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Pressing Matter

The Publication of the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers

May, 2012

DVC Membership continues to grow! - Jennifer Rosner The Page Illuminates: Book Highlights from the Internet - Valeria Kremser Two Members / Six Questions - Meet DVC Members Members Participate in Exhibitions, Workshops, and Publications Upcoming Workshops - Practical Origami & Webpage Design

In This Issue:

From our Chair: JenniFer rosner

Hello Everyone, During our Annual Meeting in March, I announced that we had fifty-nine members and that I was hoping we would make it to sixty. Sixty members - a new record! The very next day I got an email from Jude Robison informing me that she would be happy to be our sixtieth member. Since then, though, our chapter has grown even more. I am happy to announce we have nine new members since our last newsletter! We are doing a lot of fun things these days and maybe that is why people are joining up. Be sure to take a look at the new calendar that Val Kremser put on our website, and you will see what I mean. I know that several people joined in order to participate in the collaborative book project. Also, some people have joined take part in our exhibition opportunities. Whatever the reason, we welcome them to our chapter! Garrett Dixon, Franklin, PA Gretchen Dixon, Franklin, PA Elizabeth Gross, Philadelphia, PA Andrew Huot, Normal, IL Sabrina Johnson, Boston, MA Sharon Pattison, Andover, MA Jude Robison, Philadelphia, PA Katherine Westermann, Somerville, MA Kristen Zeigler, Centre Hall, PA Jennifer Rosner, DVC Chapter Chair

member tour: italian leDger binDings uniVersity oF pennsylVania


Italian ledger bindings

Delaware Valley Chapter oFFiCers

Jennifer Rosner - President Alice Austin - Secretary, Treasurer, Exhibitions Hedi Kyle - Workshops Denise Carbone - Workshops Sharon Hildebrand -Newsletter Valeria Kremser - Web

During Eileen Wallaces lecture in March on Italian ledger bindings, I learned that the University of Pennsylvanias Rare Book and Manuscript Library has Medici account books. We made plans to go and see these amazing books. Amey Hutchins, Assistant Curator of Manuscripts, showed us a sample of the extensive collection of financial records from the leading families of Renaissance Florence. The covers of these working documents are simple parchment but often have ornamental leather work on their spine straps. We were excited to see ledger books that looked just like the ones we made in the workshop with Eileen! Some of the books had more elaborate decoration, like beautiful fore-edge painting. Many of the books had a large manuscript letter written on the cover telling who the book belonged to and what place it had in the family archives.

The hour passed quickly as we examined the bindings and noted the important details, such as how were the covers folded and how were they fastened shut? The variations were many and included belt buckles, ties and even a metal cone shaped needle that threaded through a hole in the flap. One of my favorite details was a simple square button fastener made from wrapped leather. Another interesting detail was a binding attached to its cover using simple x tackets. Being inspired, I rushed home to my studio and made a book that used these two details. All the books impressed and excited me. We had a good conversation about whether the account books were bound before the accounts were written or after. Some of us thought they were bound before, with empty pages, and then written in because there are empty pages at the end of the books. Also, the books have ploughed edges. There is another type of account book called a filza which in Italian means a series of things which go together. These books were bound, or placed within a paper cover, after they were written. The papers, which were stabbed through the text near the gutter (with cone shaped needles) were kept on a long string. When they are finished using them in this way, they were tied together in a fat stack of uneven and untrimmed paper with the same string, leaving the needles attached. It was very generous of Amey Hutchins to take the time to show our chapter members such beautiful examples of ledger bindings. For those who would like to look at digital facsimiles of these and other manuscripts, the web address of Penn in Hand is A keyword search for accounting Italy will bring up 258 hits, and then from the list on the right side of the page are ways to narrow results. By clicking on Yes under Facsimile will limit the list to the 165 manuscripts in this category that have been photographed so far. All the manuscripts are cataloged, and more digital facsimiles are being added all the time.
Leather button

