Qualifying "Publisher's Bindings." Plus, an exhibition review.

Qualifying "Publisher's Bindings." Plus, an exhibition review.

Don't write me hate mail--I know that I've got to chill out and accept the fact that "Publisher's Bindings" is a descriptive term that is here to stay. But I would suggest for folks to be sure to use qualifiers. The late Sue Allen, in her course at Rare Book School, use the term Publisher's Bindings and I certainly can't argue with as venerable an expert as that--but note that she provided a date range, and now, in the current iteration of the course, led by Todd Pattison, the term is qualified by location and date: "American Publishers’ Bookbindings, 1800–1900." Perfecto!!

....The Cover Sells the Book: Transformations in Commercial Book Publishing, 1860-1920 is a current exhibition produced by the Helen Farr Sloan Library & Archives of the Delaware Art Museum. The online exhibition is an excellent introductory resource, and I'm sure the physical exhibition is excellent too. In the online exhibit, the works of some important designers of the period are highlighted (I'll share of my favorites in the next blog post), along with a good deal of informative contextual information....

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Endleaves or endpapers; flying or free

Endleaves or endpapers; flying or free

"Free endleaves," "Flying leaves," or "Flyleaves?"

This point of nomenclature is most important in cataloging, imaging, and in conserving books. For example, let's say you want to search a database for a decorated end leaf. Which word should you use? Well, you must use the word used by the catalogers -- but which did they use? Or what if you want to search conservation treatment records? You must use the word used by the conservators in their reports...  and if you don't use the right search term, you won't find what you're looking for. I'l discuss my arbiter of points of nomenclature --  and then I have a question.

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