Guild of Book Workers Newsletter
Number 105
April 1996


Paper and Book Intensive 1996

PBI 96 is a working sabbatical for practitioners and serious students in the book arts, papermaking, and book & paper conservation. Daily class sessions are combined with lectures, discussions, and shared meals to promote unusual levels of exchange and inspiration. Located this year at the Penland School of Crafts, Penland NC (near Asheville), the PBI Program includes 12 courses on these topics:

Date: May 8 - May 19, 1996. Tuition: $995, includes classes and supplies, and room & board.

For brochure, information and registration, contact Pamela Spitzmueller, Conservation Dept., Main Library, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City IA 52242, 319/335-5908; fax: 319/335-5900, e-mail:

The Fifth FIRA in Montreal

(Forum international de la reliure d'art)

Monique Lallier writes: "As you already know there will be a great international bookbinding gathering in Montreal, September 27-29, 1996. It is the first time that the ARA has held its biennial conference outside of Europe. I was asked by Odette Drapeau, the coordinator in Montreal and president of ARA Canada, to encourage you to come to Montreal. Well ... Montreal is very close to my heart, bookbinding is my life, and I know they are working very hard to make it a memorable conference. There will be participants from all over the world, a great opportunity to meet colleagues and exchange views on what we all have at heart ... bookbinding, conservation, collections etc. There will be exhibitions in various sites around the city that will allow you to get a good idea of the city.

"Every member of the Guild has been sent a brochure from ARA Canada inviting you to attend the conference and participate in the three different exhibitions (professional bookbinders, students, free artists). I hope you have already registered, if not it is not too late. The registration deadline for the exhibitions has been pushed to the end of April. So please do it NOW. Send your registration, along with $50.00 us, to ARA Canada, 5251 Blvd. Saint-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec H2T 1S4, Canada.

"After you register, you will receive a note telling you where and when to send your books. The latest date for the books to be received is June 15, in Montreal. Allow at least ten days for transport by mail or ups.

"Montreal in September is beautiful, colorful and mild. And ... the gastronomical experience is sure to be remembered. A visit of Quebec City is also part of the conference.

"I am looking forward to seeing you in Montreal and maybe guide you in my favorite places. ..."

James Thielman, Book Collector, Dies

Silvia Nussio-Rennie writes: "On February 20th last, Larry Thielman called to tell me his father had died the night before. James Thielman, of Terre Haute IN, was an ideal binder's patron: he loved books; he only had good books bound; he was generous with the fees he offered and punctual paying them, and knowledgeable and appreciative of what he received for them. He gave many a young binder, including me many years ago, a leg up into the difficult career of design binding, and eventually willed his collection of about 80 bindings to the Lilly Library, once his son, Larry, can no longer look after it. He kept a low profile, but quietly, bibliophily was much enriched by him. With his death, many a bookbinder has lost a good, faithful and cheerful friend."

Web Sites

Oak Knoll Books has joined other book-related groups, university book arts programs, and commercial sites selling type, fonts and handmade paper on the Web. Oak Knoll customers will be able to communicate quickly with them and receive speedy answers. They can be reached at:

Also on the Web are:

ICI Names Winners of Conservation Services

Don Etherington, President of the Conservation Division of Information Conservation, Inc. (ICI), announced the winners of the Prize for a Plan 1995 on January 19, 1996. Winning institutions receive conservation services from ici to the amount of the prize.

The judges for the Prize for a Plan 1995 were John F. Dean, Director, Department of Preservation & Conservation, Cornell University; Eleanore Stewart, Head of Conservation Treatments, Stanford Universities Library; and Don Etherington.

Oak Knoll Press Distributes Books for Retiring Bookways Publisher

Oak Knoll Press now distributes 10 in-print titles from the press of W. Thomas Taylor, who closed his company and Bookways this year so he could pursue other personal interests. Titles are:

For additional information or questions, contact Esther C. Fan at 302/328-7232

Degolyer Award in Bookbinding Created

Bridwell Library of the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University is pleased to announce a major gift and an important new program. The heirs of Mrs. Helen Warren DeGolyer (1926-1995) have established a generous endowment that will support the Helen Warren DeGolyer Triennial Exhibition and Award for American Bookbinding at Bridwell Library. Mrs. DeGolyer was a Þne bookbinder and a patron of the arts and this establishes the Þrst regular prestigious award for American bookbinding.

The guidelines for the DeGolyer award require that binders submit one book, completed within the past three years, and one design for binding a book from Bridwell's collection (the book for the Þrst Triennial is to be the Daniel Berkeley Updike printing of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer on vellum). A jury made up of binding historians and artists will look for artistic merit and innovation in design, as well as excellence in structure, workmanship, and selection and use of materials. Up to fifty books and designs will be chosen for inclusion in the triennial book exhibition with accompanying full color catalog.

The first prize will be a commission for the binding of the Bridwell book according to the design submitted. The value of the commission will be $5,000. (Future commissions will range from $2,000 to $7,000, depending on the book chosen for each triennial. In addition to the first prize commission, up to three Honorable Mention awards will be given, each having a cash value of $500. The winning design from each competition will be displayed at the next Triennial.

For more information, call Dr. Valerie R. Hotchkiss, Director of Bridwell Library, 214/768-1867, or Jan Sobota, Director of the Conservation Laboratory at Bridwell Library, 214/768-3733.

