"a large black-letter volume"

A beautifully illuminated frontispiece with the alphabet and the start of the Lord's Prayer in blackletter
Public DomainA beautifully illuminated frontispiece with the alphabet and the start of the Lord's Prayer in blackletter - Credit: Meister des Lehrbuchs Kaiser Maximilians I
Blackletter is a typeface based on the script of early printed works. In use from the twelfth to the seventeenth century, it is characterized by heavy, ornate lettering and is also known as Gothic.