Guild of Book Workers Newsletter
Number 103
December 1995



The Potomac Chapter's pilot project is the printing of Leonardo's Book of Fables. The text is the original from the Notebooks of Da Vinci compiled by Jean Paul Richter in 1883 for Queen Victoria. The selections are from the "Humorous Writings", including fables, jests, and notes on the lives and habits of animals. About 60 pages; printed in Goudy 30, 18 point. The type was designed by Frederic Goudy in 1942 as a recreation of a 15th century rounded Gothic script. The type being used by Cita was cast by Rick Newell at the Heritage Printers of Charlotte, N.C.

Decorative intial letters are molded after 15th century letters used in Dutch legal documents. This design was created by A.T.F. about 1920. The type being used by Cita was cast by Theo Rehak at the Dale Guild Type Foundry, North Howell, N.J. The paper has been made by Cranberry Mills in Canada.

An edition of 50 is being printed. Half have been sold to members of the Potomac Chapter. Copies are available to the Guild membership, $75.00 plus $7.50 s&h. Contact Martha- Lucia Sierra, 6624 Boulevard View, Apt. B-2, Alexandria, VA 22307; tel: 703/765-2359.


(Ed. Note: As of this issue Periodicals are being abstracted by Barbara Magers at the National Center for Osteopathic History, A.T.Still Memorial Library, Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, Kirksville, MO 63501, tel: 816/626-2345. Barbara has an interest in almost every category of our Membership Directory, so we think we have all the bases covered at last.)

THE ABBEY NEWSLETTER, Vol. 19 #3, August 1995
(Abbey Publications, Inc., phone: 512/929-3992)

This issue discusses the National Digital Library Agreement signed on May 1, 1995 by 25 libraries, and a contract awarded by the Library of Congress to Preservation Technologies Inc. (PTI) of Glenshaw, Pa. for demonstrated application of the firm's Bookkeeper III Process.

"Japanese Paper Hinge Repair for Loose Boards on Leather Books", a reprint of a method used for reattaching or supporting weakened joints, devised by Don Etherington. Most effective on books that have a tight spine and whose spine and side boards are still in good condition. It involves strips of solid dyed Japanese paper and a mix of reversible PVA and rice starch past. This method is particularly good for 19th & 20th century bindings.

THE ABBEY NEWSLETTER, Vol. 19 #4, Sept. 1995
(Abbey Publications, Inc., phone: 512/929-3992)

This issue includes several preservation articles, Electronic Lists, Web sites and Resource Guide, and List of Events covering Sept. 1995 - April 1997. Articles include:

"ARL Preservation Statistics Trends 1993/94" states that during the last 15 years preservation programs appear to be leveling off, although preservation microfilming continues to grow.

"The Acid-free Paper Pledge Six Years Later" by Barbara Sagraves & Jane Welsh. Results of a survey conducted by the staff of the preservation department of NW University Library to determine what percentage of new acquisitions were printed on acid-free paper as per the May 1989 Commitment Day Signing. This study suggests that softcover books are not a good value for long term retention. Publishers need to increase their use of acid-free paper in paperbacks and promote both the use and consistency of the statement noting acid-free paper.

"French Group Works to Save Documents of the Past and Future" by Lily Powell-Froissard gives background and goal of an international nonprofit association formed to save the endangered documents in French libraries.

"Cost-Benefit Analysis for B/W Acetate: Cool/Cold Storage vs Duplication" by Steven Puglia. An article to help institutions determine the best cost effective approach to preserve their film holdings. Includes general price quotes from some vendors.

(Editor & Publisher Jim Dorsey, 9229 Dukes Lake Rd., Zebulon, NC 27597)

Color photos and coverage of vendors at the Guild of Book Workers Standards Seminar in Dallas in 1994. Excerpts from Peter Harben's article on the Huntington Library.

WAAC (Western Association for Art Conservation). Vol. 17 #13, Sept. 1995
(WAAC, Carolyn Tallent, Ed., 537 Vicente Blvd., Apt. 211, Santa Monica, CA 90402)

"The Conservator's Approach to Sacred Art" contains a condensed version of 6 articles by different authors, all pertaining to different types of culture.

(CBBAG, 35 McCaul St., Suite 221, Toronto, Ont. M5T 1V7)

Both the cover and the article: "50 x 25: An Exhibition Review" by Isaac Gevirtz is devoted to the recent exhibit at SMU's Bridwell Library organized by Jan Sobota.

Other articles include:

This issue also has 2 reports on the bookbinding symposium at Wells College in Aurora, N.Y. (May 11-13, 1995)

(Morocco Bound, NSW Guild of Craft Bookbinders, Inc., P.O. Box 1110, Rozelle NSW 2039 Australia)

Articles include:


Peter Koch, Printer, Cowboy Surrealist, Maverick Poets & Pre- Socratic Philosophers. Essay by Robert Bringhurst; catalogue by Janice Braun. Peter Koch, 2203 4th Street, Berkeley, CA 94710. 1995. 72 pp + 4 plates. $25.00. ISBN 0-87104-439-0. Reviewed by Greer Allen, Yale University.

When technology changes, look out!

Usually the emergent method claims such a large share of attention from the historians that we're left with an impression that the forsaken ways of making things have been promptly and thoroughly eclipsed.

Gutenberg's breakthrough (the virtual forgery of manuscript books on a massive mechanical scale) caused such a bibliographic stir down through the years that today few realize how many rich and beautiful manuscript hands have evolved after 1456.

