restauration (1947) and The Book of Oz Cooper (1949). He was also a founder of the 27 Chicago Designers and an active member of the Cliff Dwellers. He died in 1982.


75 Linear Feet (97 boxes, 1 folder)


Correspondence, original art, printed works, biographical information by and about Chicago calligrapher and designer Raymond F. DaBoll; includes ephemera from other artists.


Papers are organized in the following series

Series 1: Correspondence, 1922-1982
Boxes 1-22, 71
Series 2: Client Files, 1915-1979
Boxes 22-39, 71-82, folder 83
Series 3: Other Work, 1943-1980
Boxes 40-45, 84-86
Series 4: Biographical/Personal Files, 1905-1982
Boxes 46-52, 87-90
Series 5: Subject Files, undated
Boxes 53-59
Series 6: Ephemera, 1920s-1970s
Boxes 60-70, 90-91
Series 7: Miscellaneous display and art boards
Boxes 92-98

Collection Stack Location

4a 28 9-11, 4a 29 9-11


Gift, The Briggs and Marilyn DaBoll Family Trust, 2006.

Related Material

In addition to Recollections of the Lyceum and Chautauqua Circuits (Freeport, Maine: Bond-Wheelwright Corp., 1969), which DaBoll co-authored with this wife, there is extensive biographical material about him in With Respect--to RFD An Appreciation of Raymond Franklin DaBoll and His Contribution to the Letter Arts (Freeport, Maine: TBW Books).

A collection of ephemera designed by DaBoll and collected by James Hayes is cataloged as Wing folio ZP 983 .D02. The James Hayes Papers and the Robert Hunter Middleton Papers also contain substantial correspondence with DaBoll. Correspondence and other documents concerning work DaBoll did for The Newberry Library are to be found in the James Wells Papers in the Newberry Archives. Wing MS 155 includes sketches and layouts by DaBoll for the Chautauqua book that were separated from the Roy Langley Papers.

Some 50 volumes from the Raymond F. DaBoll library, gifted with the DaBoll Papers in 2006 by the Briggs and Marilyn DaBoll Family Trust, have been added to the cataloged Wing collection.

In 1948, Raymond DaBoll donated an important manuscript relating to the H.M.S. Bounty mutiny created by his ancestor, Nessie Heywood. It is now Case MS folio E5 .H5078, and includes an inserted sheet with art work by DaBoll.

Processed by

Mette Shayne, Jean Gottlieb, and Paul F. Gehl, 2008-2010

Inventory of the Raymond Franklin DaBoll Papers, 1905-1982, bulk 1930-1982
Mette Shayne, Jean Gottlieb, and Paul F. Gehl
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