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Clark Britton and Bill Jackson’s Ray DaBoll Collection

Identifier: MS-2021-09

Content Note

This collection from Clark Britton and Bill Jackson, professors of graphic design at Wichita State University, contains photographic slides of Ray DaBoll’s calligraphic works, a booklet with a brief biography of DaBoll and an index to the slide collection, and tapes containing Clark Britton’s interview with DaBoll from 1977. All materials gathered by Clark Britton and Bill Jackson.


  • 1900 - 1977


Literary Rights

Literary rights were granted to Wichita State University. When permission is granted to examine the manuscripts, it is not an authorization to publish them. Manuscripts cannot be used for publication without regard for common law literary rights, copyright laws and the laws of libel. It is the responsibility of the researcher and his/her publisher, to obtain permission to publish. Scholars and students who eventually plan to have their work published are urged to make inquiry regarding overall restrictions on publication before initial research.

Biographical / Historical

Raymond Franklin DaBoll was born near Clyde, New York on June 19, 1892. He was raised on a farm and dropped out of high school to attend Rochester Athanaeum and Mechanics Institute (now Rochester Institute of Technology). He left the school in 1912 after three years of study and attended the Art Institute of Chicago for a while before the cost of schooling forced him to leave. After that, he attended night classes at the Chicago Academy of Art and worked as a calligraphy apprentice for the photo engravers Rogers and Company and the advertising agency Lord and Thomas.

On April 8, 1917, DaBoll married Irene Briggs. The couple went on to have two sons and remained together for the rest of their lives.

DaBoll worked in a munitions factory during World War I and then for the typography company Bertsch and Cooper under the tutelage of Oswald “Oz” Cooper from 1919 to 1922. In 1929, during the Great Depression, he became a freelance calligrapher and went by the initials R.F.D. In the 1950s, he and his family moved to Newark, Arkansas and created works for advertisements and publishers such as Conception Abbey Press (later called Printery House), National Geographic Magazine, and the Society of Typographic Arts. He also collaborated with his wife to create books of his calligraphy.

While in Newark, he referred to himself as the “Ozarkalligrapher” and received the Arkansas Traveler designation from Governor Sid McMath in 1951. In 1969, Rochester Institute of Technology honored him as well with the Distinguished Alumni Award.

DaBoll was a member of the American Institute of Graphic Arts and the Cliff Dwellers as well as a fellow in London’s Royal Society of Arts. He also cofounded the Society of Typographic Arts and the 27 Chicago Designers.

DaBoll and his wife moved back to Illinois sometime before his death on January 2, 1982. Clark Britton and Bill Jackson interviewed him in July of 1977 and photographed many of his calligraphic works. They donated the interview recording and slides of DaBoll’s work to Wichita State University’s Special Collections and University Archives on September 13, 1984.


3.5 Linear Feet (6 boxes)

Language of Materials



Series 1 -- Biography and Slide Index Booklet, 1977
Series 2 -- Photographic Slides, 1900-1975
Series 3 -- Interview with Ray DaBoll, 1977

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Clark Britton and Bill Jackson, September 1984

Processing Information

Processed by ALM, 2020-11

Clark Britton and Bill Jackson’s Ray DaBoll Collection, 1900-1977
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Wichita State University Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

Special Collections and University Archives
Wichita State University Libraries
1845 Fairmount
Wichita KS 67260-0068