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Maurice Annenberg papers

 Collection 0011-LIT

Maurice Annenberg (1907-1979) was a Baltimore printer, businessman, entrepreneur, and author of works on the history of printing, advertising, and the graphic arts. He wrote three books: Advertising, 3000 B.C.-1900 A.D., Type Foundries of America and Their Catalogues, and A Typographical Journey through the Inland Printer, 1883-1900. The collection consists of correspondence; typography and other printing samples; trade catalogs; publications; photographs; programs; and speeches about the history of printing and advertising. The Rare Books Department also holds a portion of his personal library.


  • 1883-1979
  • Majority of material found within 1960-1978

Use and Access to Collection

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies or digital surrogates may be provided in accordance with Special Collections and University Archives duplication policy.

Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder.

Archival materials may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during our processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.


12.75 Linear Feet


Maurice Annenberg (1907-1979) was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania. After the untimely death of his mother when Annenberg was a year old, his father moved the family to Baltimore, Maryland. When Annenberg was seven, his father was fatally injured by an automobile. Annenberg was then placed in the Betsy Levy Memorial Home (later the Baltimore Hebrew Orphanage), where he learned the fundamental elements of the printing trade from Sol Emanuel, a hand compositor at the [Baltimore] Sun. He became the foreman of the Sun's printing plant when he was eighteen, having by then completed his formal education. In 1928, he left the Sun to found Maran Printing Company, later founding Maran Plastics, Inc., to manufacture plastic credit cards. In 1929, he married Sophia Morris; the Annenbergs had two children, Barnet (born 1931) and Phyllis (born 1935).

Annenberg served in the National Guard for sixteen years (1929-1945); in 1929, he became a member of the 104th Medical Regiment of the Maryland National Guard. He then served in the U. S. Army Air Force during World War II. In 1942, he was stationed at Middletown Air Depot in Pennsylvania. Afterwards, he served as the executive officer of the Tobyhanna Service Unit Training Base in Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania. In 1946, he was discharged from the military and returned to Baltimore. During Annenberg's time in the military, Maran Printing Company had nearly collapsed, but he was able to revive it.

In 1933, Maran Printing Company began publishing Type Talk, an in-house periodical that was widely distributed in the printing and advertising fields. It featured notable persons in the advertising industry, new type styles, the history of type foundries and fonts, and local businesses. Type Talk was published bimonthly from 1933 until 1989, with a break from 1942 to 1946 while Annenberg was away in the war.

Annenberg was a self-taught scholar of printing history. In 1969, Annenberg published Advertising 3000 B. C. to 1900 A. D., which explores the history of both advertising and printing. After his retirement as president of Maran on January 1, 1973, he devoted more time to writing and research for Type Foundries of America and Their Catalogues, which he privately published in 1975. The book surveys type founding in the United States from its origins in 1768 through 1945. Drawn from type catalogs in thirty-nine collections and libraries, the work also includes histories of active type foundries between 1796 and 1945 with a listing of catalogs for each. The printing of 500 copies quickly sold out and garnered much praise from the typography community.

In 1977, Annenberg published A Typographic Journey Through the "Inland Printer": 1883-1900. The Inland Printer was a monthly periodical about current trends in the printing industry and ideas for augmenting printing techniques. His book covers information on selected typography articles during the period 1883 to 1900, which Annenberg called "The Years of Transition."

Annenberg was also very active in professional associations. He was a charter member of the American Printing Historical Association and a member of the Typophiles, American Printing Society, National Association of Printers, Maryland Historical Society, Bibliographic Society of Canada, Baltimore Bibliophiles, and Typothetae of America, for which he was a board member. An active member of the American Printing History Association, he was given their annual award in 1979 for his Type Foundries of America and Their Catalogues.

In addition to his professional activities, Annenberg was involved in numerous civic and charitable endeavors and belonged to several organizations, among them the North Charles General Hospital in Baltimore, for which he served as trustee; Boy's Town, for which he served as vice-president; and the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, for which he served as president. He was also a member of the Friends of the Johns Hopkins Libraries; the National Foundation for Ileitis and Colitis, Inc.; the Safety Club; National Council to Control Handguns (NCCH); and on the advisory board to the Baltimore City Jails. Annenberg participated in the Coordinated Community Offender Employment Program (CCOEP), a work-release program aimed at reintegrating prisoners into society after incarceration. Through it, inmates from the Baltimore City Jails were employed by his printing company.

