- Ann Arbor, MI: Legacy Press, 2010.
- full leather, clamshell box
- 528 pages, 374 illustrations
- ISBN: 9780979797439
Price: $1,450.00 other currencies
Order Nr. 135130
Books Will Speak Plain is published at a time when the historical book is at risk of being ignored, put away, and forgotten. This handbook combines an overview of the history of the codex with basic information about many of the materials and structures found on historical bindings. The book also includes description-survey guidelines and is supported by a variety of appendices. The book's focus on primarily non-luxury bindings adds depth to an often-neglected segment of the history of bookbinding.
This copy is signed by the author and bound in a full artist-binding by Don Etherington, bookbinder and former director of Conservation at both the Library of Congress and the Harry Ransom Center (Austin, TX). Both covers have been bound in a full crushed moracco binding, with leather onlays. The onlays have been stamped in blind using fleuron tooling patterns, and the front cover has the title of the book in the center stamped in gilt. The pastedowns and endpapers are created using handmade decorated pastepapers. Handmade silk headbands. Top edge stained silver. Signed by the binder on the rear pastedown. The book is housed in a custom cloth-covered boards clamshell box with a leather spine label with the author and title stamped in gilt.
Preservation is at the heart of Books Will Speak Plain. We have already lost too many historical bindings because their importance was not understood and appreciated. This book is a call to action to urge custodians of every kind of historical book collection, public, and private, to assess the physical character of the historical bindings in their care and record the changes that have accrued to those bindings during their passage through time.
This book is a resource that can be used to recognize binding variations that have long been overlooked and to document such bindings for future scholars. All bibliophiles, including book-binders, curators, private collectors, librarians, catalogers, antiquarian book-sellers, scholars of the book, and conservators, will find this an invaluable reference. Books Will Speak Plain is also a useful textbook for students enrolled in academic courses in the history of the book and book conservation, and in practical bookbinding. Photography: J. Wayne Jones - Drawings: Pamela Spitzmueller.