The database of eighteenth-century printers’ ornaments formerly known as Fleuron has found a new home at compositor.bham.ac.uk! The new name reflects the fact that there is a lot more in the database beside fleurons (or ornamental type), such as block ornaments (head and tailpieces, initial letters), factotums, rules, borders, and some woodcut illustrations, diagrams, and other examples of eighteenth-century graphic design. The new site is named for the men and women who used these decorative and illustrative tools as they constructed eighteenth-century books: the compositors.
Compositor contains two new ways of searching the database:
1. by keyword –– some of the ornaments in the database have been tagged with keywords relating to what they depict, for example “sun”, “cherubs”, “flowers”, “lion”. We aim to tag the whole database soon, so that it will be fully searchable by subject matter.
2. image search –– the new image search page lets you navigate to an ornament, highlight it, and see matching or similar ornaments from the database. See the next blog post for more detailed instructions on how to use the image search.
The site is a work in progress and will be updated as we make its search tools both more sophisticated and user friendly. Enjoy using Compositor!