This time on iBookBinding’s Podcast, we discuss the material and structural history of bookbinding. Our guest is Emily K. Bell, a book conservator. This is the first part of the three we recorded a while ago. Some of the things have changed in the lives of our guest and of the hosts of the podcast. But the historical/bookish part definitely remains actual.
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– Emily’s path to conservation and bookbinding through science, engineering, and building spaceships
– Does Emily’s crafty side come from her family?
– More about Emily’s path to conservation (textile conservation, museum experience, interest in books as mechanical objects)
– Fun of making boxes for books
– Is there a Moment When a Book Isn’t a Book Anymore?
– With what kind of materials and objects is Emily working as a conservator? What are the oldest ones?
– Emily’s series of articles “Structural and Material Clues to Binding History: A Series”
– How is Emily interacting with actual books in her research process
– Difficulties with restoring the history of bookbinding due to rebinding
– What are the earliest bindings known, and what are they look like? Coptic bindings, codices, tablets, etc.
– How different are the Coptic and European binding traditions? Do they even share a common source?
– What do we know about the earliest history of European-style bookbinding? The importance of knowing languages for the study of different sources
– How do the traditions are actually spread? The influence of bookbinding masters, the tradition of bookbinding manuals
– How has it happened that European bookbindings are relatively coherent despite the disunity and small number of masters
– What types of book structures didn’t work and didn’t survive through time?
– Has the exponential growth of book production affected bookbinding traditions? Switch from parchment to paper
– How the advent of printing and other historical events has influenced the bookbinding
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