Guild of Book Workers Newsletter 121














Annual Reports

All Annual Reports for 1997-1998 from Guild officers, committee chairmen, and chapter heads appear in a separate section of this Newsletter. Please take the time to read them and know what the Guild has done in the past year, and perhaps, think about how you can help.


Abecedarium opened at the Greensboro Hilton during the Standards Seminar and is now reinstalled in the Greensboro Public Library where it will remain until December 27. It will then begin its travels for the next year. The schedule of the several venues is:


Look for the catalogue. It is really fun - spiral bound and shrink-wrapped. Our Bill Drendel designed it in keeping with the theme of the exhibit. Catalogues are available for $20 plus shipping. For copies, get one at an exhibit site, or contact Karen Crisalli (PO Box 54, Keyport, NJ 07735, ph: 732-290-9152, fax: 732-290-9152, email:, order through the Guild address, or on-line, where it can be viewed, at:

Thanks are in order for our members who assisted with the show. Pam Spitzmueller and Bill Drendel, along with Paul Gehl, of the Newberry Library in Chicago, were wonderful jurors. Of course, Bill deserves our heartfelt thanks for the great catalogue. Our President Karen Crisalli was fabulous at soliciting catalogue donations, and Peter Verheyen, the past exhibits person, was always there (on-line, usually) to answer my many questions. And to Monique Lallier, Helen Cassidy and Bob Colver in Greensboro, many thanks for helping install the exhibit at the Hilton.

Now, it is on to the next exhibit - in the year 2000. No sooner is one done, than we have to start thinking about the next one. It takes almost two years from concept to opening to make it happen. I learned from this past exhibit the huge amount of time required for the development and organization of a national traveling show. There are so many details - making forms, organizing a jury, seeking venues, planning a catalogue, soliciting donations, packing and shipping, making labels and signage - it goes on and on. I need to have more assistance with the next exhibit. If anyone is interested, no matter where you live, please let me know. It is very interesting to work on an exhibit like this.

The year 2000 presents us with a great opportunity to have a spectacular show. Do we want a theme? Is the millennium enough? Do we want a large theme? - something humanitarian or environmental? - or something basic, like ‘my best work at the close of the century’? Send me some ideas you’d like to work on and see exhibited. I’d like to settle the theme by February 1999 and put the notice in the April Newsletter. The more lead time you have, the more entries we should have, I hope. Write me or e-mail me. I will look forward to your suggestions in the next few months.

On to the millennium exhibit!
Barbara Lazarus Metz


As announced at the General Meeting in Greensboro, N.C., next year’s Standards Seminar, the 19th, will be held in Chicago. Bill Drendel will be the organizer. Details of the program will emerge throughout the year and will be announced in the Newsletter as they become definite.

See Noteworthy in this issue for notice of handmade paper exhibitions which are being planned to coincide with the GBW Seminar in Chicago.


As noted in the last issue, with the departure of Pamela Spitzmueller for Harvard, Anna Embree has taken over the post of Librarian to the Guild. The Library catalogue of printed books is now available on-line at, or through the University of Iowa website www.lib.uiowa. edu/spec-coll/NARRFIN.HTM. U of Iowa Special Collections Librarian Dick Kolbet is maintaining the site. The mounting of up-to-date serials holdings and videos will not begin until a new conservator has been hired at the University of Iowa.

Although a hard copy of the Library Catalogue will not be generally distributed, a Xerox copy will be sent on request. The Librarian’s address remains as before and can be found on the Executive Committee List in this issue.

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Eric Alstrom has moved to Hanover, New Hampshire, to become Dartmouth College’s first Collections Conservator. He will also be involved in teaching the book arts to interested students, faculty, and community members. His ties with the Midwest will remain by continuing to edit the Midwest Chapter’s newsletter and web page as well as maintaining the GBW’s national web page. He can be reached via email at, or phone at 603-646-1452. His new address is: 2 Valley Road, Hanover, NH 03755

Maria Fredericks has become Head of Conservation at Columbia University, as of October 1st. Her new address is 404 West 116th St., Apt. 22, New York, NY 10027.

Members’ Work on Exhibition


Catherine Stanescu - 1908 - 1998

Catherine Stanescu, for many years a teacher in New York, and a pivotal figure in the bookbinding lives of some of us, died in Timisoara, Romania, 15 September, 1998, just two weeks before her 90th birthday. Bookbinding, and the teaching of the craft, were her total commitment.

She was an inspiring teacher, always pressing for better work. To an artist like me, whose interests are (too) scattered, the pleas for focus were constant. She admired my designs and always encouraged the most adventurous expression of them.

The atmosphere in her Park Avenue studio(s) was, (surprise!) completely European. ‘French’ was in the air. The French technique was the method taught and explanations for a procedure often given ‘en Français’. The student roster was of a multi-lingual composition: accents of Chinese, Russian and German (plus a few true Brits) could be heard. All this from only 5 or 6 students in the room at a time.

Catherine had graduated from the University of Bucharest and studied binding in Geneva with Alice Huguenin and Mme. Picard. She came to New York in 1946, (as the wife of the Consul General) and studied with Ella Fisk. Later, while teaching at the 53rd Street ‘Y’, Catherine was encouraged by some of her well-heeled pupils to open her own atelier.

