A Dublin Bookbinder: RTÉ Documentary

This video was released in 1981, but it is definitely worth watching. Bookbinding craft is not so prone to changes and all the main processes are shown here in detail.

Video is narrated by the distinguished writer and historian Dr. Maurice Craig, and filmed in the bindery of John F. Newman, Dublin.

I’m quite happy with the narrative. However, one shouldn’t rely on this video only. There are some small details omitted here. I understand that it is impossible to show everything I just under 30 minutes, but there was a chance for at least some of the details.

For example, when in this video endbands are sewn, it appears that bookbinder in charge is just piercing the top edge with the needle. That couldn’t be so, because in that case the gold surface would have been damaged. It is better to pass the point of the needle from the front edge, throughout all the surface of the top edge and then through the back of the book.

The other thing impossible for many of our community members is to distribute the work among different members of workshop. Many bookbinders today work alone and have to perform all the steps by themselves.

What other omissions have you found in this video? What would you do differently?

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