Granted, no longer pressed by the call for productivity, they were left to grow deliberately--to become mannered and baroque, but nonetheless singularly interesting.

Two decades ago, Gutenberg's technology--reproduction from raised surfaces--suffered an industrial eclipse from photo-offset lithography to the extent that, for most printers in the first world, letterpress no longer provides a livelihood. "Printing by letterpress," observes August Heckscher, "once part of the economic of survival, has become part of the economic of delight.

Now comes Peter Koch, his two-decade career in letterpress paralleling the early baroque period of his letterpress craft. Yet he had sat at the feet of masters who had blossomed when letterpress was still industry's principal means of production: William Everson, Jack Stauffacher, and Adrian Wilson. All this is covered by Robert Bringhurst in his essay posing the questions: what forces bring such a letterpress printer into being? and what sorts of things is he likely to produce?

This handsome paperbound catalogue answers the questions, first of all, by having been designed by Koch himself for exhibitions held simultaneously in the public libraries of New York and San Francisco early in 1995. Its textured three-dimensional cover, letterpressed by Koch, encloses an offset- printed text liberally sprinkled with examples of his work, many highlighted in what printers like to call "the old red" and framed on buff grounds.

In her listings, Janice Braun traces Koch's creative work through five successive periods as he moved from rural Montana to urban San Francisco, buying out and cannibalizing printshops, playing his word games with imprints and book titles, and challenging the conventional definition of what constitutes a book (its text, its mis-en-page, its binding)--all the while never letting us forget that he is rooted in a bibliographic tradition: the California Style. At the end are cataloged two decades of commercial work commissioned from booksellers, libraries and book clubs. In all, some 180 items are described, while 30 are illustrated.

Of particular delight to craftspeople should be the chance to study the color photograph of the book artist's studio printshop. In the far corner sits his largest press, the Heidelberg cylinder, and near it a smaller platen with its windmill feeder. Beyond a composing frame crowded with standing type and packaged new fonts awaiting distribution, we discern a tiny platen jobber. Along the wall appear a Vandercook proofing press, a large clamshell platen machine, and a heft guillotine paper cutter. What an enviable assemblage of beautifully-maintained and operable equipment! And the catalogue fittingly sets forth the fruits of this workshop.


This list is compiled by Sid Huttner and includes catalogs received by him which include books of interest to GBW members. Catalog number, address, phone number and Internet address (when stated in the catalog) are recorded.

David Batterham 182 (286 items). 36 Alexander Street, London W2 5NU. 011-44-171-229-3845. Books on the applied arts in social, political and daily life (with sections on advertising, illustrators, fine printing, ornament, fashion, etc).

Black Sun Books 95-H (193 items). 157 East 57th Street, New York, NY 10022. 212-688-6622. Fine press and illustrated books.

The Book Block 35 (84 items). 8 Loughlin Avenue, Cos Cob, CT 06807. 203-629-2990. <>. Fine bindings, press and illustrated books (including a run of "Dance of Death" books, one in a binding by Peggy DeMouthe).

The Bookpress Occasional List 12 (235 items); Catalogue 13 (248 items). P.O. Box KP, Williamsburg, VA 23187. 804-229-1260. Varia, including bookbinding, calligraphy, bindings, illustrated books. Catalogue 13 offers a signed copy (lot 183) of Lesne's La Reliure, Poeme Didactique en Six Chants (1820), $1250.

The Bookshop Inc. 89 (1058 items). 400 West Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27516. 919-942-5178. Catalogs a portion of the reference library of F.M. Hill, including 220 titles in the books about books section (offering bookbinding and other book arts titles).

Bromer Booksellers 93 (230 items). 607 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116. 617-247-2818. Important Miniature Books from the Collection of Rabbi Kalman L. Levitain. Some manuscripts, many designer bindings; includes 18th and 19th century books, micro- miniatures and ultra-micro-miniatures.

Colophon Book Shop List 84 (129 items). 117 Water Street, Exeter, NH 03833. 603-772-8443. Books about books, etc. Several binding titles, Ray Nash's "American Penmanship 1800-1850" ($35).

Chiswick Book Shop Bruce Rogers list (132 items). P.O. Box 2069, Southbury, CT 06488. 203-264-8515. Books designed by Bruce Rogers including a large number of presentation or signed items.

DeSimone Company 36 (120 items). P.O. Box 1590, Sag Harbor, NY 11963. 516-537-0510. Miscellaneous rare books including 5 paper samples, 4 printing history. Also the "only set remaining for sale in the U.S." of Heisei No Shifu (Current Handmade Paper of Japan), 1993, with 350 paper samples, $2250.

Priscilla Juvelis Fall Miscellany 95-3 (145 items). 1166 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138. 617-497-7570. Artists books, trade bindings, pop-up books, and other press books.

Oak Knoll Books 174 (659 items) and 175 (980 items). 414 Delaware Street, New Castle, DE 19720. 302-328-7232. <>. 174: books about books, bibliography; 175: fine printing and private press.

The Printers' Shop 304 (347 items). 4546 El Camino Real B10, #207, Los Altos, CA 94022. 415-941-0596. Binding, calligraphy, illustration, papermaking, etc.

Rulon-Miller Books Emerson Wulling Library, Part VI (214 items). 400 Summit Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55102-2662. 612-290-0646. Entirely books by and about Daniel Berkeley Updike and the Merrymount Press. Indexed.

Thorn Books 54 (297 items). P.O. Box 1244, Moorpark, CA 93020. 805-520-3647. A Miscellany (including book arts, fine printing, illustrated and other books).