The Reverence Samuel Parr L.L.D
Machine printed on wove handmade paper
This dashing man was the Rev. Samuel Parr, and is dated 1811. The media is machine printed, so not at risk from washing. The paper is a very nice wove handmade paper – at the time of the print, paper making machines were in use, but were still not making the majority of paper, this was still handmade. You can see from both sides that it is quite discolored and has a lot of reddish spots, known as foxing (this is believed to be iron content within the paper that rusts and bleeds out to the surface).
Surface cleaning using a chemical sponge.
Humidification using a water spray as photographed
Washed in a bath of tap water for approximately 20 minutes.
Left to dry somewhat on a drying rack.
Pressed recto up on a blotter under a weight, allowing any excess dirt to be drawn out through the verso onto the blotter – very clever!
Over the last couple of weeks we have spent a couple of afternoon’s with the exceedingly nice and knowledgeable Mr. Fred Bearman, who is the Preservation Librarian at the UCL Special Collection, and a Bookbinding Historian.
They have been wonderful afternoons, looking at some very early bindings dating back to the 15th century when printed books first came into existence, known as Incunabula, meaning ‘cradle’ or ‘swaddling’ in latin. Prior to this books were all manuscript and hand written, often by monks and clerical men.
There were also some other interesting ones, including a chemise binding – books with an extra cover on them which would wrap all around the book like a cloth, these popular prior to the development of Protestantism and after the latter these books were often cut down as they represented extreme Catholicism in some areas and were frowned upon.
Two very interesting afternoons – and very educational!! My brain is struggling to keep all the information locked in!!
Well, many apologies for not updating this earlier – I actually have lots of updates, but have just not gotten round to sitting down and writing something!
So I will start with what we are working on at the moment in our studio time (Fridays). We have all been asked to bring in dilapidated books, preferably ones that require re-sewing. Togther we’ve brought in a range of interesting books, mine is actually something I had on my bookshelf at home already. It is a cloth case bound book that belonged to my grandfather – a very colourful cookery book from the 60’s/70’s, which I rescued from a clear out some years back with the thought of conserving it, so am quite chuffed I’m actually getting round to doing it! Some pictures below show the book as it looks like in its current state, it also has a lot of little inserts in it with my grandparent’s and mother’s writing, which is quite entertaining!
Apparently the tape is going to be tough to get off
The endpapers are an integral part of the book,
and can’t be discarded and replaced as they
may be in another binding, so I will have
to try and get them off…
Our tutor will be coming round to each of us and explaining how we must go about conserving our books, which will take time. So in the meantime, we have started three flat back books, to practice our binding techniques. Here are mine so far:
Nice and neat if I do say so myself!
As you can see I have been practicing using the sewing frame, which I’m starting to love a little bit – I’m not quite used to sitting sideways as they did in days past, as I can’t get my arm round the frame properly, however I’ve seen an etching of women sewing with their arms through the frame, which seems a lot more logical – so I might try that next! One of my classmates, Salvador, also told me that book sections were sewing in large batches on long stretches of tape, and then split up after sewing into separate books – so that’s some thing else to try!
I’ve also been practicing my marbling (again!!!), with a little more success this time – thanks to another classmate, Naomi, who has given me some Carragean moss for the ink to sit on, and some good instructions (previous attempts were so shameful, there were demoted to making cards!). So I am going to try and cover these books with my new papers – watch this space to see what they’re like – exciting!!!