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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The Bookbinder’s Song

When bookbinders got together in the 18th and 19th century, they talked shop over a pot of ale, or several pots of ale. Sometimes songs resulted, often full of puns on bookbinding terminology, and always celebrating the craft that elevated printed words into something “improved.” Later, the songs were more likely

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Explore the Prelinger Library

Take a look at this interesting article on our friends Megan and Rick Prelinger and their incredible collection of random discoveries. Discover their story here

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Preservationist Restores a Chapter of Virginia’s Colonial Past

An interesting article that briefly outlines the process that a rare book conservator is taking in the restoration of a rare 2 volume botanical guide.  The guide  “Figures of the Most Beautiful, Useful Plants Described in the Gardener’s Dictionary,” written by Philip Miller and published in 1760, is part of the University

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St. Bartholomew Day

August 24th is Bartlemas, the Feast of St. Bartholomew, a fascinating character who, among other things, is the patron saint of leather workers, tanners, shoemakers, and bookbinders. When Bartholomew converted Polymius, the king of Armenia, to Christianity, Polymius’s brother Astyages ordered the missionary’s execution: tradition has it he was flayed

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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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From the Archivist’s Desk: John Jaffray

This post is the first of a series of features written by our archivist, Jae Mauthe, exploring the development of charitable organizations devoted to social services for bookbinders. I read a moving post on the British Library’s “Untold Lives” blog a couple years back.  It was about an 18th century

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A Tale of Two Presses: Printing comes to Iceland

Gutenberg invented the printing press about 1450 in Germany. Although a technological revolution by all counts, it hardly spread like wild fire, even in Europe. The manuscript tradition continued strong for many decades. In the island territory known as Iceland, the advent of printing was even slower than in most

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Bump in the Archive

Witchcraft has long been brewing in American culture.  Since the Salem witch trials and the Puritans attempt to snuff these alleged practitioners out, occultism has thrived in one form or another.  From secret societies practicing alchemy, to claims of the supernatural or various magical beliefs, important collections of the occult

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The Bindings of To-morrow

The Guild of Women Binders and The Bindings of To-morrow In an age largely given over to utilitarianism it is gratifying to find purposes and persons at variance with the conditions around them, and in no field is the discovery more productive of satisfaction that that of industry.[1]

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