This post is heavily influenced by an article by Christian Alschner published in 1984. He starts the article by recounting the reasons for the scarcity of the original girdle books as the overhanging leather was often removed by librarians.
This vintage Russian magazine about printing was published for only two years, but it already gave me a lot of insights into the epoch — this time we share the first volume that was published in November 1901.
All around the world, invaluable cultural resources are threatened by political conflict, environmental challenges, and instability. In Sri Lanka, grassroots efforts offer two important models of preservation of knowledge, wisdom, and skills.
I've been browsing through a collection of more than a century old Russian magazines Printing Art. I found some interesting statistics concerning the book industry of the early 20th century in Russia. And this curiosity as well.
One of the concerns was why would Mesha call the enemy by this term “House of David” when he could simply refer to the proper noun Omri, King of Israel?
If want to buy only one book on the practical history of the Medieval bookbinding, that has to be The Archaeology of Medieval Bookbinding by Janos Alexander Szirmai. And here is the good news: book was just reprinted by the Routledge academic publishing house. What’s even better, this time you can choose from hardcover, paperback or digital edition of the book! Continue reading →
It took 15 years to gather Kathleen V. Roberts Collection of Decorated Publishers’ Bindings. Its hallmark being that books were chosen for their covers and arranged by decades. That way of organization gives a unique chance to see how the historical events affected book decoration and book production in general. It truly makes books a subject of an interdisciplinary study of art, history, design and commerce. Continue reading →
On this day, 24th of August, 1456, Johannes Gutenberg finished making the first book in Europe using movable type. Quires were printed in 1455 (or even before). There is a letter by Enea Silvio Bartolomeo Piccolomini (future pope Pie II) dated 12 March 1455, that suggests that pages were already printed. Continue reading →
Even today many printers only uses paper hand made in selective province's in China, this special paper is made using an age old technology. The paper is called jade paper, it begins with bamboo and hemp being ground into pulp. After this, workers lie a very fine bamboo sieve vertically into the solution and let the sieve sit in this manner to collect the fibers.
The fibers are then carefully smoothed out on a wooden board until they take shape, dehydrate and become a thin piece of paper. After it is completely dried, it becomes a sheet of paper. The water used in every step from grinding the hemp and the bamboo to sieving the fabric comes from nearby mountain springs. Tap water is never used. As a result, this paper, perfectly absorbing the ink is ideal for block printing.
The first ever books in the world were the Egyptian papyrus rolls, which were composed of several columns of ancient writing scripts. The first of these manuscripts goes back as far as the 25th BC, and until the Christian era, they remained quite popular. However, during this period, the paper or the book industry underwent a transformation, and parchment started replacing the Egyptian papyrus rolls (more on Egyptian Papyrus Rolls on Wikipedia). Writing on parchments was arranged in parallel columns, and vertical lines were used to separate one column from another. This particular pattern gave rise to the idea of cutting the parchments into flat panels, which comprised of either three or four columns. Later on, this form evolved into the books we see today. Continue reading →