Guild of Book Workers Newsletter
Number 97
December 1994


New Bookbinding Instructor at NBSS

North Bennet Street School announces that Sally Key has joined the school staff as the instructor in the Bookbinding program. She arrived just before classes started in September, after having taught a course in non-adhesive structures at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina in August.

Sally took a BA in Fine Arts at Grinnell College, and received her MLS in 1987 at the University of Iowa. She was an apprentice for more than five years under Bill Anthony and then Pamela Spitzmueller at UI. Most recently she spent an internship year at West Dean College, working with Christopher Clarkson and David Dorning. She has worked, also, on book repair and conservation at the University of Iowa Libraries and the State Historical Society of Iowa. During her apprenticeship she taught bookbinding courses in the UI Continuing Education Program and served as a teaching assistant in the writing lab.

Apply for Carolyn Horton Fund Award

The Carolyn Horton Fund Award, administered by the FAIC (the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works), is offered annually to suspport continuing education or training for professional book and paper conservators. The amount of the award will probably be about $500. Deadline for applications is February 1, 1995. For an application, write to:

Carolyn Horton Fund, FAIC,
1717 K St, NW, Washington, DC 20006.

One Last Plea for Photos of your Nipping Presses!

I would like to make one last plea for photos of your nipping presses. This is the problem: there are no 19th century ephemera (trade catalogs, price lists, advertising) available today, so we are having to reconstruct who manufactured which press. The only way that we are able to do this is through photographs of existing presses. The few responses that we have had came from conservators and bookbinders and they have been extremely informative. I beg you, again, to send at least one photo, at whatever angle, of your press. If it is a press we do not have, and we want to use it in the book, we will ask you for a better photo. I want to sincerely thank those who have responded to our request. Please respond to Bill
Streeter, 78 Masonic Street, Northampton, MA 01060; (413) 584-2544.

BFA Now Offered at OSAC

The Oregon School of Arts and Crafts has received official authorization from the State of Oregon to offer the School's first professional degree - a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Crafts, beginning in the fall of 1994. Classes are offered in Book Arts, Drawing, Fibers and other crafts, as well as Business Practices for the necessary skills to become working artists. For further information, contact the Oregon School of Arts and Crafts,
8245 SW Barnes Rd, Portland, OR 97225; (503) 297-5544; fax: (503) 297-9651.

Rare Book Exhibition at the Library Company

"William MacKenzie: America's First Rare Book Collector" is the title of the exhibition now being shown at The Library Company of Philadelphia. William MacKenzie was the first American to collect books for the sake of their rarity, their age, or their beauty. By the time he died in 1828, MacKenzie had assembled America's most valuable antiquarian book collection, and one of the nation's largest private libraries. In his will he bequeathed his entire collection--over 7,000 volumes--to the Library Company.

Karen Nipps, Exhibition Curator and Assistant Curator of Printed Books, called MacKenzie "a sophisticated, discriminating, educated man whose wide-ranging bibliophilic tastes had no comparison in this country until the Civil War." The exhibition reflects his tastes.

Accompanying public programs include a series of lectures on rare books and collecting, tours of the Library Company's highly regarded conservation facilities (directed by GBW member JENNIFER WOODS), and a program on various printing arts represented in the exhibition. The exhibition is on view until March 24, 1995 at 1314 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA. For further information, call (215) 546-3181. (See, also, the Calendar in this issue.)

Netherlands Bookbinding Exhibition. Several groups in the Netherlands are working together to organize an international competition for hand bookbinders, both amateur and professional, to be held in 1995. The Vereniging van Vrienden van het Handgebonden Boek (VHB), the Stichting Boekbehoud and the magazine Vouwbeen are the principals. Chairman of the organizing committee is Dr. J. Storm van Leeuwen of the Royal Library. The competition will be open to all those who live within Europe. An exhibition will be held in the Netherlands in 1996.

For further information, write to the Nederlandse
Handboekbindersliga i.o., P.O. Box 220, NL-1180 AE Amstelveen, The Netherlands.

Exhibition in Estonia

An international exhibition of hand bookbinding will be sponsored by the National Library of Estonia, scheduled to open in the fall of 1995. For information, contact Kadi Kiipus, National Library of Estonia, Tonismagi 2, EEO100 Tallin, Estonia.

Conservation Competitions

The Society of Bookbinders has sent out preliminary notice of its 1995 Competition:

There will be two parts to the competition in 1995, the first for a designed binding and the second for the restoration of a full leather binding.

For the purposes of the competition 'restoration' is defined as "the repair of a binding when aesthetics and reproduction of the original appearance is the priority, whilst retaining as much of the original as possible." Judges will consider work on the binding only but binders are free to undertake any work they feel necessary to safeguard the text.

The judges will be Paul Delrue of Chester and Julian Thomas of the National Library of Wales. Winners will be announced and books exhibited at the Society's Conference in June 1995.

Entry forms and further details will be issued with the next Society of Bookbinders newsletter. For more information, contact: Jill Scott, 7 Newton Hall Drive, Plas Newton, Chester
CH2 1PQ, England. Tel: 0244 315038.

The annual Riley Dunn & Wilson conservation competition at the British Library was reported in the latest Newsletter of CBBAG by Geoff Spencer:

Now in its second year, this worldwide conservation competition is open to any full- or part-time student of bookbinding or book preservation, or any trainee/apprentice, without age limit. Prizes of £500, £300, and £200 are offered.

Entrants are asked to submit for judging either one or two examples of conservation binding. Judges expect not only technical competence, but a sympathetic approach to the historical integrity of the item. Repairs may be to the binding only or to binding and text block, and in such a way that the book's original material and structure are preserved as closely to the original condition as possible, while at the same time allowing the book to be safely used.

Entry forms and details can be obtained by writing to: The
Riley Dunn & Wilson Conservation Competition, c/o The
National Preservation Office, British Library, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG, England.

Further Word on Air neuf

We reported in the last issue of this Newsletter on the new organization, AIR neuf, founded recently in Paris. They have sent us a further notice:

The activities of AIR neuf are based on the following three principles:

PROMOTION: AIR neuf is organizing a juried exhibition of the work of its members, to be presented in the fall of 1995. Details will be published in the next issue of Art et Metiers du Livre and in foreign publications. AIR neuf is also organizing, for 1996, an international conference centered on different aspects of the book and of bookbinding. This conference will include workshops, demonstrations, meetings and discussions.

COMMUNICATION: AIR neuf would like to begin an open dialogue with all who think that the exchange of ideas and open reflection are indispensable to the renaissance of the practice of the arts of the book. AIR neuf will sponsor several programs each year in which AIR neuf members and artists can meet and exchange ideas.

TRANSMISSION: Most AIR neuf founders are also teachers: sharing their knowledge, their experience, and their reflections is natural to them. They hope that many more bookbinders would also be willing to do the same.

Membership in AIR neuf is open to everyone sharing its aims. Prospective active members should write to AIR neuf, 34, rue Ballu, 75009 Paris, FRANCE stating their profession and indicating their areas of interest. Dues for annual membership are 250FF.

Memberships for benefactors are available from 500FF. Prospective benefactors should send their dues to AIR neuf at the above address. Although it is not required, any accompanying personal information and/or comments will be happily received.

A report on the four-hour exhibition given to announce the formation of AIR neuf on September 24, 1994 in Paris follows.