She joined GBW in 1956 and participated in the 50th Anniversary Exhibition at the Grolier Club. From that point her Guild identification becomes unclear. When I came aboard as a student of Catherine’s in 1970, it wasn’t mentioned. One sensed a mysterious disaffection with some of the bookbinding luminaries. As in any enterprise, there’s always a factor of artistic egoism at work, and certainly Catherine was a complex personality. Generous in so many ways .... a bit prickly in some others.

She retired from teaching in 1984, nursed her ailing husband until his death in 1989 and finally returned to Romania in 1995 to live with family members. The adjustment proved difficult. Her revulsion against communist Romania and its aftermath - (aesthetic grimness was only part of it) was too painful. America, and the friends left behind, were remembered as sublime. As the Executor of her affairs, I was entrusted with special papers from her past. One folder records over 225 transactions with the Academy of Medicine.

I have asked Deborah Evetts to write a Remembrance for the Newsletter. Regrettably, I gave her the wrong deadline.( N.B. It will appear in the next issue.)

Jean Stephenson

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Paper Exhibitions in Chicago Coincide with GBW Standards 1999

The first annual National Juried Collegiate Handmade Paper Exhibition will open September 17, 1999, in Chicago. It is timed to coincide with the annual meetings of the Friends of Dard Hunter (Nov. 4 - 6) and the Guild of Book Workers (Oct. 28-30). Later in the year the exhibition will travel to the Robert C. Williams American Museum of Papermaking in Atlanta. The competition is open to all students registered in a university, college, or art school program. (Information on entering the exhibition can be found in the Calendar of this issue.) [Web ed. note: The Calendar does not appear in the online version of the Newsletter.]

MAGIC PAPER/MAGIC BOOKS, an exhibition being organized by the Columbia College Chicago Center for Book Arts, will also be on view in October and November in Chicago. Their Call for Entries can be found in the Calendar in this issue of the Newsletter. It will show works of paper art and/or book art that utilize handmade paper.

California Book Artists Exhibition at CBA

The Center for Book Arts in New York City has mounted the largest exhibition of California book artists ever presented on the East Coast, Out West: The Artist’s Book in California. Part One, curated by Steve Woodall of the San Francisco Center for the Book, opened on November 21 and runs through February 27. It features work from Northern California. Part Two, covering work from Southern California and curated by Gloria Helfgott, runs from March 6 through June 19.

The CBA news release says, "Artists from California made significant advances in the development of this hybrid form, the artist’s book, which combines text, image and structure to present a unified expression. Out West highlights the work of its current practitioners, while paying homage to their forbears, among them Wallace Berman, Kenneth Patchen, William Everson, and Dave Hazelwood. Contemporary artists include, in Part One, Julie Chen, Alastair Johnston, and Betsey Davids; in Part Two, Inge Bruggeman, Katherine Ng, Carolee Campbell, and Susan King. The exhibition shows the California book arts community to be culturally and socially diverse, open and unforced with respect to form and concept, with a deep regard for the inherent properties of the physical materials of the book." Steve Woodall gave a talk, "Book Arts in the State of Euphoria (i.e. Northern California)" at the opening reception, November 20, at the Center for Book Arts." ( CBA is at 626 Broadway, New York City, 10012, 212-460-9768).

BookLab Closes its Doors

BookLab, in Austin, Texas, went out of business on November 30. They held a "Going Out of Business Sale" on November 21 to sell off supplies and equipment. Their e-mail address, in case not all items were sold at that time, is:

Indiana University Offers Degree in Rare Books & MSS

A Master of Library Science with Specialization in Special Collections was announced by the University of Indiana in August. Whether it begins in 1998 or 1999 was not specified.

A library degree itself does not include any courses on rare books or manuscripts. They are included as electives. At least four of eight rare book courses must be taken in addition to the library courses. One of those eight is library preservation. For further information, contact Lorraine Olley at, or visit the web site at (The Abbey Newsletter, v.22 #2, 1998)

New Company Archiving Rare Books on CD

"Octavo Corporation is a publisher of fine rare books, original manuscripts and antiquarian printed materials via digital tools and formats. Through partnerships with libraries, museums, and individuals, Octavo actively supports the work of rare book librarians, curators, collectors, and conservators. Photographed at very high resolution, Octavo Editions are fine-tuned, and then released on CD as Adobe PDF files which can be viewed on, and printed from, many computing platforms. You can view each page and the binding on your computer screen, zoom in to magnify up to 800% in some cases, and copy and paste the searchable "live text" available for selected editions. For more information, call 650-470-0150, e-mail:, or visit:"

The above information was received from Jocelyn Bergen, GBW member and Managing Editor of Octavo Corporation. For two publications currently available from Octavo, see Publications, this issue.