On April 20, 1979, Maurice Annenberg died after a long illness. Active even through illness, he had been working on a book about Henry L. Bullen, the librarian for American Type Founders Company, which he never completed. Annenberg wrote to friends in 1978 that he was going to print a revised version of Type Foundries of America and Their Catalogues, but he was unable to do so before his death. A revised edition was published, with the permission of Sophia Annenberg, in 1994 that included an additional type foundry, new specimen books, an introduction by Stephen Saxe, and an index by Elizabeth K. Lieberman.


The collection is divided into eight series:

Series 1
Series 2
Series 3
Printing Industry Topics
Series 4
Personal Topics
Series 5
Research for Type Foundries of America and Their Catalogues
Series 6
Series 7
Series 8

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The papers of Maurice Annenberg were donated to the University of Maryland Libraries by his wife, Sophia Annenberg, in 1979 and 1985. Mrs. Annenberg donated Maurice Annenberg's personal library to the University of Maryland Libraries in 1980.

Related Material

Other collections related to Maurice Annenberg include his personal library in the University of Maryland Libraries Special Collections; 48 cases of wood type at the Rare Book School of the University of Virginia; his personal library acquired prior to World War II at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, a collection of books on advertising at the University of Baltimore; and his collection of the Inland Printer at the Canada Science and Technology Museum (formerly the National Academy of Science and Technology).

Processing Information

The papers were originally processed in 1981 and were divided into four series: I. "Type Design and Production," with the five subseries: 1. "Type faces with text"; 2. "Catalogues and specimen books"; 3. "Ornaments and borders"; 4. "Equipment and techniques"; 5."Articles, speeches and programs"; II. "Correspondence"; III. "Publications"; and IV. "General Topics." The papers had been divided into letter and legal size boxes, creating confusion. The contents of a coherent grouping were housed in two sizes of boxes and map case drawers, according to size.

The papers were reprocessed in 2008 and arranged into seven new series: I. "Correspondence"; II. "Typefaces," broken into two subseries: 1. "Typefaces and ornaments" and 2. "Biographies and histories"; III. "Printing industry topics"; IV. "Personal topics"; V. "Research for Type Foundries of America and Their Catalogues"; VI. "Serials"; and VII. "Photographs." Former subseries "Type faces with text" and "Ornaments and borders" were incorporated into the new subseries "Type face and ornaments." "Catalogues and specimen books" became "Biographies and histories." "Equipment and techniques" and "General Topics" were divided between "Printing industry topics" and "Personal topics" as appropriate. "Publications" was renamed "Research for Type Foundries of America and Their Catalogues." Series named "Photographs" and "Serials" were added. The "Serials" series was created for accessibility, as most had previously been filed with the correspondence.

Many of the folder titles have been retained, with the exceptions of those for the correspondence and type faces. Some of the correspondence was renamed using the name of the business or organization in lieu of an individual, as Annenberg may have corresponded with more than one individual at a business. The names of individuals appear after the business or institution in the folder heading. The folders housing the specimen sheets were renamed to highlight the type face and remove most company names since multiple companies produced or distributed a particular type face.

An unprocessed accretion to the collection received in 1985 (mostly correspondence and serials) was integrated into the previously processed portion of the collection during reprocessing in 2008.

Some duplicate materials, mainly multiple carbon copies of letters, were removed and discarded. Personal correspondence and other personal materials were separated and returned to a member of the Annenberg family. Also, oversized items were housed in an oversized manuscript box. Staples and paper clips have been removed and replaced with plastic fasteners when necessary. The entire collection was placed in new acid-free legal size folders and boxes.

In September 2011, one box of photographs that had previously been removed to the Subject Photographs - Print File collection was integrated to Series VII.

Guide to the Maurice Annenberg papers
Processed by Lara D'Agaro. Revised by Maureen Cech, September 2009.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742