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Charles E. Skaggs collection

Identifier: MRBC-MS-00040

Scope and Contents

The collection contains original artwork for book jackets and lettering by Skaggs and others, notably William Addison Dwiggins. There is a group of printed book jackets designed by Skaggs. Also contains correspondence from numerous other calligraphers, artists and designers including Oswald Bruce Cooper and Raymond F. DaBoll, as well as printed ephemera by them.

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 1940 - 2004


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

Materials in this collection may be governed by copyright. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. Researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Biographical / Historical

Charles E. Skaggs was born in 1917. In high school he apprenticed in an art studio, where he learned the fundamentals of printing processes. He went to Chicago and made his mark designing advertising art, packaging and posters. In Chicago he was introduced to the art of book design by Chicago bibliophiles, including Raymond DaBoll, who showed him the work of William Addison Dwiggins. He moved to New York City in 1945 and worked on books and jackets for the Limited Editions Club and for the publisher Alfred A. Knopf. Through Knopf, Skaggs worked closely with Dwiggins. He joined the faculty of the Cooper Union in 1953 and taught there for five years. In 1969 he returned to Kentucky and continued to work as a freelance designer for New York firms and for the University of Kentucky. Skaggs moved to Colorado in 1981 and later to Washington state.


2.625 linear feet (6 containers)

Language of Materials



The collection is organized in five series: 1. Work by Charles E. Skaggs; 2. Printed book jackets designed by Charles E. Skaggs; 3. William Addison Dwiggins material; 4. Calligraphers and designers; 5. Miscellaneous ephemera, including some correspondence, typography and paper ephemera and type specimens.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Charles E. Skaggs, October 2001.

Finding aid to Charles E. Skaggs collection
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
Ellice Amanna
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2019-10-29: Finding aid updated to current standards and published.
  • 2019-11-11: Box level inventory added
  • 2022-10-26: Added Accession 2022-M-0152

Repository Details

Part of the Mortimer Rare Book Collection Repository

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063