New English Private Press

The Avenue Press, 54 The Avenue, Newton Abbot, Devon, TQ12 2BY England, is a small press dedicated to producing heavily illustrated, beautifully bound limited edition books. Many will be on a natural history or conservation theme, others will feature storytelling, poetry and myths and legends. All will have numerous images and special editions with original prints or slipcases. You can contact them for titles at:

Sheila Waters Work at the Morgan Library

cIncluded in an exhibition, "The Wormsley Library: A Personal Selection by Sir Paul Getty, K.B.E.", to be mounted at the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York in January is Sheila Waters’s 76 page manuscript of Under Milk Wood: A Play for Voices by Dylan Thomas. The work was commissioned in 1961 and completed in 1978. The script is Sheila Waters’s personal style of Carolingian. Ms. Waters will be lecturing about her manuscript, and the Morgan hopes to have a facsimile for sale in their book shop.

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On the front cover of the October Newsletter we printed a photograph of Eleanore Ramsey’s binding of Hans Andersen’s Fairy Tales which is being shown in the Hand Bookbinders of California Members’ Exhibition at the San Francisco Public Library until December 31, 1998. At the time of publication Eleanore, and everyone else who could give us details about the binding, was out of the country. We do, now, have the details:

Hans Andersen’s Fairy Tales. Illustrated by Louis Rhead, Harper & Brothers, 1914. Book bound in full bright green French Cape morocco, with butterflies cut into board covers. Butterflies are hinged and inset with magnets to allow wings to open out from board covers or rest flush into front and back covers. When wings are opened out the underside of butterflies, as well as yellow suede fly leaves, may be seen through board covers. Butterflies are tooled in gold with mosaics of French Cape morocco, chagrin, oasis, and box calf leathers. Butterfly bodies are three-dimensional to encourage the illusion of butterflies in flight. Book is titled in gold on spine and all edges are gilded. Clam shell style box. Book, 9"x7". Bound in 1998 for Connie Bowles Peabody.

Butterfly models:

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Sue Allen and publishers’ bindings at RBS

A week at "Book Camp" it’s been called. I’m speaking of Rare Book School (RBS), that intensive series of week long courses that are offered at the University of Virginia every summer. I attended this past July, along with fellow GBW members Jenny Hille and Margaret Johnson (also known as editor of this publication). We three attended a course entitled Publisher’s Bindings, 1830 - 1910 taught by book designer and historian Sue Allen. While some of the courses offered at RBS deal with the history of books and printing, this course is concerned with binding, particularly the history of bindings that were commercially produced during this period when cloth began to be the major covering material in use.

The course commenced in one of the rooms which house the Book Arts Press (BAP) in Alderman Library on the campus of UVA in Charlottesville. Twelve students from a wide variety of backgrounds sat closely at a group of tables surrounded by an amazing collection of historical and beautifully bound books. My classmates were conservators, book dealers, rare book librarians and book collectors; a good mix. Throughout the week each brought experience and interest to the in-depth lectures and show-and-tell, but the main attraction was Sue Allen. She has been researching this particular period in book binding for many years and is especially knowledgeable about the books produced in America during this time.

Utilizing the extensive Book Arts Press Collection as examples, we looked over the major design trends. The first cloth covered books in the 1830’s had simple dressmaker’s muslin over the boards, and were printed with titles in black ink. These were deemed ugly, but binders persevered.

Cloth was then dyed and starched and stamped to make it appear like the stamped leather bindings which were then popular to collectors. Cloths were manufactured first in Europe with embossed patterns on them to simulate leather and later with more decorative embossments. The earliest bindings were dark colors and blind stamped. Stamping in gold followed soon after. As the technology improved and the binders became more skilled, the cover of a book became a form of advertising, letting the public know what lay inside, the precursor to the dust jacket of today. Blind and gold stamping gave way to colored stamping and by the 1890’s graphic designers became involved with the book cover, bringing a streamlined smooth professionalism to the covers of the turn of the century.

In order to preserve the collection, Sue Allen and Terry Belanger (the Director of the Book Arts Press and the founder of Rare Book School) devised a system for passing the books around in flat baskets to insure the least amount of handling while allowing close examination. On one of the afternoons we visited Special Collections and were able to see significant historical examples, including a first edition of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass (designed by the author). On three other afternoons we visited the rotunda in the Academical Village, the part of the university originally designed and built by Thomas Jefferson. Inside the upper floor of the rotunda is housed another large portion of the teaching collections of the BAP and each student was allowed to select books to examine and review for the class. In the words of a past participant, "That was a great opportunity to browse numerous bindings and actually handle the books. Also, it was great to have to describe the bindings, using terminology and background we had learned earlier in the day or week."

A few words about Rare Book School. It was founded by Terry Belanger at Columbia University in 1983 and moved to its current home at the University of Virginia in 1993. It usually runs from mid-July to mid-August, 4 weeks, with approximately 6 individual courses per week. Courses of interest to bookbinders, especially, include: European Bookbinding, 1500 - 1800 taught by Nicholas Pickwoad; European Decorative Bookbinding taught by Mirjam Foot; Type, Lettering and Calligraphy, 1450-1830 taught by James Mosley; Book Illustration to 1890 taught by Terry Belanger; and Lithography in the Age of the Hand Press taught by Michael Twyman, among others. Other courses are of special interest to Special Collections librarians, archivists, antiquarian booksellers and book collectors. The setting of UVA is an historic lush campus,with plentiful accommodations and very good local food. The week also includes several lectures and opportunities to socialize with other participants and instructors. I would recommend this educational week to anyone interested in the history of binding; it was a lot of fun as well as a great learning experience.

