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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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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A “New and More Perfect” Conservation Lab

Benjamin Franklin wrote his own epitaph as a youth while working as a printer’s “devil” (apprentice.) We’ve paid homage to this clever metaphor before, but it is worth repeating.

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Four Beautiful Chapbooks by Asian American Poets to Read during National Poetry Month

  The chapbook, an abbreviated print format that originated with cheap, mass-produced pamphlets hawked by itinerant salesmen in the sixteenth century, is a staple of the modern-day poetry world. Like their historical predecessors, contemporary chapbooks are slim, portable objects, often affordably printed and produced, and devoted to shorter texts. But

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Samuel Mearne and Restoration Copyright

  Samuel Mearne: Bookbinder and Copyright Enforcer A cursory search for Samuel Mearne (1624-1683) reveals an English Restoration bookbinder and publisher associated with the cottage (or cottage-roof) style of binding, which is characterized by ornate and colorful covers, often with a floral theme.

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Stacking the Deck: A Playing Card Press

For centuries people have employed “presses” of various types to protect and preserve precious possessions. Victorian women pressed flowers given them by admirers. Linen presses and clothes presses, generally now synonymous with cupboards, originally were devices to flatten fine fabrics via a platen and large screw, not unlike printing presses.

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For All Time: The Victorian Gift Book

“Jo was the first to wake in the gray dawn of Christmas morning. No stockings hung at the fireplace and for a moment she felt as much disappointed as she did long ago, when her little sock fell down because it was crammed so full of goodies. Then she remembered

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Japanese Bookbinding

Here is a brief sketch of the development of the Japanese book binding trade from its early development to its commercial beginnings and eventual industrialization written by Dana Gee. The word in Japanese for bookbinding is seihon. Papermaking was developed in China during the Han dynasty in the second century

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A Brief History of Wove Paper

This week we have a guest feature from Marieka Kaye, Conservation Librarian and Book Conservator from the University of Michigan Library.  In this article, she will be telling us about a book she’s recently been working on as a entry into exploring, briefly, the history of wove paper.

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The Future of Book Restoration

A DYING CRAFT? For The Love of Old Books – And People Who Restore Them A dispatch from England by Dominic Riley Something to Think About In his book the Globalization of Nothing, George Ritzer, pioneer in the sociology of consumption, defines ‘nothing’ as anything that is centrally conceived and

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