Blogs

Library Binding for Preservation

Posted by Stephanie Stokes   on April 28, 2017
Category :Library Bindings
You have probably walked into a library at some point and seen rows of books in solid-colored hardbound covers; some may have muted-color pictures on the cover, but more often than not they have plain covers. Title and author appear on the spine and cover in unornamented white, yellow, or light-blue lettering. These books may be familiar to you as run-of-the-mill library books, but what you might not know is that these books are speciallyRead More
Many of us have personal libraries, and within those libraries the chance that we own a standard hardcover book is high. Modern case bindings (also known as hardcovers) are everywhere. These bindings are constructed from paper boards covered by a sturdy cloth or decorated paper, and the cover is generally made separately from the text block and attached later by endpapers. Case bindings are made the same way now as they were made in theRead More
Preservation Week is here again! This weeklong celebration of preservation and conservation activities in libraries, archives, and museums is the brainchild of ALCTS, the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services, a branch of the American  Library Association. Later this week we’ll be sharing two guest blog posts on the preservation and conservation concerns of two common kinds of bindings: case binding and library binding.  While conservation and preservation are words used somewhat interchangeably inRead More
“I am not so regular in my sleep as the Doctor (Rush) says he was, devoting to it from five to eight hours, according as my company or the book I am reading interests me; and I never go to bed without an hour or half an hour’s previous reading of something moral, whereon to ruminate in the intervals of sleep.” (Jefferson, quoted in Boutell, 1891.) Thomas Jefferson is known primarily as the Father ofRead More

No Third Thursday Tonight

Posted by Mad Robins   on March 16, 2017
Category :Uncategorized
The ABM will not be open tonight for Yerba Buena Third Thursday. Check back with us in April!Read More
We recently wrote about the tedious and arduous process of hand-sewn book binding and the hard work of the young women involved. But what about the book covers themselves? We thought it might be interesting to take a look at women’s role in crafting book covers. Early book covers were individually crafted when a book was purchased. In the 1830s case-binding started replacing most hand-crafted covers, and engravers and die-makers created the brass plates usedRead More

For a Common Good

Posted by Mad Robins   on March 1, 2017
Category :History, Unions in the Bindery
The history of unions in the US is firmly rooted in the much older Guild system that arose in medieval Europe (and which in turn may have sprung from the collegia of the Roman Empire). It’s easy to forget, with all the anti- and pro-union rhetoric that gets slung around in this day and age, what an astonishing and effective system the Guilds were. They were generally divided into three classes: merchant guilds, craft guilds,Read More
It’s that time again! It’s Color Our Collections week, a project hosted by the New York Academy of Medicine, in which museums, libraries, and archives around the world create coloring pages inspired by items in their collections. Officially it runs February 6-10, 2017, but really, you can print our pages and share them whenever you want. We’ll be happy to see your creative work! This year we’re sharing most of the pages we made last year,Read More

February is Book Fair Month

Posted by Mad Robins   on January 31, 2017
Category :Community, Event
Two major events in the Bay Area this month for book lovers and book artists. Codex 2017 is part of the 6th Bienniel International Book Fair and Symposium at the Craneway Pavilion, 1414 Harbor Way South, in Richmond. The Book Fair is open to the public, and runs Sunday, February 5 through Wednesday, February 8. Multi-day tickets are $30; Single-day tickets are $10; Student tickets (with ID) are $5. The Codex Book Fair brings the “Best of theRead More

Books and Mud Exhibit Extended

Posted by Mad Robins   on January 26, 2017
Category :Uncategorized
If you thought you missed the Books and Mud exhibit at the Bookbinders Museum, there’s still time. The exhibit has been extended through February 18.  “Books and Mud: the drowned libraries of Florence,” examines and commemorates the 1966 Florence Flood, the international corps of volunteer “Mud Angels” who came to help, and the tools and techniques that were created to reclaim and restore hundreds of thousands of books and documents devastated by the flood. The floodRead More