Platt R. Spencer papers

Inclusive Dates: 
1827–1951, bulk 1850–1900
Survey Repository: 

This record forms part of the Chicago’s Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource project funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art. For this project, the Archives surveyed archival repositories throughout the Chicago region to identify art-related materials contained in their holdings. While the Archives of American Art does not own any of the materials described herein, information about those materials and links to the original repositories have been included when available.

Descriptive Summary

39.9 linear feet (44 boxes and 14 oversize boxes) of material consisting of correspondence, photographs, copybooks, penmanship samples, cashbooks, newspaper clippings, poetry, essays, drawings, artifacts and miscellaneous personal items related to the life and career of Platt Rogers Spencer, penman, poet, and educator who created the Spencerian system of penmanship. Also included are the papers of P. R. Spencer’s son-in-law, Junius Sloan, a prominent Chicago artist, including press clippings about Junius, information about local art exhibits and art organizations, art galleries, photographs, sketchbooks, family histories and genealogy, financial records, correspondence with potential clients as well as with other artists of his time and family members. Sloan’s wife, Sarah, Platt’s daughter, was also a calligrapher and teacher, and so her work, and the work of her many students is also included. There are also as well as material on the work of other penmen and other business schools whose specialty was the teaching of fine penmanship.

Biographical Historical Note

Platt Rogers Spencer was a teacher, calligrapher, businessman, poet, essayist, and politician.

Additional Notes

Material on Junius R. Sloan is also found in the J. Carson Webster (1905-1989) Papers, Northwestern University Library