ABC of Bookbinding: An Illustrated Glossary of Terms for Collectors and Conservators
By Jane Greenfield
I find this book to be useful, it is has an extensive amount of definitions and accompanying illustrations which are very useful. It’s certainly a good starting book for learning terminology. It’s available online from a number of retailers.
Back cover: As a major illustrated glossary in the field of bookbinding, it provides a unique outline of the physical book and a concise look at the book’s development over the centuries. More than a thousand binding-related words and seven hundred drawings are included in the glossary for every conceivable part of the book. This is the first time such succinct definitions and so many illustrations are coupled with clear outlines of the various periods in the historical development of book structure and style. Nowhere else is there such a unique combination of information available for student or collector who seeks to answer precise questions on bookbinding terminology.
The Archaeology of Medieval Bookbinding
By J.A. Szirmai
This is by far one of the best books on my shelf. It is costly, but well worth it. It covers so much. This book also has high praises from Dan Mezza; he let me borrow his copy when I was studying Coptic binding and I loved it so much I went out and got my own copy. This book provides a wealth of information for those who wish to restore or recreate bindings from the medieval period, is it written by a scholar so it can be rather scholarly at times but he is extremely comprehensive in his works. It is a very well written history of the early book from the very earliest codex forms. Included in the text are photographs and clearly readable structural diagrams. It is not a manual for beginning bookbinders but for those with intermediate skills it’s very interesting!
Back cover: It surveys the evolution of binding structures from the introduction of the codex two thousand years ago to the close of the Middle Ages. Part I reviews the scanty physical evidence from the Mediterranean heritage, the early Coptic, Islamic and Ethiopian binding structures and their interrelation with those of the Byzantine realm. Part II is devoted to a detailed analysis of Western binding techniques, distinguishing the carolingian, romanesque and gothic wooden-board bindings as the main typological entities; their structure and function is compared with those of contemporary limp bindings. The book is illustrated with over 200 drawings and photographs and contains a comprehensive bibliography.
Bookbinding Materials and Techniques, 1700 – 1920
By Margaret Locke
I’m including this book because it was published by the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild (CBBAG). We actually use this book in our bookbinding level 2 course and receive it as a text block that we will bind. That said, it is also a wonderful resource. Very comprehensive and easy to read.
Back cover: Describes each step in hand binding a book and explains the practical and aesthetic considerations that influenced these techniques. Shows how all of these processes changed over the 18th and 19th centuries due to mechanization, specialization within the trade, the vagaries of taste, the availability and cost of materials, and developments in printing, publishing, and book selling. Includes Canadian, European and American examples. 122 black and white illustrations. Revised and much expanded version of Two Centuries of Bookbinding: Materials and Techniques 1700-1900.
The Practical Guide to Book Repair and Conservation
By Arthur W. Johnson
This is book I have been considering a while but was hesitant to pick it up not knowing if it was good or not. Dan and I were recently at a second-hand book store and he pulled it out for me telling me it was a good book. A little old but still relevant. As it was in good condition and cheap I picked it up.
Back cover: Teaches book repair and cleaning techniques, and discusses chemical treatment and archive preservation.
Japanese Bookbinding: Instructions from A Master Craftsman
By Kojiro Ikegami
This book comes highly recommended to me from Dan, he says it’s one of the best books to have on hand for Japanese binding. It has very clear instructions on traditional Japanese style bindings. I have a copy myself and am looking forward to working through it and trying my hand at the various styles.
Back cover: A third-generation traditional bookbinder gives easy-to-follow instructions for making all the major, historically important styles of Japanese bindings as well as traditional book cases—the custom-made folding boxes that afford handsome protection for Japan’s exquisite books.
That’s all for now, I hope to be updating more often!
Until next time,