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American Trade Bindings and Beyond

April on the high seas

Wed, 01 Apr 2020 23:58:00 +0000

Hello again from Paul and Callie, your friends at American Trade Bindings and Beyond!  The beginning of spring, and this first day of this new month of April, seemed like a good time to re-introduce the blog after a long hiatus.  During these uncertain and tumultuous times, when so many of us are working from home, it might be soothing to simply enjoy some bindings.  With this in mind, we offer here a selection of designs on nautical themes for your pleasure.

Let’s begin with a delightfully surreal design of a ship inexplicably anchored in a treetop, by George Washington Hood.

It’s hard to fathom what this book might be about, but a brief review in American Motherhood (Dec. 1909) helps a little:
“Hidden treasures and lost children are always fascinating subjects for childhood.  In “The Helter-Skelters” we have both, as well as a dear, lovable little lame girl, an old sailor man, a sea captain and a merry crowd of girls and boys known as “The Scowling Scots,” who are really the “Helter-Skelters”—most lovable and lively.”  
Deep indeed! So, a children’s story ... but what about that ship in a tree?

To provide some context for the following binding designs, I’d like to relate a brief tale passed down through my family for generations.  So, with your indulgence...

Willem Finn loved to sail.  A man of independent means and stout spirit, he was the proud owner of a square rigged three-master that he christened the Petrel.

His greatest pleasure was the sea, and his secret wish was to sail around the world and spend the rest of his days on the water.  But to do this he needed a crew.

Now, Captain Finn was no pirate, but it can't be denied that he shanghaied his crew by promising each a tour of his ship and perhaps a short cruise.  The "short cruise" never ended, however, and perhaps from some defect in character in the crewmen, or perhaps due to some strange power the Captain exercised (or maybe it was the laudanum-infused hardtack he fed them), the crew rarely escaped the ship, either at the outset or when Finn was re-provisioning.

But the Captain now faced a dilemma; his most recent recruit, Benton, was proving immune to the charms of the sea and sailing with him.  Though they often sailed accompanied by dolphins and saw wondrous sea life, it made little difference to Benton.  Where the rest of the crew could be listless, Benton was despondent.

When not moodily attending to his work, he often complained of his situation and loudly wished he was anywhere but on the Petrel.  After several weeks the Captain told Benton to stop his caterwauling, as there might soon be a change in his situation.

 They sailed for many days, through rough seas and smooth, until -- at last -- land appeared on the horizon!  Much of the day was spent approaching the coast, and the Petrel dropped anchor in early evening with the cliffs of the unknown land a short distance off to the west.  

 In the morning they sailed on, rounding a rocky promontory before sighting the low coastline that curved on before them.  They took care in entering the large, open bay as the water grew more shallow, finally anchoring several hundred yards offshore.

Captain Finn took Benton to the rail facing the shore and spoke his piece.  “I know you’ve not been happy, you scurvy dog,” he said affectionately.  “And while I’d hate to lose you, I’ll offer you a choice which everyone has received but few have taken.  You are most welcome to stay on board and we’ll continue our adventure and one day circle the globe.  Or, if you wish, you may leave us now and be taken to shore on the last of our flatboats.” 

“I’ll leave,” Benton replied immediately.

“Consider very carefully—though that gently curving coast may seem peaceful, the waves are rough and there are cliffs inland which must be climbed. It's a long trek before you’ll encounter any inhabited land, though you’ll find sufficient food and water on the journey.  Why take that route when the others remain with me on the Petrel?”

“No, Captain, I’m leaving.  I can’t speak for any of the others, but in my opinion 

your barque

is worse than

your bight.”

 Who doesn't love a nice shaggy dog?

Alas, not even the captain's beloved shaggy dog, Jester of Monmouth, could convince Benton to stay.

We hope you've enjoyed this riveting tale on this, the first day of April.  We’ll return before long with a post on a puzzle we encountered recently.  There will be bindings, of course, but the subject falls more in the “and beyond” of our blog...

Until then, we hope everyone is doing well -- and please take care of yourselves!

Guest bindings (in order of appearance) …..

Daulton, George.  The Helter skelters.  New York: Frederick Stokes, 1909.  Signed GWH, George Washington Hood.
Hains, T. Jenkins.  The cruise of the Petrel.  New York: A. Wessels Co., 1906.  Signed FP, Florence Pearl England Nosworthy.
Davenport, Charlotte C. Shepherd.  A round-the-word jingle.  Boston: Thomas Todd Company, Printers, 1918.  Unsigned, unidentified.
Frothingham, Jessie Peabody.  Sea-wolves of seven shores.  New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1904.  Signed DD, Decorative Designers.
Page, Thomas Nelson.  Elsket.  New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1891.  Unsigned, by Margaret Armstrong.
Stockton, Frank R.  John Gayther’s garden and the stories told therein.  New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1902.  Signed EWC, Evelyn W. Clark.
Parrish, Randall.  The last voyage of the Donna Isabel.  Chicago: A.C. McClurg & Co., 1908.  Signed GM,  Guernsey Moore.
Masefield, John.  Salt-water poems and ballads.  New York: Macmillan, 1916.  Signed GH, possibly George Washington Hood.
Humphrey, L. H.  The poetic old-world.  New York: Henry Holt, 1909.  Signed BS, Bertha Stuart.
Smith, Francis Hopkinson.  The tides of Barnegat.  New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1906.  Signed BS, Frank Berkeley Smith.
Crosby, Irving B.  Boston through the ages.  Boston: Marshall Jones Company, 1928.  Signed TBH, Theodore Brown Hapgood.
Walworth, Ellen H.  An old world as seen through young eyes, or, Travels around the world.  New York: D. & J. Sadlier & Company, 1877.  Unsigned, unidentified.
Eggleston, George Cary.  The last of the flatboats.  Boston: Lothrop, Lee and Shepard, 1900.  Signed M within circle (unidentified)
Baring-Gould, S.  Winefred.  Boston: L.C. Page & Co., 1900.  Signed with Amy M. Sacker’s monogram.
Wheelright, John T.  A bad penny.  Boston: L.C. Page & Company, 1901.  Signed AB, Alfred Brennan.
Richards, Laura E.  Love and rocks.  Boston: Estes and Lauriat, 1898.  Unsigned, by Amy M. Sacker.
Phelps, Elizabeth Stuart.  Loveliness. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1899. Picture by Sarah S. Stilwell, lettering possibly by or after Sarah Whitman.

