The Pen & Quill is an American publication about collectible autographs and manuscripts. It was created by the Universal Autograph Collectors Club - UACC, and emphasizes historical figures, events, autographs and manuscripts. The worldwide members of the UACC include key historical institutions, major auction houses, manuscript dealers and collectors. This membership represents the largest private holding of historical autographs and manuscripts in the United States. The journal currently serving this membership is The Pen & Quill.

"The Pen and Quill" began in the late 1960’s, as the journal of the UACC. It regularly included news of collector-members, techniques of collecting, biographies of VIP’s, auction and sale information, listing of autograph dealers, terminology, research on topical information and information resources. It has featured some of the greatest historians, writers, editors of its era, including Robert F. Kennedy, Milton Friedman, Ray Bradbury, and Gerald R. Ford. Numerous autograph and manuscript experts have also contributed including Charles Hamilton, Kenneth W. Rendell, Al Wittnebert, Paul Carr and Paul C. Richards.

During its later years, the journal evolved with the advent of technology and the popularity of collecting. Articles began featuring in-depth handwriting analysis of major figures, such as Abraham Lincoln. For example, “The Lincoln Lift,” the most common comparison point in any Lincoln signature - the departure of the “ln” letter configuration in “Lincoln” from the signature baseline, was dramatically illustrated chronologically in the January-February, 2008 issue.[5]. The hallmark of the journal has been the successful integration of history, forensic document analysis, comprehensive marketing research and fundamental collecting.

The magazine's place in the history of autograph and manuscript collecting is considered its most important contribution to publishing. While the successful transition of Editors has played an important role, so have the officers of the organization. Elected club officials have remained steadfast in their commitment to historical integrity and hobby ethics.

Early History

"The Pen and Quill" of the late 1960s (1967) was an eight-page, two-color, eight and half inch by eleven inch typed publication bound by a staple to the upper left-hand corner. The founding Editor was Harold W. Rapp, Jr. - 1965-67; who was followed by Herman M. Darvick - 1967-69, 1975 - ; then Richard J. Hall - 1969-70. In the December, 1967 issue for example, article topics included: UACC’s 1st General Election; Skilled Sleuths Who Foil Forgers; LIPEX 1967 Philatelic Exhibition; Autopen; Morrill Praises for Grant; Cabinet Members’ Autographs and Washington’s 150th Birthday. The first major document reproduction in the journal came in September, 1968 when “The Star-Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key adorned the front page. The second was a 1682 letter from Sir Issac Newton. The first photograph to appear in the journal was that of Dwight D. Eisenhower in June 1969. It was a special memorial issue dedicated to the former President of the United States.

Richard J. Hall (Painsville, OH) took over editorship in late 1969. Hall immediately produced the first double-issue journal, 16 pages, in the same format. The growing publication continued to receive accolades directly from members, and indirectly to them from individuals such as Everett M. Dirksen, and astronaut Alan B. Shepard, Jr. Prominent dealers of historical documents were also emerging during this period including Charles Hamilton, Paul C. Richards and Kenneth W. Rendell, all of whom contributed to the journal.

Success and Recognition

The 1970s saw new Editors: Henry G. Mazlen - 1970-74; Donn Jennings - 1974-75 and a second stint by Herman M. Darvick - 1975 - 85. Like any publication it faced growing pains often compounded by association. The growing popularity of autograph collecting was not diminished and continued to grow - enhanced by the events of the day and improved resources. “Big Name Hunters Gather for Yearly Rendezvous,” by Joyce Maynard documented the phenomena at the ninth UACC Collectors Convention for The New York Times[10] . The article was reprinted in The Pen & Quill in the September/October, 1976 journal. As the hobby continued to grow descriptors seemed to be in order. Noted dealer and author, Charles Hamilton coined the word “philograhy” in a 1976 issue of the journal. It was a word devised by fusing two Greek roots, philo, meaning “lover of,” and graph, meaning “what it is written.” It is still in use by some industry participants today.

The advent of machine-signed signatures created confusion in the hobby and became a hot topic for The Pen & Quill. Articles and Illustrations began filling pages as collectors wanted to know if their treasures were authentic. In a letter to The Pen & Quill, The International Autopen Company of Arlington, Virginia claimed in 1976 that their Autopen machine could sign as many as 3,000 signatures in an eight hour day[11] .

Editor Joe Kraus - 1985-86 filled in briefly for Herman M. Darvick - 1986-87, but it was the latter who would be most responsible for bringing the publication into the next decade. By the middle of the 1980s, the publication, now six inches wide and nine inches in height, was a forty four page single-color publication with a spot color cover. Thirty two advertisers filled the spaces between feature articles, regular columns and informative departments. Although growing quickly, and featuring a $3.00 cover price, the now bimonthly publication was only available through membership. Editor Michael Saks - 1987 - 90, would finish out the decade for the publication.

Another Century and A New Generation

Editor Bob Erickson - 1990-98 took over the reigns of the publication during the final decade of the century. Now 64 pages in length, the publication was enhanced by bold single-color covers featuring a vivid black & white photograph relating to an inside feature. Popular covers included: Neil Armstrong, The Beatles, Bill Clinton, John F. Kennedy, Martin L. King and Malcolm X, Annie Oakley, and Ronald Reagan. Editor Rich Urmston - 1998 -2008, who had been responsible for publishing the journal for years, took over the reigns with the July-August, 1998 issue. He would be a guiding force to take the journal into the next century.

Editor Mark Allen Baker - 2008 - , would take charge following a decade of service by Urmston. Baker, a noted author and writer, would immediately take the publication to 72 pages, feature a full-color outside and inside cover, and double the $5.00 cover price. During a twelve month process the publication would undergo a metamorphosis toward improved literary content, in-depth feature articles, and the increased frequency of exemplars and photographs. Numerous talented young artists and writers have also been added in an attempt to bolster content and enhance new ideas. For example, the May-June, 2008 issue would be the first to feature a custom rendered digital illustration.

Breaking historical news and rewriting history books has always been a hallmark of the journal. In the July-August, 2008 issue, a monumental letter was unearthed. Penned by Henry A. Wallace, the thirty third vice President of the United States, Wallace states, "Rosevelt had no understanding of science. His specialty was human nature and politics. His great objective - to eclipse the memory of Theodore Roosevelt and to leave the UN as a lasting monument to World Welfare." The document, packed with information in contradicition of many historical accounts, has a fascinating provenance and exemplifies the best trait of manuscript collectors --- preserving history. In 1960 veteran autograph dealer Paul C. Richards visited Wallace at his farm in South Salem, New York. Richards discussed Wallace's amazing career with him and his insights into Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In 2010 Editor Al Wittnebert brought a modern approach to the magazine increasing its physical size and adding full color illustrations. He has included a signature study in each issue and continues to make the journal topical and compliment the UACC website. 

The Digital Era

Because of the ever increasing cost of postage and printing, the UACC under Editor Tricia Eaton started producing a digital version of the Pen & Quill in Summer 2013. The digital version kept the club and its members informed in a new and accessable medium.

 

Contributors/References

Well-known contributors since 1965 have included:
* Mark Allen Baker (Author,Editor, collector) * Paul K. Carr (Author, collector)  Herman M. Darvick (Editor, 1984 UACC Lifetime Achievement Award)  Roy Deeley (Collector, 2004 UACC Lifetime Achievement Award) Charles Hamilton (Author, manuscript dealer) * Kenneth W. Rendell (Author, manuscript dealer)  Paul C, Richards (Manuscript dealer) * George and Helen Sanders (Authors, collectors) Al Wittnebert (Author, 2006 UACC Lifetime Achievement Award)