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Re: BOOK_ARTS-L Digest - 31 Jan 1997 to 1 Feb 1997



Hi Everyone,
I have received from Sun Evrard this invitation to an exhibition of fine
conservation binding and I want to pass it along to evey bookbinder in
America that could be interested.
FINELY CONSERVED FINELY BOUND
 Today's bindings on antiquarian books and documents
An International Exhibition of Fine Conservation Bindings

Can the world of design binding come together with the world of conservation
of antiquarian books? Can we save an antique book or document with a binding
that uses not only good conservation techniques but also contemporary design
esthetics?

To encourage research in this field, to explore recent developments, and to
inform the public at large, the Bibliotheque historique de la Ville de Paris
is organizing an international exhibition of fine conservation bindings.
 This exhibition will take place in Paris from 15 May to 31 July, 1999.

A fine conservation binding is an hommage paid to a valuable document.  A
binding of our time, bringing together conservation practices and aesthetic
requirements, it is an intelligent combination of old and new techniques that
neither follows contemporary fads nor imitates old styles.  It offers good
conservation and safe handling, without neglecting the visual and tactile
pleasure of the reader.

Considerable progress has been made in the past few years in the field of
conservation.  Today, few ignore such problems as the acidity of materials,
or the technical requirements indispensable for storage, use, or exhibition
of documents.  In the field of bookbinding the needs of both curators and
bibliophiles have grown considerably.  Flexibility, ease of handling, a flat
opening, for example, are increasingly becoming familiar notions.  In the
future, one will reconsider the use of adhesives and no longer cut even a
small part of the original pages of pre-20th century books or fold their
signatures by backing.  Interesting research has already been done in several
countries, and certain satisfactory solutions already exist; other solutions,
however, have yet to be found.  Conservation bookbinding practices abound,
but they are rarely associated with modern aesthetics compatible with the
spirit of antiquarian books and with a good understandingt of the specific
needs of each item.

Many books or documents which have not, or which no longer have a binding
could be waiting for such a treatement in the archives, librairies,
bookshops, or on private bookshelves.  There are, perhaps, documents which
pose one or more specific problems - single section, large sizes, excessively
thick signatures, signatures of different sizes, pamphlets etc.

The aim of this exhibition is to show what kind of bindings today's
bookbinders can imagine for them.  An illustrated catalogue of the exhibition
will show all the appropriate, practical, perhaps unexpected or surprising,
solutions that might serve as examples.

If you are interested in this exhibition - whether you are bookbinder,
restorer, conservator, librarian, archivist, bookseller, or bibliophile- if
you already possess bindings which could be made part of this exhibition, or
if you intend to make one for it, write to Francoise Courbage, conservateur
en chef,  Bibliotheque historique de la Ville de Paris, 24 rue Pavee, 75004
Paris FRANCE. (fax: 01 42.74.03.16).

The letter was signed by Jean Derens, Conservateur general de la Bibliotheque
historique de la Ville de Paris.

I hope that there will be a good representation from America.

Good luck to every one.

Monique Lallier


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