Invisible Ink

I’ll confess as a kid I loved espionage: clandestine conversations, dark alley meetings, secret passageways. If it involved a high-level adventure… with a low-level of forgery… with maybe a secret handshake, I was in; and truth be told I still might be.  Growing up pre-mobile phones and computers, note passing

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Oh the Pressure….

Books printed with disappearing ink was trialed by an independent publisher in Argentina. The idea: new authors shouldn’t wait for their book to be read, they need to be discovered quickly so they could get their next book out.  Books printed with this special ink were wrapped in an airtight

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Huttner Library Donation

The American Bookbinders Museum recently received a generous library donation from Sidney F. Huttner a bookbinder and librarian.  ABM Librarian, Amelia Grounds, interviewed Sid to find out a bit more.

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Ink Making!

A few weeks ago we had a pilot ink making tutorial here at the Museum.  Here are some images and explanations of the process, which resulted in use-able ink!  It all started with a few Oak Galls (the primary ingredient in Iron Gall Ink). Oak galls form when the Gall

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Ink In Their Blood: Print Apprentices Make Good

“James Franklin, printer, in Queen’s Street, wants a likely lad for an apprentice.”[1] The life of a printer’s apprentice or “devil” was no picnic. It usually involved long hours of arduous labor for little or no pay with only small hope of advancement. Apprenticeship – until at least the middle

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Book news

As Scotland heads to the polls this week to vote on independence from the United Kingdom, an antiquarian bookseller has drawn attention to the 18th century debate regarding the union of Scotland and England: expressed here in a book of poetry in support of the union.  Equally of interest is

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This book bound in human skin…

This book bound in human skin…isn’t human skin after all. Our fascination with the macabre practice of anthropodermic bibliopegy, or human skin bookbinding, isn’t a new one.  This inscription led readers astray for many years before scientific testing of the leather proved the note to be false.

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Miniature Sherlock Holmes

For your Friday enjoyment: miniature books, Sherlock Holmes and a Queen’s Doll House.

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Book Traces

My first book love was the odd world of medieval manuscript art: an age defined by distinctive books that are inherently unique in form if not content.  These handwritten and handmade books form the core of my knowledge of books and the advent of the age of printing alone is

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Penguin Bindings: A Short History

I love merchandise, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Especially if it’s book-related. Lately, I’ve found myself drawn to the plethora of items sold by Penguin that recall the nostalgia of their classic binding. You know which one I mean – the three horizontal stripes, famously orange, with the

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