Pamela Spitzmueller

Medford, Massachusetts

Signed, Sealed, and Delivered

In the book trades of papermaking and bookbinding, the practice of recycling worn out or discarded materials for new uses was a common practice. A thrown away parchment legal document was folded and cut to make a multi-gathering textblock for this new binding. The entire document is preserved and could be disbound and reassembled like a puzzle. Sewing is over double raised tawed thongs that pierce the cedar wood boards. Covering is fox skin (tanned by the binder) with tabs at ends of spine and lacing supports peeking out from under the covering skin. The textblock is both hand written and printed with stock legal language. Various ribbons and seals of paper, metal and wax are sprinkled randomly through the text, with some foldouts incorporated. 13 x 7 x 3.5 centimeters. Created 2006.


Pamela Spitzmueller was born in 1950, and before becoming Chief Conservator for Special Collections at Harvard University Libraries, headed Rare Book Conservation at the University of Iowa Libraries and worked as a book conservator at Library of Congress and at the Newberry Library. She trained with Gary Frost and William Anthony in Chicago, interned at Yale University Library, Library of Congress, and the University of Texas Academy of Book Conservation and Fine Binding with Anthony Cains. She specializes in historical book structures, and incorporates what she learns into conservation treatments for rare books and the creation of one-of-a-kind artistís books.