More information about the courses at Rare Book School can be found by contacting them at: The University of Virginia, Rare Book School, 114 Alderman Library, Charlottesville, VA 22903-2498, phone: 804/924-8851, e-mail: There is a very good web site which currently seems to be under construction:

(N.B. Sue Allen has written a forthcoming book, Gold on Cloth: American Book Covers 1830 - 1910, which covers the topic of her course. It is being published by Endpapers Press in New Haven, Conn.)

Erin Vigneau, Assistant General Collections
Conservator, Princeton University Library.

18th Annual Standards of Excellence in Hand Book Binding Seminar
Greensboro, NC
October 22 - 24, 1998.

Each Guild Standards of Excellence Seminar seems to be better than the last - or is it that each is excellent in its own, special way? One hates to pit our hard-working, dedicated hosts against each other. Whatever the measure, this year’s, at Greensboro, was a winner.

Thursday Tours

Early arrivals took advantage of the pre-conference tours to various locations on Thursday. One group went to Winston-Salem to tour Old Salem and the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, another visited the former estate of R. J. Reynolds. I (M.H.J.) opted for the Etherington Conservation Center and Replacements, Ltd. An hour or two in Don’s incredible restoration center only scratches the surface. It left those of us who spend our days repairing and restoring books open-mouthed with admiration for the repair work done using Japanese tissues, and for the work done on paper repair and reproduction. We had difficulty tearing ourselves away to tour the bindery included in the Center.

Exhibition Opening

We got back to the hotel in time for the opening of the new Guild exhibition Abecedarium, and John Ballinger’s amusing and informative talk, or more accurately, ‘roast’ of Don Etherington. Mr. Ballinger, with Monique Lallier’s assistance, had dug up a lot of history of Don’s 50-year career in bookbinding and conservation, often to Don’s amazement and/or discomfort.

Barbara Lazarus Metz’s exhibition debut, Abecedarium, will travel nationwide throughout 1999. It is an interesting, colorful show, with innovative work ranging from Eleanore Ramsey’s traditional structure with cut-out leather covers to Gabrielle Fox’s boxed letters and Jean Stephenson’s colorful wall piece. There was a moment of panic when it was discovered that the catalogue was off-color. The entire edition must be reprinted, but will be mailed to buyers soon.

(N.B. Information about the schedule for the exhibitions and where to order a copy of the catalogue can be found under Guild News in this issue.)

Presentations were up to the usual standard of excellence:

Despite some horrible bug which flowered on his transatlantic flight, Anthony Cains gave lucid explanation and illustrated demonstrations (for two full days) of how he prepared the Ellesmere Chaucer in the Huntington Library for facsimile production, and rebound it in the style of a mid-fifteenth century London binding. He showed slides of the work in process, and samples and models of the rebinding phases were passed around to clarify various points.

Carol Barton invited attendees to cut and fold along with her as she demonstrated four pop-up structures - more properly called methods of paper engineering - and one pasted structure, all of which form the basis for nearly everything that can physically be done in pop-up structures. Carol had samples of her own beautiful work and other pop-up books to demonstrate that she was really telling the truth, despite the apparent simplicity of her demonstrations. Almost all pop-ups are made in low-wage Colombia and the Philippines because of all the hand work involved. Will we lose them forever when these countries’ standards of living rise?

Linda Hohneke probably knows as much about historic decorative papers used in bookbinding as there is to know. Her excellent slides of the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Lada-Mocarski Decorated Paper Collection helped make the subject colorful and exciting.

Nervous participants watched as Frank Mowery and Linda Blaser, surrounded by razor-sharp instruments, playfully, but forcefully, defended their favorite methods of leather paring. Frank learned the German way, and Linda was trained in the English tradition. Both demonstrated their own techniques, and they finished in a dead heat. This was the most entertaining demonstration this year as these two natural comedians and skilled bookworkers went at it full tilt.

Friday Night Banquet

Along with a delicious dinner, our Greensboro hosts entertained us with a local barbershop quartet choir who were enthusiastic and tuneful musicians. The post-banquet auction of donated articles gets better every year. Inaugurated three years ago at Pasadena, led by the incomparable Bill Drendel, auctioneer, the auction cleared $3,000 which will be used for scholarships for next year’s seminar and a fund for GBW’s 100th anniversary celebration in 2006.

Annual Meeting

There have been many complaints about the length of the Annual Meeting. The board responded by distributing the treasurer’s report and limiting debate on individual topics. We were finished in an hour and a half and went on to the yearly raffle of goodies provided by the presenters and the vendors.

Those who stayed later on Sunday were treated to a tour of the Jackson Library Special Collections.

Grateful thanks to all this year’s Seminar organizers and volunteers for an outstanding meeting. Thanks, also, to all the vendors who not only brought their wares for us to finger and admire (and buy, buy, buy), but to those vendors who contributed generously for the catalogue, as well as for the coffee and pastries during the breaks. Thanks also to Information Conservation inc and the Etherington Conservation Center for hosting the reception

Signa Houghteling, with toursand a few explanatory bits by Margaret Johnson.