Fore-edge painting and headband

Alice Austin

Filza account book

String (with needles attached) stabbed and tied

Delaware Valley Chapter news

DVC MeMber Claire Owen Claire Owen is currently exhibiting a collaborative book and will be teaching a workshop this summer at the Lendhardt Library of the Chicago Botanic Gardens. The exhibit is called Rare Seeds, Creative Harvest: Artists Books inspired by the Rare Book Collection. Claire worked in collaboration with poet Beth Feldman Brandt on the book Sage which is being exhibited. They will be conducting workshops at the garden in July, Claire on book formats and Beth on poetry. Information on this is listed under news on Claires website Claires broadside Lake Fishing was accepted into the GBW Horizon Exhibit. The Horizon Exhibit is the Guild of Book Workers 2012-2014 traveling exhibition. Whether by contemplating the apparent horizon, personal horizons, or the horizon of the book as a binding or an object, this exhibition will showcase the current work of the members of the Guild of Book Workers while offering a glimpse into what is just beyond. 2012 MGP Studio Arts Highlights DVC Member Maria Pisano Curator: Book as Witness: The Artists Response July 11-Sept 15, 2012 Center for Book Arts 28 West 27th St, NYC Speaker: ARLIS/NA 40th Annual Conference, Toronto April 1, 2012 Editioning a Fine Press Book Book Arts/ Conservation Workshops: April 17-18 Protective Enclosures - Morris Ct Park Commission Horticultural Collection April 28-29 Youre Booked! Center for Book Arts, NYC May 26-27 Carousel Book Professione Libro, Milan, Italy June 23 Tunnel Book Morristown and Morris Township Public Library Publication: Valentine Card Maria G Pisano Kiki Magazine, pgs 21-22 Feb/March 2012: Vol.5 Issue 4. Announcing a new book from Memory Press: Lost and Found - a response to the Al-Mutanabbi Street bombing in Iraq in 2007. For additional information please visit:

Two Members / Six Questions - Nancy Nitzberg

1. How long have you been a member of the GBW? N.N. Ive been a member of the guild for twenty-nine years. I joined when I was a conservation technician at the Harvard College Library. The Standards meeting was in Boston that year; it was very exciting to attend. 2. Where are you from originally? N.N. Im from Philadelphia, attended high school in Mamaroneck, New York, and have lived in Boston, Washington, D.C., New Haven and New York City as I pursued my education and furthered my book conservation experience and skills. 3. When did you realize you wanted to learn bookbinding? N.N. Thirty years ago, I accepted a job as a conservation technician at the Harvard College Library, in anticipation of eventually attending an art conservation program. However, in just a few days, I fell in love with the craft of bookbinding and the considerations involved in repairing books. What I thought was a steppingstone instead became a life-long passion and profession. 4. What is your favorite book structure these days? N.N. I have observed, studied and/or worked on a wide range of structures and each has its own appeal. Across all structures, I find I am most fascinated when a book tells a story of its own history through its content, inscriptions, linings, structures, text-to-cover attachment technique and covering materials.

DVC MeMber ThOMas Parker williaMs Thomas Parker Williams work was accepted into the Guild of Book Workers 2012-2014 Horizon Exhibit. See Williams work at

Cross-cultural influences are especially interesting, such as the Chinese-Hebrew bound manuscripts created by the descendants of the Judeo-Persians who traveled to China a thousand years ago. I enjoy finding traces of textiles used in historic bindings that often add a sense of the material culture beyond standard bookbinding materials of the time. 5. What are you working on right now? N.N. Among my current projects and those in recent years include subtly saving and securing original elements of bindings such as original endbands, reattaching boards, rebuilding broken spine caps, rebackings (when necessary, some with custom-toned cloth or paper toned to resemble leather), recasings, paper repair and other structural repairs. To describe one project in particular, Im completing a full treatment of the folio atlas volume from Cooks Voyage to the Pacific, (London, 1784). The surface cleaning, washing and deacidification phases have been completed; the re-sewing and binding phases of the project will be completed at the Academy of Natural Sciences (which owns the book) in the reading room of the Ewell Sale Stewart Library on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons in May. Visitors are invited to observe the process and ask questions. 6. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us. N.N. I absolutely love chamber music by Mozart, Schubert, and Beethoven that includes clarinet(s) in the instrumentation. The printing history of music also fascinates me.

