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H.P. Behrensmeyer collection


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Series 1

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H.P. Behrensmeyer collection, 1882-1969 | Rare Book & Manuscript Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


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Collection Overview

Title: H.P. Behrensmeyer collection, 1882-1969Add to your cart.

ID: 01/01/MSS00006

Primary Creator: Behrensmeyer, Henry P. (1868-1948)

Extent: 3.0 Cubic Feet

Subjects: Birds in art, Calligraphy --Specimens, Gem City Business College --Faculty --Archival resources, Penmanship, American --Specimens

Forms of Material: Drawing

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Collection consists primarily of pen drawings executed by Behrensmeyer over the course of his career; a majority of the drawings depict various birds; also includes his "Lessons in Practical Penmanship" (Quincy, Ill.: D.L. Musselman, 1917) and the following periodicals: "The Normal: A Monthly Journal Devoted to the Dissemination of Knowledge and the Education of the Young" v.2, no.5 (Jan. 1889); "The Business Educator" v.35, no.3 (Nov. 1929); "The Educator" v.53, no.10 (June 1948).

Biographical Note

Born 18 Feb. 1868 in Quincy, Ill., once considered the center of pen art. Special classes in penmanship were taught at Gem City Business College there by world-famous penmen, including Behrensmeyer. He placed special emphasis on rhythm in writing, using music to teach his class by -- for example, playing "Camp Town Races", which he thought had an ideal penmanship "swing", on a hand-cranked Victrola. 

Educated at Gem City Business College; expert penman and engrosser; faculty member of Gem City Business College, H.P. Behrensmeyer was considered one of the greatest penmen in the world during his lifetime -- so great, he was given the title "Champion Penman of the World." Died 24 April 1948.

Subject/Index Terms

Birds in art
Calligraphy --Specimens
Gem City Business College --Faculty --Archival resources
Penmanship, American --Specimens

Administrative Information

Repository: Rare Book & Manuscript Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Access Restrictions: Open to researchers.

Use Restrictions:

The RBML reproductions policies can be found here:


The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials.

Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study scholarship or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgement, fulfillment of the order would damage materials or involve violation of copyright law.

Acquisition Method: Gift from Mrs. Helen B. Johnson, Mr. Behrensmeyer's daughter.

Processing Information: https://wiki.cites.uiuc.edu/wiki/display/librare/Home

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