Guild of Book Workers Newsletter
Number 111
April 1997


From California Chapter member Robert Gohstand:

Dear Members,

In 1992, a library with which I have maintained a close research relationship for more than twenty-five years, the library of the Museum of the History of Moscow, Russia, suffered serious damage to a portion of its fine collection when heating pipes in the attic burst and deluged the books with warm water. Approximately 5,000 books were damaged. Many of the books were successfully freeze-dried, but since then, the library, which, like most Russian cultural institutions, is seriously underfunded, has been faced with the problem of restoring and rebinding the damaged books.

Some three years ago, I was able to win a modest grant from the Soros Foundation to assist in the rehabilitation. In the initial phases, money was expended on climate control, catalog drawers, copy machine, and the letting of contracts for restoring a couple of hundred of the most valuable books. The available money is now dwindling, and the Museum and I have agreed to spend the rest on setting up a small rebinding workshop in the Museum itself. I am presently engaged in rounding up needed equipment, tools, and materials, which I hope to personally transport to Russia this summer.

While engaged in this effort, I have become very interested in the craft of bookbinding and am learning as much as I can. I am a new member of both the Guild of Book Workers and our newly-formed California Chapter. The Museum of History of Moscow and I would be most grateful for any support our members could supply. Almost anything would be useful, from money to tools and materials which you no longer need or are not likely to use. I would also be interested in purchasing items which are too valuable to give away. Please contact me for more information or to discuss a possible donation.

Many thanks,
Bob Gohstand

Professor, Geography Dept., California State University, Northridge, Northridge, CA 91330. Office phones: 818 677-3513-3532; fax: 818 677-2723; home: 818 360-8528; e-mail: