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SG204A Program C
May
27
to Jun 21

SG204A Program C

Introduction to the History and Craft of Book Bindings

3 Units
Instructor: Prof. Nikolas Sarris

COURSE STRUCTURE

Morning Lectures: Monday – Friday, 8:30 AM – 1:30 PM;
Workshop: Monday – Friday 3:00-7:00 PM;
Classroom: Book Binding studio

Course Description

No prerequisites required

Through a lecture and workshop format, this course introduces students to the history and evolution of Western bookmaking, from the handmade codex to modern industrialized book-making processes. Students craft 4 traditional books and in the process learn the materials, tools, sewing structures and assembly process of the various elements.

This course is designed primarily to provide knowledge and skills to people going into the field of book restoration and management of book resources, although it can also be useful to people going into the field of bookbinding and book design.  For those planning a career as book conservators, this is a good introduction to the field to be followed up by further education. For those planning to manage book collections or archives, it offers basic skills in analyzing the nature of bound material, understanding the state of conservation, best practices in handling, storage and conservation.

Students of the following subjects can find this program useful: Bookbinding, book conservation and restoration, library science, library management, archival sciences, management of rare book collections, book design, and history of technology.

Course Objectives

Student Learning Outcomes: Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  • Describe and define book components and writing supports

  • Identify and explain differences of book binding structures

  • Design and create four historical types of book bindings

  • Fold and prepare 20 sections or gatherings, each made of 4 bifolia, to produce four different book blocks

  • Place and space sewing stations onto the book spine

Summary of Lecture Content

Book components and terminology, writing support/media

Overview of bound written material

  • Tablets

  • Scrolls

  • Bamboo books

  • Palm leaf books

  • Quipu

  • Codex

Paper: Overview

  • Manufacture techniques

  • Woven

  • Machine made

Parchment: Overview

  • Manufacture techniques

  • Recognition of the animals

Decorative papers

  • Glue paper

  • Xylographic paper

  • Printed paper

  • Marbled paper

Writing area

  • Margins

  • Pagination

Inks

  • Carbon ink

  • Iron gall inks

  • Mixed inks

  • Printing inks

Text decoration

The book structure: general notions about book structure and terminology

The section: fly leaves, paste down, types: integral, separate (diagrams)

Sewing: unsupported: “Eastern” (Coptic-Islamic- Byzantine)

Sewing thread: vegetable fibers (linen, hemp, cotton), animal (silk, wool), synthetic

Supports: cord (single, double), tape, leather (tanned, alum tawed–strip single double, tongue, split, twisted)

Sewing techniques

  • Without supports: sewing with curved needle, chain stitch, kettle stitch

  • With support: with straight needle, on cords, single, double, all along, with compensation, herringbone sewing

  • On tape, all along, alternate French tape

  • On alum tawed single, split, etc.

  • Knots, when, where and how to make them

Spine shapes: Rounded and backed, flat

Spine lining: Materials: vegetal materials (cotton, linen cloths), Animals (leather, parchment), reused fragments

Techniques: over-all, transfer, comb, panel, slotted

Adhesives

  • Vegetable glue (starch)

  • Animal glue (rabbit, bovine, ovine, mixed)

  • Synthetics

  • How to recognize them and what and how to use them in conservation

End bands: Western/Eastern with or without cores

  • Material for the cores: vegetable cord, synthetic, animal (leather strips)

  • Material for sewing: vegetable threads (linen, cotton), synthetics

Techniques:

  • Primary sewing: number of cores (single or double), front or back bead, number of tie downs (structural or decorative)

  • Secondary sewing (decorative): number of cores, materials, techniques for sewing (chevron, etc.), laced or not laced to the boards.

Book edges—trimming of the edges

  • Techniques: trimming of the edges (with or without the boards, blade marks), with or without squares

  • Decoration of the edges: painted (sprinkled, painted, marbled, etc.), goffrated, gilded

Boards

  • Materials: wood, paper board (laminated using reused material, pulp board)

  • Techniques

Covering material

  • Materials: paper, leather, cloth/fabrics (vegetable, synthetic), metal manufacture techniques

  • Deterioration processes of tanned leather, alum tawed leather

  • Identification of the animal species, leather tinting

  • Leather skiving

Covering with adhesives: vegetal (starches), Animal (cow hide, pig hide), synthetic (PVA, EVA, etc.)

Turn-ins: sequence of turning the leather on the boards, different techniques in trimming the corners

Decoration of covers: Techniques: blind, gilded, etc. Tools for decoration

Fastenings

  • Styles and materials





Afternoon Workshops

In the workshop each student will create from scratch four blank page books using four historical bindings systems and original materials and tools. Some historic materials, such as parchment, which is expensive will be in part substituted with modern imitations.

Preparation of the book blocks

• Folding and preparation of the sections (20 sections or gatherings), each made of 4 bifolia, to produce four different book blocks

• How to place and space the sewing stations onto the spine

Description of Assignments

Reading list supplied with acceptance to the program.

