Printers' Marks from East Facade

Location: The Printers' Marks are located outside on the east facade of the original Library building.

Pierre Chandelier

seven-armed candelabra design

A printer's mark illustrating the practice of punning so common in the 16th century. This one is the seven-holder candlestick design of Pierre Chandelier, who began printing in 1560, eighty years after printing first came to France.


dolphin wrapped around an anchor

The best known of all printers' marks. This design of the familiar anchor with the dolphin entwined around its shaft belonged to Aldus Manutius, greatest of Italian 15th century printers. A scholar himself, Manutius encouraged learning by printing many Latin and Greek classics in a characteristic small form.

Fust and Schoeffer

symmetrical twining design with greek letters chi and lambda

The first printer's mark. Appeared in one copy of the Mainz Psalter, printed by Fust and Schoeffer in 1457. Fust was a goldsmith who is said to have lent money to Gutenberg and received his printing equipment in payment. Fust then entered into partnership with his son-in-law, Schoeffer, who conducted the firm's printing business until the beginning of the 16th century.


high relief of hollow sphere

This sphere was the fifth printer's mark employed by the Elzevirs, a family of Dutch printers of the 17th century famous for their editions of the classics and French historical and political authors. Their books were small, well printed, of choice grade paper, and inexpensive.

St. Albans Abbey

shield-like image containing a cross

The first printer's mark in an English book appeared in 1483. The man responsible was an unknown printer at St. Albans Abbey. Two famous books containing the design of this anonymous press are "Chronicles of England" and "Book of hawking".

Van den Keere

clock face with skull in center and spokes

The mark of Hendrik van den Keere of Ghent, one of the few Belgian printers of the 16th century not located in Antwerp, where four-fifths of that country's books were then produced. Van den Keere was a bookseller as well as a printer.


calligraphic-like design

The mark of William Caxton, the first English printer. Originally a wool merchant, Caxton became interested in printing after his retirement. In 1474 he printed the first book in the English language, his own translation of "Le recueil des histoires des Troye". Of the 99 known distinct productions of Caxton's press, at least 38 survive in single copies or in fragments only. Most of Caxton's early publications were of a popular character and as a consequence much used, thus accounting for their present rarity.