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Coptic Binding Workshop @ Asheville Bookworks

Friday, May 20, 2011 11:39 am

Coptic bound journal with Kakishibu

This weekend, my wife, Kathie and I took a workshop at Asheville Bookworks. This is a center for bookmaking, paper making and letterpress printing located in West Asheville. Bookworks is a large open factory style building that has been converted into a workshop. There is a large paper-making room in the rear. The main work area is lined with letterpress printers, type cabinets and a number of bookbinding cutters and tools. Bookworks also has a small gallery and sales area. This workshop was called: Kakishibu (kah-kee-she-bu) and Coptic and was taught by artist , Heather Swarttouw. I’m writing about this workshop because I really wanted to learn the coptic binding style. This workshop was a way of expanding my binding knowledge and therefore, my understanding and ability to work with a variety of bindings and materials. The coptic style I learned used 2 needles-one at each end of a long piece of waxed linen thread. Before you actually start sewing, you punch holes at each sewing station of each signature of the book. The cover is also punched with holes in the same locations. Sewing progresses from the cover through each signature, to the opposite cover. I have to say: this was the most difficult sewing I’ve ever attempted.
We also learned to use a Japanese dye made from aged, unripe persimmons called Kakishibu. This liquid has a sepia-like color and is also light sensitive. It gains a richer color as it ages and darkens. We tried a few experiments using sunlight and placed objects on paper we had painted with the kakishibu. A piece of paper covered with pennies might create a polka dot pattern.
The workshop was fun and it was a great chance to learn a new stitch, meet new people and experience Asheville.

Hoffman posters….the preservation of

Wednesday, February 16, 2011 3:45 pm

In October, I excitedly accepted dozens of posters from the Gertrude Hoffman Collection. These turn of the last century posters were wonderful and also brittle after being folded inside a trunk for many years. I’ve finally seen a light at the end of this tunnel and delivered 4 encapsulated posters to the closed stacks today. This leaves 3 posters to finish-all are large and brittle. All three of these posters will be handled differently by encapsulation, Japanese paper backing or a simple paper repair. It’s been exciting to work on these posters that are all close to 100 years old. It will be equally exciting to send them back to Special Collections storage preserved and in a condition to be described and actually used.

Poster backed with Japanese paper

Restoration of the Clarence Herbert New Scrapbooks

Tuesday, December 14, 2010 9:24 am

Solidifying the spines

We’ve unearthed over 20 scrapbooks from the Clarence Herbert New Collection. These scrapbooks are from trips Mr. New took from 1890-1926 as he vacationed in Maine and around the world. Many of the scrapbooks also have his collections of cartoons, theater programs and newspaper articles he liked. He was very organized and even typed up a Table of Contents for each scrapbook. These scrapbooks are in various states of deterioration as they are 100 years old! I decided to repairs as many as I could. The photo above shows step 1 where I glued-out the text-block to strengthen it. Following this, I created new spines from book-cloth and glued the new spine to the scrapbook.
New "New" spines drying
Any loose items in each scrapbook were placed into archival envelopes.
Loose items placed into envelopes
Once the new spines were dry, I applied Klucel G- a leather consolidant to the covers and the scrapbooks were ready to be used by researchers.
Completed scrapbooks

Gertrude Hoffman Theater Posters – the totality

Thursday, November 4, 2010 2:21 pm

Gertrude Hoffman Poster

I have gone through every folded poster in the Hoffman collection. There are numerous duplicates, but many really nice surprises. The majority of the posters were from engagements in France by “The Hoffman Girls.” Almost none of the posters have a year (with the exception of one 1911 and one 1934).

Gertrude Hoffman Poster

These posters range in size from 20″ x 24″ to 6′ x 9′.
Gertrude Hoffman Poster

A newly unfolded poster found today is 42″ x 6′ and features Vaudeville performers that will seem racially insensitive today. This poster is of a production by Gertrude’s husband, Max Hoffman.

Max Hoffman Poster

Some posters are simple, and contain the facts with no embellishments:
Gertrude Hoffman Poster

Gertrude Hoffman Poster

There is even a French “Red Cross” or Rouge Croix poster:
Gertrude Hoffman Poster

They are a wonderful group of posters. I’ve divided them into groups and will probably select the best one from each stack of duplicates to preserve. the rest can be stored in archival boxes.
Gertrude Hoffman Poster

The Things We Find in Our Trunks!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010 4:08 pm

I unfolded one of the Hoffman posters this afternoon-wow! It was in 4 parts and takes up my entire office floor! This will be a preservation feat!

Gertrude Hoffman (1880-1955) was a well known dancer and choreographer, who was actually arrested for indecency in 1909 after dancing Salome in New York City. She danced on Broadway and in a variety of Vaudeville shows. Hoffman later developed her own troupe called The Hoffman Girls.

Gertrude Hoffman poster

Encapsulating Baptist Youth Convention photos

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 4:53 pm

Baptist Youth Convention Panoramic Photos

The ever flexible and trustworthy Brittany Newberry has been encapsulating photos. This is a process of sandwiching an flat item between two pieces of mylar. This allows patrons to see these images and not damage them or get them dirty. These Baptist Youth Convention photos are all from the 1920’s and 1930’s and were taken in North Carolina. Audra Yun dug them up from the inexhaustible treasure trove of Special Collections!

Baptist Youth Convention Panoramic Photos

Archival Boxes – we’re crankin’ em out!

Friday, October 8, 2010 8:22 am

Archival Boxes

Brittany Newberry has really taken to making archival boxes. This is a stack of boxes awaiting cataloging that Brittany has made in the past few weeks. These boxes protect fragile materials while making them available to patrons.

Wake Forest founder, Samuel Wait’s traveling chest and walking stick

Thursday, October 7, 2010 1:40 pm

Samuel Wait's traveling chest and walking stick

Wake Forest founder, Samuel Wait’s wood and leather traveling chest and his wooden walking stick-just a small part of the ZSR Library, Special Collections and Archives.

Special Collections Cabinet of Curiosities

Thursday, October 7, 2010 12:09 pm

IMG_2049
Special Collections Cabinet of Curiosities

We have a new exhibit! We’ve all collaborated together to move the exhibit cabinet from the Archives Reading Room to the area across from Circulation. I’ve placed a sign in it saying it is our “Cabinet of Curiosities.” This will be a great location to highlight aspects of our collections and draw students and faculty into our “special collections.”

Politics and 20th Century Art-Vorticism: New Perspectives Symposium

Friday, October 1, 2010 9:27 am

Politics and 20th Century Art Symposium

On October 19, there will be a symposium in the Special Collections Reading Room called “Vorticism: New Perspectives.” Speakers from Wake Forest and Duke will speak about this art movement.
Mark Antliff, Duke
John Curley and Morna O’Neill, WFU Art Department
Scott Klein, WFU English Deptartment

The symposium will be held from 4:30-6 pm.


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