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University of the Arts London: University Archives and Special Collections

FENTON, Robert George (1891-1989)


Reference code(s): GB 3184 Fenton

Held at: University of the Arts London: University Archives and Special Collections

Title: FENTON, Robert George (1891-1989)

Date(s): 1904-1960

Level of description: Collection (fonds)

Extent: 2 linear metres

Name of creator(s): Fenton | Robert George | 1891-1989 | Head of Composing Department, London School of Printing


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born 15 Aug 1891; educated Aldenham Institute, evening classes in letterpress printing, 1907-1916; apprentice and journeyman, Wyman and Sons, London, 1905-1915; compositor, layout-man and reader, Crowther and Co, 1915-1918; Overseer of compositor and deputy to Chief of Letterpress Dept, National Institute for the Blind, 1918-1920; Instructor, St Bride's Foundation Printing School, 1920-1922; Instructor, London School of Printing, Aug 1922-Jul 1956; continued to work as a part-time instructor at LSP until July 1961; member of various trade unions, including the London Society of Compositors, the London Typographical Society and the National Graphical Association; died 1989.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Robert George Fenton, 1904-1960, mainly relating to printing composition and typesetting, including City and Guilds of London Institute examination results, 1909-1912; homework while at Aldenham Institute, 1912-1916; scrapbook of London School of Printing (LSP) examination results, 1922-1932; notebooks on LSP class subjects 1927-1952, homework 1947, examinations, 1947-1952; papers relating to War Office correspondence course for compositors, 1940s; selection of LSP student printing specimens, 1928; LSP Year Book, 1938-1939; A survey of LSP inception and work, 1939; plans of LSP Composing Room, 1952, 1958; LSP prospectuses, 1955-1961; photographs of Fenton with staff and students in LSP Composing Room, c1956; photograph of retirement of E E Allen, LSP Vice Principal, 1955; printing type specimen sheets and books, including H W Caslon, 1912, 1920 and 1932, Stephenson, Black and Co Ltd, 1927, and Soldans Ltd, 1936; other papers relating to composing and typesetting including, 1930s-1950s, including LSP typeface books, impositions books for printing layouts, papers on monotype and linotype machinery, stereotyping and electrotyping, photo-composition and colour charts. The collection also includes printing manuals and text books, 1910s-1920s; compositors' sticks, quion keys and metal type samples.


Language/scripts of material: English.

System of arrangement:

Papers are arranged into two broad sections: 1) London School of Printing; 2) typefaces and typesetting. Papers are then arranged into files roughly corresponding to information given in scope and content.

Conditions governing access:

Access to the collection is by appointment only.

Conditions governing reproduction:

At the discretion of the Media Librarian and subject to the provisions of the 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act.

Physical characteristics:

Finding aids:

A handlist of the collection was given on accession, and is available at the London College of Printing.


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Donated by Fenton's family in 2001.


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

London College of Printing holds papers relating to the London School of Printing.

Publication note:



Archivist's note: Compiled by Robert Baxter as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: Jun 2001

Book production training | Communication personnel training | Vocational training subjects
Correspondence education | Distance education | Learning methods
Illustration printing | Printing methods | Printing | Publishing | Publishing industry
Offset printing | Printing methods | Printing | Publishing | Publishing industry
Photocomposition | Printing methods | Printing | Publishing | Publishing industry
Printing workshops | Industrial facilities | Facilities
Typesetting | Printing methods | Printing | Publishing | Publishing industry
Vocational schools | Higher education institutions | Educational institutions
Technical education
Vocational training

Personal names
Fenton | Robert George | 1891-1989 | Head of Composing Department, London School of Printing

Corporate names
London School of Printing and Graphic Arts
London School of Printing and Kindred Trades
War Office

London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe