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Re: [BKARTS] To Hollow or Not To Hollow



Quoting Burdett ("The Craft of Bookbinding")
"Back linings are used on all books with hollow backs,
but there are variations in making them according to the
style of the binding and size of the book. At first condemned
by the bibliophile, the hollow back is not universally
accepted, probably because books, being smaller and
lighter, do not require the heavy leather of the spine to be
stuck directly to the back, which is essential only when
books are sewn on raised cords."

Quoting Town ("Bookbinding by Hand")
"Books 'cut out-of-boards', with the exception of library
style, should have a hollow back. Books bound in calf
style also need hollow back, but this will be noted when
the type is described. A hollow back separates the covering
material from from the backs of the sections, and serves
two purposes. In the first place the cover is not creased
on the spine when the book is opened, and this preserves
the tooling. The second, and mote important reason, lies
in the greater freedom given to the pages on opening.
A book with a hollow back will lie much flatter than one
which is flexibly sewn, and where it is necessary to
write in a book the former style is much more convenient..."

Both Burdett and Town describe how to construct
what's generally described as an Oxford, or English
Hollow -- a three-part, folded, open, tube-like insert.

Both also prescribe that the tube extend across
the back of the text block and lined up exactly
along the edge of the spine.

Alan Shalette

NB For further reference, I've sent a list of 146
book and page references about hollows
directly to Bob





----- Original Message ----- From: "roroberts@xxxxxxxx" <roroberts@xxxxxxxx>
To: <BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, October 25, 2006 12:07 PM
Subject: To Hollow or Not To Hollow




I've been ruminating on the value of the hollow and have been wondering if its primary value is as an aid in positioning: less structural value and more working technique. (To clarify, I mean a hollow paper tube attached to the spine of the book on one side and to the covering material on the other, with air in between and a folded joint at each shoulder. I don't mean simply the hollow space one finds in the spine when opening a machine-cased book.) For a casebound book, the flex point of the hollow should be at precisely the flexpoint of the endpaper. This is a mechanical impossibility (to achieve perfectly) and for the casebound book, a hollow seems superfluous. Any comments or disputations from the more structurally wise? For the traditional tight joint, I can see the hollow as providing a flatter, more uniform tooling foundation but any added strength seems minimal... Of course, the hollow is of great help in attaching a case neatly... I've no questions about its practicality in certain rebinding situations, but that seems to be more of an aid to positioning rather than a structural advantage. Any thoughts from seasoned hollow ponderers? Bob

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***********************************************
Guild of Book Workers' 100th Anniversary Exhibition Now Online - Catalog Available
<http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/byorg/gbw/gallery/100anniversary/>
For all your subscription questions, go to the
Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive.
See <http://www.philobiblon.com> for full information
***********************************************



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