The W. O. Hickok Mfg. Co.: 150 Years of Book Binding Equipment

Chances are, if two or more bookbinders are talking, one will usually start to complain, and not unjustly, about the constant struggle to obtain materials and equipment of the quality that was once standard. Linen is sometimes bleached , then redyed to look "natural", vegetable tanned leather comes with questionable surface finishes, plywood has replaced solid wood, cast parts lack any finishing. Part of the joy of craft work comes from using beautiful tools. Fortunately, one company, W.O. Hickok, of Harrisburg, Pa., is still producing some of the same equipment, to the same high standard as 100 years ago.

I toured the Hickok factory in October, 1998, thanks to the hospitality of Gary Milbrand, Sales Manager, and Peter Hickok, president and great-great-grandson of William Hickok. I was given an extensive tour of the foundry, machine shop, storage facilities, research and development department and archives. Most of their current development is on a hand operated single-blade, and an air-powered double-blade, corner rounder that can also be linked to computer-operated assembly lines. These are primarily used by bible and notebook manufacturers. One employee hand shapes, heat treats, and sharpens each blade to Rockwell hardness of 58, and if you have ever tried to sharpen a 90-degree curved shape, you can appreciate the degree of skill it takes to do this.

They stock many repair parts for old machines, or can manufacture them, but OSHA regulations forbid them from supplying many spare parts; often they have to rebuild the machine and add guards to meet current safety regulations. They also operate a job foundry, and were currently engaged in making 15 inch diameter brass gears and housings for elevator motors. One computer-controlled milling machine replaced five skilled machinists.

William Hickok started as a bookbinder, and when a fire destroyed his bindery in 1844, he shifted to primarily manufacturing bookbinding equipment, including paper ruling machines, school furniture, pens and presses and a patented portable cider press. At that point, the company was called Eagle Works, and an undated late 19th c. catalogue includes many items for bookbinders and the stationery trade, including an iron standing press for $35, cherry finishing presses for $2, a gilding press for $30, and a cutting machine (guillotine?) for $200. Peter Hickok thought that the company was renamed, after the founder died in the late 1890’s, and became the W.O. Hickok Mfg. Co.

Their present factory, built in 1916, is a virtual museum, filled with models of ruling machines, spare parts, an 1898 guillotine cutter that was exhibited at the Chicago Centennial Exposition, and lots of hand tools. One particularly interesting lettering pallet had a spring activated trigger-like mechanism for rapid loading, and carried a patent from 1872. William Hickok, 3rd, never trusted banks, so he had an enormous walk-in safe constructed with enough room for the accounting department. Today, the factory employs around 35 workers, although in the 1950’s there were hundreds.

The company still makes polishing irons, hammers, job backers and book presses - normally the 001/2, a table top model with a 10" x 15 H" platen and 7" of daylight. They said they would be happy to make equipment on special order, but lack of demand, expense, and foreign markets have virtually eliminated any interest. All the foundry work is done on the premises, melting 2 ft. sections of railroad tracks, which is a very clean source of iron. The flask for casting the leg of a job backer, for example, held close to 900 lbs. of sand.

Another common piece of Hickok equipment is the "amateur" lying press, plough and tub, which has 18 to 24 in. between the twin wood screws. In the 1970’s, Peter Hickok designed their combination press, which consists of a central metal screw wheel and can be used as a job backer, press and plough, and standing press.

Gary Milbrand informed me that the Hickok would be happy to host tours for interested groups, and if anyone owns a piece of Hickok equipment that has a serial number, they can often find out a little about the history, including the original owner, and will add your name to the records. I think one reason that there is not much call for new equipment is that there are far fewer hand bookbinders today than 60 years ago, and the old equipment does not wear out. Also, bookbinding as a hobby for wealthy dilettantes seems to be on the decline.

The future availability of quality equipment seems uncertain. Perhaps Tom Conroy is correct in his belief that we will be forced to learn wood and metal working skills just to repair and build the necessary equipment and tools to do our jobs properly. I hope bookbinders continue to support the Hickok Company, keeping a 150-year tradition alive.

JeVrey S. Peachey

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Equipment For Sale

Hickok Standing Press No. 6: steel screw 3 G", platen 20" x 28", opens 43", weight 1,495 lbs. Price: best offer. Contact Robert Christine, 1280 William St., Bethlehem, PA 18015; ph: 610-807-0260, or 610-807-0273; e-mail:

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Amy Lapidow

Freedom of speech, copyright, and fair use are much read and spoken about topics, especially in terms of The Web and its contents. As always, there are many sites devoted to these topics, these are but a few of interest.

As expected, the ACLU ( is interested in all of these topics. The format for each section (cyber-liberties, free speech, and privacy) is similar, and up-to-date, with highlights by date of current court cases and legislation, archives of previous topics, original documentation, and excellent links to other like resources, and, if appropriate, what one can do about the issue at hand. The current topics displayed were censorship and filtering software, banned-books week, and a pocket guide on privacy of personal data.

