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Gatherings or Quires

I know that we discussed format in class. There were a few lingering questions about imposition, signatures and collation. While I believe that you all know this by now, let me try to describe deciphering a gathering or signature one more time. Let me see if I can explain the page and page numbers and … Continue reading

A Weekend Together

Wow! I’m so tired and happy about how our two day in-person session went. There was a good mix of lecture and hands on. All the materials I wanted to cover were at least touched upon and you had a chance to see rare books, special books, reference tools, and lots of bibliographies.  More than … Continue reading

making paper

A number of you asked about making paper, designing font, and other technical aspects of the book.I thought you would enjoy this video of students and apprentices at the University of Iowa Center for the Book making paper. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEjZiPmRAV8&feature=share&list=PL837E9D2803517413   The video teaches the viewer that there were many steps needed to create paper that is … Continue reading

The High Line

After a month in NYC, I finally took the time to be a tourist. I walked the entire length of the High Line, an interesting, trend-setting, innovative park on the elevated 10th Avenue train line. http://www.thehighline.org/ OMG it’s amazing. The trail / park is the width of the rail lines and three stories above the … Continue reading

exhibitions of books

Over the past two days, I’ve had the pleasure of viewing a fascinating exhibit of Hebrew and Judaica manuscripts at Columbia University http://library.columbia.edu/content/libraryweb/news/libraries/2012/20120814_judaica.html Here were unique manuscripts (the terms should be synonymous) of travelogues, prayers, prayer books, Kabbalah texts, Biblical and Talmudic texts, and more. The librarian explained that this exhibition was two years in … Continue reading

The printing trade

The men (and women) who ran the presses were from the merchant classes. They were educated and literate. Many had their fingers in multiple endeavors. Some were painters and engravers who drifted into the business.  You might read some of the short biographies, particularly those of Gutenberg to get a sense of these men. One … Continue reading

Brooklyn Mysteries

Over the past two days, I’ve wandered about Brooklyn looking at older buildings and wondering about their history. These particular buildings reveal their pasts through painted facades. Here’s one near the Brooklyn Bridge. The name of the business is affixed to the upper level. it reads “The Eagle Warehouse & Storage Company. Today the building … Continue reading

Studying the book

As we continue to study the book and understand its place in special collections and rare book rooms,  it is important to see the results of a study.  Common-place http://www.common-place.org/ ,  a newsletter from the American Antiquarian Society http://www.americanantiquarian.org/ has four amazing articles about books including one about Harriet Beecher Stowe and Uncle Tom’s Cabin … Continue reading

Buildings Are Eye-Candy

As I walk in the city, I cannot help but admire the buildings. There are so many amazing examples of architecture intermingled on blocks and slathered onto facades.  Since I’m spending so much time at NYPL, I thought I should take my own pictures. Here is a close up of the lions: The facade of … Continue reading

Visual appeal of books

When we study books and enumerate their features, we tend to focus on the details or minutia.  What sets this edition or this issue, a particular book in your hands, apart from the next copy and the next. In their articles about bibliography, Terry Belanger and William Proctor Williams use very precise vocabulary to describe … Continue reading