Click to search the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library Skip Navigation

Stuff for the Teen Age, Hand-Made, Three Faiths

Beautiful Words, Beautiful Writing: Calligraphy at Muhlenberg


Many local branches have been offering special programs relating to NYPL’s major fall exhibition, Three Faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam. Recently, I was excited to host a calligraphy program for our teens at the Muhlenberg branch.

We started with a straight line. Just like when you play an instrument or run a mile, you have to warm up. So we drew line after line until we got the right shape. Then we learned diamonds. When you put those two strokes together you can start writing beautiful script in the Black Gothic style. Here is an example: 


The teens (and I) were hesitant to try something new, but by the end a lot of us were hooked. We all wanted to try something even more complicated and luckily the library has some great resources for a budding calligrapher. 

  • A great place to do a hands Calligraphy project is at Three Faiths' Scriptorium.  Here, you can look at the calligraphy from three different traditions and the natural materials used by scribes.  Materials are provided for patrons who want to make their own beautiful bookmarks featuring calligraphy. Also check out this post, "Scribing the Sacred."
  • Watch some videos! The library has put together some amazing videos about the Scriptorium, writing, and the materials that scribes use.
  • Our instructor, Elenor, teaches classes at New York's Society of Scribes they offer classes (with a fee) and also have some great information on their links page.

I've already used some beautiful script to address letters to friends.  Its gives them a little something extra when they open the mailbox. Let's bring beautiful writing to the masses!


Patron-generated content represents the views and interpretations of the patron, not necessarily those of The New York Public Library. For more information see NYPL's Website Terms and Conditions.

Post new comment