New Norcia Double Case

flfffij k e   y   123456';!?( )/£
&bcdis fg78 
hrlmnhomidp,w enem
zvu tthickar q:2, 3, 4
em quad

This Australian typecase lay is that used by the Abbey Press at New Norcia in Western Australia probably from c.1945 and still in use in 2017. The lay excludes ffi and ffl, and doubles up the box for (, possibly by mistake. The Æ and Œ boxes would probably also contain æ and œ if in the fount. Note that the usual mid+thin box above the i box is here used for y. This may stem from the new printer at New Norcia in the 1940's coming from Austria, as Austrian type lays have y (and x) in roughly this position, although the case construction is very different, for example Niel 1925. There being more y than x in an English lay, this larger box was used for the y.

There are at present at least twenty variations of this lay at the Abbey Press, for example some replacing hr by ffi ffl, and fl ff fi by ; ( [ and AE OE by spacing, or replacing & ( hr by ffi ffl & and AE OE by st ct (or ...) and altering the sequence ( / £ to £ ( /.

The layout diagram is not quite correct, as in the upper case (right hand) bay, the top row is of small boxes, as shown, but the other four rows below it should all be the same size. The Monastery has three styles of double case, with 1 short row and four tall rows in the upper (right hand) bay (e.g. Southward's Improved Double), with 7 rows the same size (e.g. Southward's Ordinary Double), and with 2 short rows and four tall rows (e.g. Caslon's Improved Double).

Other empty cases
ie with the boxes left blank
Other type layouts
ie with characters assigned to boxes
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This page was written in 2013 by David Bolton and last updated 20 November 2017.