Books and Mud and Third Thursday

After months of planning, the staff of the Bookbinders Museum–and the curators of Books and Mud: the drowned libraries of Florence–arrived at this week barely believing that the time had come to put everything–the text, the photos, the special materials–together.  Working with exhibit curators Tom Conroy and Elizabeth Ryan, ABM

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Printer’s Devils

On February 28, 1963, the television series The Twilight Zone aired an episode entitled “Printer’s Devil,” based largely on a short story by Charles Beaumont entitled “The Devil, You say.” In this episode, the editor of a failing newspaper makes a deal with a stranger who offers to fund the

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Japanese Paper Trunk Show and Sale

Wa = Japanese + Shi = Paper :: Washi = Japanese Paper Washi is the Japanese word for the traditional papers made from the long inner fibers of three plants — gampi, mitsumata, and kozo. As Japan changes with the rest of the world, machines produce similar-looking papers which have

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Spellbinding, Part II: Books of Power on Screen

Inspired by Eleanor Boba’s recent guest post on spellbooks and books of power in literature, I thought I’d post a follow-up with a focus on similar books onscreen. It is, perhaps, a little sillier than our usual posts, but hey, it’s Halloween month! The first errant fool that touches the

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Spellbinding: Works of Magic in Fantasy Literature

They bought Harry’s school books in a shop called Flourish and Blotts where the shelves were stacked to the ceiling with books as large as paving stones bound in leather; books the size of postage stamps in covers of silk; books full of peculiar symbols and a few books with

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ABM Closed for a Private Event October 3-7

It’s Dreamforce time in the SOMA area, and the Bookbinders Museum will be closed for the week for a special rental event. We’ll be open again on Saturday, October 8 from 10 – 4pm, and for the first evening event of Litquake at 6:30. Hope to see you there!

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Banned Books Week 2016

Banned Books Week, which takes place this year between September 25 and October 1, is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the freedom to share and express ideas. It draws attention to the problems and harms of censorship.

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The Mirror of Marriage

Have you ever wondered what advice to give young people about to get married? In the second half of the sixteenth century, the book market abounded with guidebooks about how to live – how to travel, how to write about travel, how to be a prince, how to be a

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Visiting the ABM this week

If you’re thinking of visiting the Bookbinders Museum this week (and we hope you are), please know that the annual Oracle meeting has taken over Moscone Center (all three buildings), as well as Howard Street between 3rd and 4th Streets. The usual flow of traffic–particularly on public transit–may be disrupted. 

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American Publishers’ Bindings at the Rare Book School

I was looking for someone, and I had been here before. Staring down the long aisle, I blinked hard, and looked at the slip of paper in my hand. A bunch of letters and numbers, written in pencil. A call number. I squinted at my own jagged vertical printing. “Is

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