Hinged Parchment Binding as per Fra Edgard Claes

Barbara Schmelzer

Fra Edgard Claes has done historical research into hinged bindings of various materials and has developed a new version of a hinged parchment binding which allows the book to open perfectly. Due to its strength, parchment is very well suited to create the tubes through which a stainless steel pin hinges the boards to the spine. I will be describing the preparation of materials and how the spine and boards are made.

Old Tricks and Bright Ideas

Dominic Riley

Occasionally we come across techniques that not only save time but are also so simple yet ingenious that we wonder why we haven’t thought of them before. In his presentation Dominic will share some of these favourite tips that he has collected from other bookbinders over the years, and a few he has worked out for himself: tricks for leather paring, inlays, headbanding, sewing, boxmaking, case making, spine lining and more.

Islamic Box Binding

Michael Burke

Islamic box bindings flourished from the 9th – 10th centuries, and enjoyed a brief renaissance in Andalusian Spain during the 15th century. This intriguing structure developed out of the earliest Islamic books and preceded the widespread adoption of the envelope flap binding. These box bindings have wooden boards covered in leather, with extra leather walls to protect and enclose the textblock. Michael will demonstrate the making of a typical Islamic box binding, from the traditional sewing and headbands to the board attachment, and will then show the making of the leather walls.

Rebinding Audubon’s The Birds of America in the Royal Collection

Phillipa Räder

John James Audubon’s immense, four-volume The Birds of America comprises 435 individual hand-coloured plates which were issued on subscription in the UK between 1827 and 1838. One of the original subscriptions was taken out by George IV and continued after his death by Queen Adelaide, wife of his successor William IV. This set was bound c.1840 by John MacKenzie of London and has remained in the Royal Library, Windsor Castle ever since. Over time the combination of poor quality leather, the volumesʼ weight and their particular sewing structure, together with frequent usage, had rendered them unsafe to handle. This presentation will describe the complete conservation and rebinding project successfully undertaken in the Royal Bindery to return them to use.