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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Ink Balls and Printing

Up until the mid 19th century ink balls (also commonly called dabbers or inking balls) were used to apply ink to letter presses and in print making.  An ink ball was made of sheepskin, inside of which wool or horsehair was placed, and a wooden handle.  The finished product looks

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A Machine for the 19th Century: The Iron Hand Press

The duke said what he was after was a printing-office. We found it; a little bit of a concern, up over a carpenter shop — carpenters and printers all gone to the meeting, and no doors locked. It was a dirty, littered-up place, and had ink marks, and handbills with

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A Short History of America’s Oldest Private Press

The Private Press movement suffered a sharp decline during the 1930s, with many presses closing down due to Depression-era costs. A few, however, managed to keep going. One of those intrepid presses was the Trovillion Private Press at the sign of the Silver Horse, which at one point was the

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The Private Press Movement in Britain and America

The Private Press movement, an offshoot of the Arts and Crafts movement that began in Britain and then spread to America, is a fascinating period in the history of the book, and one of my favorites. At the heart of the private press is the core ideal of the owner

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A Day at the London International Antiquarian Book Fair : Starting a Book Collection on a Budget

A few weeks ago, I had the good fortune to be able to attend the London International Antiquarian Book Fair. My friend and fellow library student (Jill, for future reference) managed to secure tickets through her workplace. She and I are both rare books people, and I think it is

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Bookbinding Technique of the Month: Sewing Over Tapes with a French Knot

It seems to me an interest in bookbinding is an interest that goes beyond the love of books and the act of reading: it’s really a preoccupation with how things come to be, an origin story for an object so ubiquitous we forget it had to be sewn and stitched

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From the Librarian’s Desk | All the King’s Horses

     Quite a lot of my work day at the moment is consumed with planning and big picture issues regarding setting up the library collections and safeguarding it for the future.  One part of that is the cataloging of the library collections.  There are two types of library cataloging: copy and

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