Create from scratch four blank page books using four historical bindings systems and original materials and tools.

Grade Breakdown:

Term paper #1: 8-page paper on a topic to be assigned 20%
Exam: mixed format – quiz and essay questions. 20%
Book #1        15%
Book #2        15%
Book #3        15%
Book #4        15%

Grading scale:

94-100 = A 90-93 = A-
87-89 = B+ 84-86 = B
80-83 = B- 77-79 = C+
74-76 = C. 70-73 = C-
67-69 = D+. 64-66 = D
60-63 = D- Below 60 = F

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SG204B Program C
May
27
to Jun 21

SG204B Program C

Introduction to Preservation and Preventive Conservation of Books

3 Units

COURSE STRUCTURE

Morning Work in the Terni Dioceses Archives: Monday – Friday, 8:30 AM – 1:30 PM;
Afternoon: Lectures and Workshop 3:00-7:00 PM

Course Description

No prerequisites required

This course gives a theoretical overview of the field of book preventive conservation and restoration of books and archival material along with some practical experience in non-invasive preventive conservation. Covers historical intrusive restoration. Students describe and assess conservation conditions of archival material from the Terni Diocese Archives and implement non-intrusive preventive conservation measures on original material in the Archives (dry cleaning, re-shelving, box making).

The program is aimed at two types of students: those planning to become book conservators, and people that in various ways will be managing book or archival resources. For those planning for a career as book conservators, this is a good introduction to the field that will require further education. For those planning to manage book collections or archives, it will offer skills in analyzing the nature of bound material, understanding the state of conservation, best practices in handling, storage and conservation.

Students of the following subjects can find this program useful: Bookbinding, book conservation and restoration, library science, library management, archival sciences, management of rare book collections, book design, anthropology and history of technology.

Course Objectives

To give students an overview of the field of conservation and restoration of books and archival material along with some practical experience in non-invasive preventive conservation.

Student Learning Outcomes: Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  • Handle correctly books and archival documents, using book cradles and supports

  • Analyze storage condition and be able to suggest improvements

  • Describe and identify the deterioration process of book bindings and contributing factors

  • Prepare documentation records for conservation assessment

  • Perform dry cleaning

  • Make archivally safe storage boxes and protections

Summary of Lecture Content

Deterioration processes of organic materials in bindings

External factors:

  • Temperature

  • Humidity

  • Light

  • Mechanical damage (handling, wear and tear)

Internal factors:

  • Natural deterioration process of organic materials

  • Chemical interaction between materials

Prevention and Minimal Conservation Methods

  • Biocides and decontamination

  • Deacidification

  • Climate control

  • Temperature

  • Humidity

  • Light

Shelving, flat file drawers and other storage units

Storage Containers

  • Drop back spine box

  • Phase box

  • Book shoe

  • Four flap folder

Housing of fragments and mounting of single sheets

Option on how to treat pamphlet, single sheet collections and miscellaneous

Handling procedures for rare and delicate books

Digitization and how to minimize risk from handling documents:

  • Minimizing damage during photographic processes

  • State of the art digitization,

  • Affordable alternatives

Conservation techniques

Proposing different treatment options and estimating times

“Fit for purpose”, different approaches to conservation treatments related to different contexts

Documentation record and what to record (data sheets/images before, during and after conservation)

In situ repairs

Full conservation treatment of bound item (hypothetical full treatment):

1. Dry cleaning

2. Checking foliation

3. Dismantling

4. Washing

5. Deacidification

6. Re-sizing

7. Re-constitution of the book block

8. Sewing (preparation of the sewing material and sewing frame)

9. New spine lining

10. New end bands like originals

11. Treatment of the cover

12. Re-application of original cover


Afternoon Workshops

Analyzing and documenting book bindings (working with books from the local archives):
Features to document
State of conservation
Data sheets
Photographic documentation

Prevention and Minimal Conservation Methods
Biocides and decontamination
Deacidifiaction
Climate control

  • Temperature

  • Humidity

  • Light

Shelving, flat file drawers and other storage units
Storage Containers
Box making:

  • Drop back spine box

  • Phase box

  • Book shoe

  • Four flap folder

Housing of fragments and mounting of single sheets

Digitization of archival material

Participate in process of photographing archival material from the San Gemini Historic Archives, as part of the San Gemini Archives Digitization Project.

Description of Assignments

Reading list supplied with acceptance to the program.

Term paper #1: 8- page paper on a topic to be assigned
Term paper #2: 8- page paper on a topic to be assigned (graduate students only)
Final exam: mixed format – quiz and essay questions

Grade Breakdown:

Term paper(s) 35%
Final Exam 35%
Archival storage-making and work 30%

Contact Hours
Lectures: 40
Workshops: 40

Grading scale:

94-100 = A 90-93 = A-
87-89 = B+ 84-86 = B
80-83 = B- 77-79 = C+
74-76 = C. 70-73 = C-
67-69 = D+. 64-66 = D
60-63 = D- Below 60 = F

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