Two Members / Six Questions - karen lighTner

Photo: Courtesy of Karen Lightner

1. How long have you been a member of the GBW? K.L. This is my second year. 2. Where are you from originally? K.L. I grew up in West Chester, PA, first out in the country and then in town next door to the public library. 3. When did you realize you wanted to learn bookbinding? K.L. I studied Photography at Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, NY in the late 70s and started making books with my photographs and some text, so I learned some basic bookbinding techniques then. 4. What is your favorite book structure these days? K.L. Id have to say that my favorite historical structure is the limp vellum binding and my most recent book was a flag book. 5. What are you working on right now? K.L. My page for the collaborative book the chapter is doing. 6. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us. K.L. Because of my 16 years of working in the Rare Book Department at the Free Library with the visual collections, I am something of an authority on Beatrix Potter. Ive been invited to give a paper on Marion DeWolf Perry, at a Beatrix Potter Society Conference in England this summer. Mrs. Perry was a Philadelphian who became a good friend of Beatrix Potter in the 1930s and FLP has about 50 letters from Beatrix Potter to Mrs. Perry. This will be my 4th trip to the UK because of Beatrix Potter. And on a much lighter note - I saw the Beatles live in concert three times. I was a total Beatlemaniac.

Photos: Courtesy of Nancy Nitzberg

UPCOMing wOrkshOPs
Practical Origami Workshop with Bill Hanscom Sunday June 10, 2012, 10:00am - 4:00pm Held at: The Library Company of Philadelphia 1314 Locust Street, Philadelphia, 19107 Participants will learn to transform simple sheets of paper into a variety of books, envelopes, folders, boxes and other useful objects through the art of paper folding. Using a simple set of tools, we will manipulate paper (with the occasional cut and rarely adhesive) into elegantly simple and dynamically functional objects. Participants will have the opportunity to work with many different papers as well as less conventional materials such as Tyvek. $100 members, $125 non-members (preference to members) $10 materials fee paid to instructor A check holds your spot. Please make the check out to: The Guild of Book Workers Mail it to: Alice Austin The Library Company 1314 Locust Street Philadelphia, PA 19107 Required tools: bone folder, utility knife, 12 steel ruler, 12 x 18 self-healing cutting mat, & pencil.

Photos: Courtesy of Bill Hanscom. To see more images visit Bills Flickr page at:

Bill Hanscom is a project conservation technician at the Weissman Preservation Center for Harvard University libraries, where he treats a broad range of special collections materials. He is also an adjunct instructor in Bookbinding at Montserrat College of Art.
highlights From the internet

FasT, FrienDly, Free wOrkshOP

The Page illUMinaTes: book

This time on The Page Illuminates we are not going to review a blog, MAKING AN ARTISTS WEBSITE: Making a website using internet based editing platforms but discuss exactly what a blog is. The term blog is short for web log. They are diaries, or collections of posts, stories, articles, or images. The foundation of a blog is a RSS feed (Real Simple Syndication.) An Taught by Christopher Thompson RSS feed is a list of these posts that updates automatically. Saturday, May 12, 2012 There are couple of different ways of staying on top of your favorite 10 am - 12pm blog. You can visit it periodically to see if there are new posts, you can sign up for a service like Feedburner which notifies you via e-mail Members Free, all others $5 at the door. when the RSS feed is updated, or you can use a feed catcher like Google Reader or Flip Board. Feed catchers can subscribe to multiple The Library Company of Philadelphia blogs and show you new content automatically. The other upside to 1314 Locust Street using a feed catcher is you can organize feeds, save posts, and e-mail Philadelphia, PA 19107 posts to friends very easily. The DVC blog is hosted on one of the more popular blog sites We also have it linked through our website at We use this as a place to announce book happenings that are timely vs. our website which is more of an archive of past events. So make sure to stay in the loop and subscribe today. Valeria Kremser Box Turtle Press

Screenshot of our blog accessed through our website!

