The Beast Type Reference
My favorite reference on typefaces is "Type. A Visual History of Typefaces & Graphic Styles, Volume I & II" From the publisher Taschen's website, "This exuberant selection of typographic fonts and styles traces the modern evolution of the printed letter, reproducing pages from exquisitely designed catalogs showing type specimens in roman, italic, bold, semi-bold, narrow, and broad fonts."
I lovingly call it "the beast" due to the size of these two books. For a type lover like myself, this is pure eye-candy intermixed with a few bits of historical references. I currently have 22 pages marked as references I want to return to for further study.
From a type history perspective "the beast" maybe be light on some facts relating to time periods, designers and technology as it has related to type design. This review by James Puckett is very fair and accruate. https://ilovetypography.com/2009/11/06/type-a-visual-history-of-typefaces-graphic-styles/ What Puckett points out is that the books are "As an object…a winner." I can't say it any more precise than just that.
Looking through the historical specimens without having to search to the ends of the earth in dusty draws and filing cabinets make the books seem underpriced at less than $100 for both volumes at Amazon.
I have several designs underway that I hope to share with you soon here on FontFuel that have been inspired by "the beast." If you want to see those when they become available, make sure you sign up for my email list. When you signup, you get a FREE exclusive font only available to members of the list. (link to sign up)