The Stanford University Libraries have devoted a server to Copyright and Fair Use ( is a searchable site with primary materials, such as statutes, judicial opinions, regulations and full text articles covering the topics. Although the material looks a bit dated, it is well worth reading as the content is still relevant.

For an excellent explanation in practical terms of copyright infringement, try The Copyright Website (

The Electronic Frontier Foundation ( is a "non-profit, non-partisan organization working in the public interest to protect fundamental civil liberties, including privacy and freedom of expression in the area of computers and the Internet". These are the people who brought the blue ribbon campaign. Here one can get a blue ribbon to put on a personal website, join the EFF and follow current legislation and court topics.

Free! From The Freedom Forum Online ( is a "self-supporting non-partisan international foundation dedicated to free press, free speech and free spirit of all people". It has, as well, news stories and an archive, but it also has audio programs of live radio broadcasts available through a website called ‘’, if you have a working sound card, a piece of software such as real audio.

Epic, the Electronic Privacy Information Center ( is a ‘public interest research center in Washington, DC, established in 1994 to focus public attention on emerging civil liberties issues and to protect the first amendment and constitutional values". It works in association with Privacy International ( and is a project of The Fund for Constitutional Government, and is a member of the Global Internet Liberty Campaign (, the Internet Free Oppression Alliance (, and the Internet Privacy Coalition (

This site, too, lists the latest news and press releases, but also of interest are its full-text guides to legislation and privacy resources. I especially liked the Guide to Practical Privacy Tools, which has information on searching the Web anonymously, how to secure your telephone, and a section on previously secret documents now public under the Freedom of Information Act.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (www. is "responsible for the promotion of the protection of intellectual property throughout the world through cooperation among states and for the administration of various multilateral treaties dealing with the legal and administrative aspects of intellectual property". There are full-text documents, such as their Guide to the International Registration of Marks.

The Franklin Pierce Law Center on Intellectual Property ( has an authoritative site that encompasses lots of practical tips on intellectual property issues. There are research tools for searching trademarks and patents and user guides to track case law, among a variety of other paths.

On a totally different note....three new websites have been created, stop by and see them:

Comments, questions, suggestions:

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Edward H. Snider

This time we will discuss drying processes.

Wet Sheet Handling

The "post" that has been eased from the press onto a waiting dolly consists of a pile of alternating press felts and sheets of wet handmade paper sitting on the bottom press board.

After wet pressing, the sheets of paper still contain over 65% water and are very fragile. The slightest touch with a finger or thumb will leave a permanent impression on a heavy wet sheet of paper.

However, the corners of small light weight sheets, up to about 8" x 11" (22cm x 28cm), can be teased up from the press felt using a stainless steel spatula, and the wet sheets gently lifted by hand and moved to the drying loft, without damaging the paper.

To handle 12" x 18" (30 x 46 cm) and larger (and heavier) wet sheets, I use a pair of padded kitchen pot holders, each of which have a layer of thin soft sponge plastic stitched onto one side. After teasing up the two front corners of the wet sheet of paper, the pot holders are partly slipped under the corners of the paper. The pot holders are then gently closed on the paper, using both hands, and the paper is carefully stripped off the press felt, lifted up and carried to, and draped over, the drying rack. The padding of the pot holders and the sponge plastic sheets prevent finger and thumb prints from leaving an impression in the wet paper.

Loft Drying

In old time handmade paper mills, the wet sheets of handmade paper were dried by laying them out by hand on flat canvas blankets suspended in the loft tower of the mill, where they were dried by the natural passage of air through vents in the walls, supplemented by steam heated hot air rising from below. [1]

Similarly, I "loft dry" small sheets on 30" x 60" (76 x 152 cm) horizontal sliding wooden frame shelves across which nylon "fly" screen is stretched. These are stacked ten high in a bolted angle steel frame.

During loft drying the top side of the paper dries more quickly than the bottom side which lies against the support blanket or screen. Since paper fibers shrink when they dry, this causes the top side of the sheet to shrink faster than the bottom side, and the sheet curls upwards. To minimize this, the sheets may be turned over when they are half dry. After drying, the sheets are stacked carefully and dry pressed over night in the big 30 ton press. They come out flat!

Rope or Pipe Drying

Another technique used is to drape the wet sheets over "clothes lines" or suspended pipes and air dry them. When the paper has dried, this method leaves a sharpish bend in the paper where the rope or pipe is located, which is difficult to press out. Light weight papers can be hung in "spurs" of wet sheets several layers thick. [2]

Instead of suspended ropes, I use six 4" (10 cm) diameter white PVC unperforated drain tiles mounted on three 1" x 2" (2.5 x 5cm) cross bars which , in turn, are mounted on a 2" x 2" (5 x 5 cm) vertical post, like a Christmas tree. The tiles are sawn to a length that is about 2" (5 cm) longer than the widest sheet to be dried, and their support bars are spaced vertically to permit easy access when draping the wet paper.

A metal hook is fastened to the top of the support post which permits the "drying tree" to be hung up on a rafter of the drying room. Several such trees are required to dry a post of paper.

When the sheets have been dried in this manner they have a smooth bend in them from the tiles that is much easier to press out than when ropes and pipes are used.