Laced and Tacketed Italian Account Books: A lecture and workshop by Eileen Wallace
In early March, ten members of the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers enthusiastically attended a twoday workshop on the subject of laced and tacketed Italian account books taught by Eileen Wallace. Eileens workshop was preceded by an informative and enjoyable lecture, attended by many area Guild members. She included wonderful photographic images of details of such volumes, which conveyed the covering materials, construction techniques and variations. Among some of the techniques utilized in creating these flexible, versatile and durable structures were sewing on split alum tawed supports, endband construction, tacketing the sewn text to the cover, securing the leather bands to the cover with thin strips of leather (a process that also creates a decorative pattern), and the creation of a belt-like overband with a buckle and stay. The prototype we constructed was based on Eileens observations made while studying the bindings of 15th to 19th century Tuscan account books that she located in the archives of Cortona and Siena. Eileen Wallace is a letterpress printer and bookbinder specializing in custom printing and box making. In addition to maintaining a private studio, she teaches workshops across the country and is currently a visiting assistant professor in printmaking and book arts at the University of Georgia. Since 2001, she has taught for the University of Georgia Studies Abroad Program in Cortona, Italy, for six semesters. She holds an MFA in book arts from the University of Alabama, and is a former resident artist at Penland School of Crafts. Eileen co-curated, The Artists Hand: Dard Hunter and the American Arts and Crafts Movement, an exhibition held at the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio in Lancaster. Eileen is on the board of directors of Hand Papermaking magazine, and was a co-director of the Book and Paper intensive from 19952011. She has lived in Chillicothe, Ohio, where she assisted in maintaining the archives and studio of renowned papermaking scholar, Dard Hunter. She also maintains a private letterpress and bookbinding studio. We very much appreciate that she was could travel to Philadelphia and share her knowledge and enthusiasm with us. Submitted by Nancy Nitzberg

Photos: Courtesy of Member Participants

Area Exhibits you wont want to miss

On exhibit March 14 - August 17, 2012

Wonders of the Microscope

An Artists Journey in Prints, Drawings, and Illustrated Books May 19, 2012 - July 29, 2012

Rockwell KentVoyager:

Exhibition Opportunity
Delaware Valley Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers in the Reading Room Abecedarian Gallery, Denver, Colorado September 7 - 29, 2012 Abecedarian Gallery presents artists working across multiple disciplines with an emphasis on contemporary book arts, works on paper, assemblage & collage. It is in the heart of Denvers Art District. Members may send one or two books. Books must be for sale. You set the price. You keep 60% if your books sell. Publicity and possibility to have your books remain on consignment in the shop. There will be a catalog that the gallery will design. You will fill out an online form and upload images directly to the gallery. Images must be high-resolution jpegs, 1500 pixels wide at 300 dpi. You will provide the text that describes your book. There will be no editing, be sure to follow the instructions carefully. Your entry fee covers exhibit space rental, shipping, insurance of works while at Abecedarian Gallery up to $1000, and inclusion of work in both an online and full color print or pdf catalog (print/pdf version will be available for purchase). By May 21 - Mail intent to enter (attached) and your check for $30 payable to the Guild of Book Workers to: Alice Austin The Library Company of Philadelphia 1314 Locust Street Philadelphia, PA 19107 After this date you will receive a link to upload your images and information for the catalog. Deadline for this information is July 1. Sooner if possible. Books are due to Alice at the Library Company by July 18. She will pack and ship them to Denver.

Multifarious Members Mile High

Intent to Enter
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