Art & Antiques on Bookbindings

In their February issue, the magazine noted, in their section on Market, a book priced at $55,000 being shown at the 29th California International Antiquarian Book Fair in Los Angeles. The book was King Solomon's Mines, London 1885, signed and inscribed by the author, H. Rider Haggard. It was a presentation copy studded with 100 diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and sapphires, each in a gold setting, in the what they said was the first application of modern design to jeweled bindings. They neglected to mention the binder but Peter Verheyen wrote to inform them that Don Glaister had bound this copy and that other members of the Guild of Book Workers had also made jeweled bindings, among them Benjamin and Deborah Alterman's binding of Billy Budd with a sapphire set in gold, and Frank Mowery's binding of The Sonnets of Shakespeare with 56 diamonds and four rubies. The Editor's Note, following a very much shortened letter from Peter Verheyen which appeared in the March issue said, "You are correct in pointing out that there are other, earlier jeweled bindings in modern designs, but in the case of the King Solomon's Mines, by the Massachusetts designer Donald Glaister, the distinction to be made is between contemporary printings and antiquarian books." Says the book's owner, Mark Hime, chairman of the Southern California chapter of the Antiquarian Booksellers Assoc.: "We are really talking about antique first editions with jeweled bindings. These other two books" he guesses correctly, "are probably modern printings, unlike this first edition King Solomon's Mines. As for the Billy Budd with a single sapphire," adds Hime with a laugh,"that's no more a jeweled binding than a donkey with a headlight is a car."



Offered for Sale: Fritz Eberhardt must part from his copy of W. T. Taylor's book Printer's Choice. He never got around to binding the book, and most likely, never will. The book is an interesting document of an interesting period of private press printing. In 1983, it came out at a price of $130. As this copy is in unbound sheets in relatively virgin condition and, as W. Thomas Taylor has left the book arts field for greener pastures, the book should gain in value. Please make your offer for it to: Fritz Eberhardt, 852 Salford Station Rd., Schwenksville PA 19473. Printer's Choice by W. Thomas Taylor, 1983, Copy No. 273, 10" x 14 1/4" x 1 1/4".

Work/Study Opportunities

Artist's fellowships: Women's Studio Workshop's fellowships are available in intaglio, water-based screen printing, photography, and papermaking for two- to four-week sessions from September to June. These fellowships are designed to provide time for artists to explore new ideas in a dynamic and cooperative community of women artists in a rural environment. Fellowship awards, which subsidize a portion of the studio operating expenses, include on-site housing and unlimited access to the studios. Artist's cost is $200 per week plus materials. Applicants should submit a resume, 6-10 slides, a letter of interest that addresses the purpose of the residency and explains areas of proficiency and studio skills. Include sase for return of application materials. Send application to WSW, P.O. Box 489, Rosendale NY 12472, or call 914/-659-9133. Deadline: May 15 for September - February residencies; November I for March - June residencies.

Summer arts institute interns: WSW hosts a summer-long program of weekend and week-long workshops that focus on book arts and specialized papermaking and printmaking techniques. Artists/Instructors travel to WSW from around the country to share their skills in small and intensive workshops. Each year three interns are selected to work during the summer taking workshops at no charge, and the rest of time working for WSW. Tasks include, but are not limited to, organizing studios for each specific workshop, setting up for evening programs, managing the set up and break down of lunch and assisting with general operations of WSW. To apply, send a resume, 10-20 slides, 3 current letters of reference and a letter of interest which addresses why an internship at WSW is important to you, and, SASE to: WSW, P.O. Box 489, Rosendale NY 12472. Applications are due March 15.

Bookbinding and conservation of books: Urchfont Manor College, Urchfont Devizes, Wiltshire SN 10 4RG England; ph: 01380-840495, offers short courses in bookbinding and conservation of books. Taught by Maureen Duke, bookbinder and teacher, recently retired as course director for bookbinding at Guildford College and former chair of the Society of Bookbinders; Anton Henley and Lori Sauer. Their brochure says, "The College provides excellent tuition, comfortable residential accommodation, delicious home cooking and the beautiful environment of a 17th century manor house in the heart of the Wiltshire countrysideÉmarvelous opportunities for periods of intense study and craft workÉ" Bookbinding courses in April, May, August and September.

Tips & Techniques

From Charles Schermerhorn, New Leaf Book Bindery, Lompoc CA: The problem with cone-wound thread is its propensity to unwind itself from the cone and drop around its base, challenging you to untangle the length you want for the next piece.

This easily made little gadget, plagiarized from the seamstress' machine, ends that dilemma. The thread from the cone goes up through the loop in the coat-hanger wire and down out of the screw-eye, from which you pull however much you need, and cut some six or eight inches away for the tail.

No more tangles or spilled thread.

Notice to Fine Press Printers!

Peter Thomas will organize short listings of recently published Fine Press limited edition bindings for this Newsletter. Send prospectus or information to him at: Peter & Donna Thomas, 260 Fifteenth Avenue, Santa Cruz CA 95062. Publications in sheets, available to binders are particularly welcome.


Cumulative Index of the Journal of the American Institute for Conservation has been updated to include 63 titles published from 1993 through 1995 in volumes 32 through 34. The 50-page index is organized by title, subject, and author and includes cross-referenced letters to the editor and a listing of books reviewed.

Subjects covered include architecture, books and paper, conservation science, objects, paintings, photographs, textiles, and wooden artifacts. The index is packaged with the index of volumes 16 through 31 (1977-92). Most back issues of the Journal are available for purchase; a listing of available issues and subscription information may be obtained from the aic office.

Orders must be prepaid by check or m.o. made out to AIC for $15 (plus $3.00 s&h). Foreign orders must be paid in U.S. dollars drawn on a U.S. bank. Contact: AIC, 1717 K St. NW, Ste. 301, Washington DC 20006; ph: 202-452-9545; fax 202-452-9328.