Heavy weight sheets may take four or five days to air dry.

Forced Air Restraint Drying

This drying method entails the use of a stack of large size double or triple wall corrugated paperboard sheets.

On top of the bottom corrugated board, which sits on a table, is placed a plain, flat finished blotter that is larger than the dimensions of the sheet of paper to be dried.

The wet sheet of paper is removed from the press felt, as described above, and carefully laid and centered on the blotter. Then a second blotter is placed on top of the paper.

Another sheet of corrugated board is then placed on top of the blotter and the process is repeated until the entire post of wet paper has been placed in the stack.

A sheet of plywood is then placed on the top board and a weight is placed on it. This weight helps to flatten the wet paper and it, and the friction of the blotters, restrain the paper from shrinking during drying.

When the stack has been completed, a large electric fan is placed on one side of, and close to, the stack which has been oriented so that air can be blown through the open flutes of the corrugated boards.

The fan is turned on and left to blow overnight. The moisture in the wet paper migrates into the blotters and then through the liners of the corrugated boards and evaporates into, and is carried away by, the air stream!

In the morning the paper is dry, flat, and has not shrunk.

Next time we will talk about how the Rough, Medium (Cold Press) and Smooth (Hot Press) finishes are imparted to the paper surface, and why.


  1. One Hundred and Fifty Years of Papermaking By Hand at Hayle Mill, Maidstone, England, by J. Barcham Green, limited edition, 1960.
  2. Papermaking as an Artistic Craft, by John Mason, Faber & Faber, London, 1959.

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Iris Nevins

On October 29th the Symposium and Exhibition of the Phoebe Jane Easton Collection of Contemporary Marbled Papers took place at the Houghton Library and the Widener Library at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Phoebe Jane Easton gave a talk on her collecting experiences over the last 30-some years, followed by Robin Heyeck of the Heyeck Press, who spoke about her combined marbling and publishing experiences. She showed slides of her beautifully crafted books and the various styles of marbling within them. Finally, a talk and slide show was given by Feridun Özgören, a master of Turkish Ebru, which was truly breathtaking.

The exhibit is housed at the Widener Memorial Rotunda in the Widener Library, and shall remain there until February 26, 1999. Included are pieces by Feridun Özgören, Mustafa Duzgünman, Richard J. Wolfe, Karli Frigge, Poul Martin Trnka, Geert Van Daal, Vi Wilson, Douglas Cockerell & Son, John Gunn, Victoria Hall, Dolores Sabodell, Virginia Passaglia, Luis Villasenor, Iris Nevins, Robin Heyeck, Richard Longstreet, Pamela Smith and Christopher Weimann.

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The Archaeology of Medieval Bookbinding, by J.A. Szirmai, surveys the evolution of the binding structure from the introduction of the codex two millennia ago to the close of the Middle Ages. Hardback, 500 pp., 250 b/w illus., ISBN 085967 9047, £70 + s&h. Available from: Lorna Gordon, Ashgate Publishing Direct Sales, Bookpoint Limited, 39 Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon., OX14 4TD England. Tel: 01235 827730.

Handmade Paper in Nepal: Tradition and Change, the third in a series of portfolios of handmade papers published by Hand Papermaking. Designed by Steve Miller, the portfolio presents documentation of an ancient papermaking tradition in transition. The specimens in this edition were collected by researcher and paper artist Dorothy Field between 1984 and 1996. 18 paper specimens, each in its own folder in a clamshell box produced by BookLab, Inc., are accompanied by a booklet containing an essay, descriptions of the papers, a glossary and a bibliography. Edition of 150. Price: $195, postpaid in US, $15 for airmail outside the US. Visa & MasterCard accepted.

Write or call, Hand Papermaking, PO Box 77027, Washington, DC 20013, 800-821-6604, or 301-220-2393; e-mail:

Ravaged With Joy by William Everson. A Record of the Poetry Reading at the University of California, Davis, on May 16, 1975. With a recording on CD of his 1975 reading, an introduction by Sidney Berger, and editorial contributions from Gary Young and Bill Hotchkiss, the main text is a transcription of the entire reading. An accompanying booklet brings together several remembrances of other Everson readings. Woodcuts by Keiji Shinohara; book structure by Daniel Kelm; editing, design, and printing by Robin Price. 1998. 150 copies; 13x13"; 36 pp. $850. Available from Robin Price, Publisher, Starr Mill, Beverly Heights, Middletown, CT 06457; tel: 860-344-8644; fax: 344-344; e-mail:

Far Horizons by Scott McCarney, a meditation on the North American landscape and the artist’s urban garden through the lens of a traditional American quilt square design. 12 pages read as a panoramic landscape and flatten to a 21 x 28 in. quilt pattern. Four-color offset in a signed editon of 500. $25 + $2 s&h. Also available in limited Wallpaper Edition - 12 sheets printed on text weight paper and packaged with a microwave wheat paste recipe to create a 7 ft. square wall quilt. Signed & numbered ed. of 40. $125 + $5 s&h. Send check or m.o. to Scott McCarney, 22 Cayuga St., Rochester, NY 14620. (NY State residents add NY sales tax).

Miniature Paste Paper Patterns, a miniature book by Claire Maziarczyk and Alembic Press. 140 copies, main ed. $80 + $5 s&h, boxed ed. $145 + $5 s&h. All 14 new samples are available free with SASE. Maziarczyk Paperworks, 834 River Rd., Schodack Landing, NY 12156, ph. & fax: 518-732-2779, e-mail: Visa, MC, Amex accepted.

Hunter, Dard, II, and Hunter, Dard, III. Dard Hunter & Son. N.P. (Newtown, PA): Bird & Bull Press, 1998, 4to, quarter black morocco, Japanese cloth-covered boards, cloth clamshell box with leather spine label. 152 pp., with 30 additional pages and 6 additional leaves of paper and printing samples, and reproductions, $675. Letterpress printed in an edition of 225 numbered copies, of which 180 are presubscribed. Remaining copies available through Jan. 1, at original in-print price from Oak Knoll Books, 414 Delaware St., New Castle, DE 19720, 302-328-7232.

Epaminondas by Marjorie Coffey, 1998, Pequeño Press, Bisbee, AZ. This traditional American folk story is retold in its original form. Printed in Garamond & Britannic types on Neenah Classic Crest paper by Pat Baldwin. Accordion structure with 4 pop-outs. Hand embroidered fabric over boards. 2 1/2 x 2 1/4 in., 43 pp., Bound at Waterleaf Mill & Bindery. Signed ed. of 55. $80 + $2 s&h. Pequeño Press, PO Box 1711, Bisbee, AZ 85603. Ph: 520-432-5924, fax: 432-3-65, e-mail: patbooks@

Vision Shifts by Carol Barton, Popular Kinetics Press, Glen Echo, MD. 1998. Attendees at the GBW Seminar in Greensboro, NC, in October saw a copy of this book during Carol Barton’s presentation on Pop-Ups. The book captures the moments of doubts and insecurities we experience when we are no longer certain of what we once held as true, in its imagery and in the way the book is constructed - sliding pop-up windows pan background photographs so that what is seen shifts with the movement of the page. Printed at the Borowsky Center for Publication Arts at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Available for $44 (includes shipping) from Carol Barton, 6005 Yale Ave., Glen Echo, MD 20812.

CD Publications

Poems by William Shakespeare, digital rare book published by Octavo Corporation, January 1998, originally published in London, 1640. John Benson’s collection of all but eight of the sonnets, a few songs from The Passionate Pilgrim, "A Lover’s Complaint", and "The Phoenix and the Turtle", as well as elegies on Shakespeare by the young John Milton and others. Standard Edition CD. Full text, binding, and all pages presented in PDF files with searchable live text; Acrobat Reader included for viewing and printing. US $25 + $1.50 s&h (+ $2.06 tax in CA).

Micrographia by Robert Hooke, digital rare book published by Octavo Corp., March 1998, originally published in London, 1665. Visually stunning illustrations and detailed text descriptions of Hooke’s historically significant work with early microscopes, based on presentations made to Britain’s Royal Society. Standard Edition CD. Full text, binding, and all pages presented in PDF files with searchable live text; Acrobat Reader included for viewing and printing. US $30 + $1.50 s&h ($2.48 tax in CA). Both available from: Octavo, 394 University Ave., Palo Alto, CA 94301. Visa, MC and Amex accepted via fax at 650-470-0155, or via

Exhibition Catalogues

Abecedarium, the catalogue of the Guild of Book Workers Members’ Exhibition which opened October 22, 1998 in Greensboro, N.C. Available through the Guild of Book Workers, from Karen Crisalli (, the Guild address in New York, or on the web at: $20 plus $3 shipping in the US, $6 overseas.

The Collector As Bookbinder: The Piscatorial Bindings of S.A. NeV, Jr. A catalogue of 49 color photographs of boxes and bindings in a traveling special exhibit. 8 1/2" x 10", 64 pp., paper. Available from: S.A. Neff, Jr., 524 Sycamore Rd., Sewickley, PA 15143. Price: $15.00 + $4.00 s&h + $1.05 tax in PA.

Hand Bookbinders 25th Annaversary Exhibition Catalogue. A complete set of postcards $ 15.00 + $ 3 s & h; Single cards: 50¢ ea. Bound catalogue, $ 20.00 + $ 3.00 s& h, from the Hand Bookbinders of California, P. O. Box 193216 San Francisco ca 94119

Booksellers’ Catalogues

Book Central, PO Box 895, Cairo, NY 12413, 518-622-0113; e-mail: Instructional manuals on bookmaking, papermaking, pop-ups and printing and decorating paper.


A new quarterly magazine, Tabellae Ansata, published by Shereen LaPlantz and Sherrie Robbins, will "cover all facets of making books, from fine binding and letterpress to innovative bindings and artists’ books". Subscription rates: One year $25 in US, $27.50 USD in Canada/Mexico, $30 USD all other. Two-years $45, $50, and $55. Expedited mail available for additional cost. MC, Visa, Amex accepted. Send to: Tabellae Ansata, PO Box 9889, Birmingham, AL 35220, 800-750-2199.

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