UNCG University Libraries Announcements

Don't Want to Ask?

Tue, 31 Mar 2020 15:02:00 +0000

Have you ever been too nervous or uncomfortable asking someone a question? The Research, Outreach and Instruction Department created a library guide titled Don’t Want to Ask? containing ebooks on topics that people may have a difficult time asking a librarian about. This library guide contains ebooks on the following topics:
  • Bullying/Harassment
  • Physical Health
  • Mental Health
  • Families
  • Finances  
  • Gun Violence
  • Social Issues
  • Race and Immigration
Don’t see the topic you are looking for? Do you know of a book that should be added to the guide? Included on the library guide is a “Suggestion Box” where you can suggest any topics you would like to learn more about and any resources that may be useful to the guide.

This guide can be found here

Written by Holly C. Shields. 
Image courtesy of Andrew Gardner. 

Speaking Volumes


Super Size Me: The Book Conservation Variety, Part 2

Tue, 24 Mar 2020 14:01:00 +0000

In Part 1 of this series, we introduced a project to conserve The Royal Commentaries of Peru (RCP), a large leather volume. The book had to be disbound and required extensive mending prior to resewing the textblock. Please click HERE to read Part 1 of the series.

The book was sewn on cords, including new endsheets yet
to be trimmed. The spine will be consolidated with paste
and rounded to allow it to open properly.
In Part 2, we will review sewing the endbands, board preparation (getting the cover boards ready to attach to the textblock), lacing the covers on, and lining the spine of the book in preparation for covering the book in leather.

Once the textblock leaves (single sheets) were guarded back into folios (two leaves mended together at the spine edge), and seated one inside the other to create two folio signatures (a gathering of several printed folios seated one inside the other), they were sewn together on cords. Next, the endbands needed to be sewn.

The original endbands were no longer attached when this book arrived in Preservation Services, so an endband style appropriate to the time period of the original printing of the book was selected.

Endband sewing in progress. The thread wraps
around the cord core and overlaps itself to
create the bead indicated by the red arrow.
A single-color primary endband (an endband that is tied down through the sections of the book to anchor it) sewn on a core of consolidated linen cord with a bead on the edge was selected. The term bead refers to the visible braid or twist of thread that sits between the textblock and the endband itself as indicated by the red arrow in the photograph of the endband sewing in progress.

The endbands are not integral in connecting the textblock pages together, but they can add additional strength and stability. There are many styles of endbands and many are much more decorative than this design, though it was selected in an effort to more accurately reflect endbands of the time period.

The endband after the book has been covered in leather.

With the endbands sewn, a series of linings were applied to the spine of the book. Each lining may serve multiple functions, but each will assist in consolidating the pages together at the spine edge and providing support as the book is opened and closed. Linings that are too thin may allow the book to flop open too easily. Linings that are too thick can restrict the book from opening fully. In this treatment, three spine linings were applied. First, a release layer of Japanese tissue and rice starch paste was applied to consolidate the spine as well as provide a reversible layer for the rest of the spine linings to be removed from the spine should a future conservation treatment be necessary. Paste can be remoistened to loosen the first layer as opposed to applying a more permanent adhesive like PVA mentioned in Part 1 of this series of posts.

Left: Before release lining is applied. Right: After release
lining of Japanese paper and rice starch paste is applied.
Second, an extension lining of Irish Linen fabric is attached to the spine and molded around the cords. Irish linen is used because it remains quite flexible and malleable once pasted, can be smoothed easily to dry without ridges, and it contains less acidic impurities that would cause it to break down over time. This lining is called an extension lining because there are flaps of fabric that extend onto the textblock beyond the width of the spine. Those extensions will eventually provide extra strength for the hinges as the book is opened and closed. If you look at the photographs closely, you will see that the linings extend just to the edge of the endbands at the head and tail. This creates another support attachment for the endbands.

The third and final spine lining prior to covering in leather was a layer of thin leather pasted hair side toward the spine (the smooth side rather than the suede-like side is pasted down). The leather, once dry, can be sanded to disguise ridges on the spine. If you look closely in the photograph, you will see ridges on the spine that have not yet been sanded away. Likewise the leather is darker in the center because it was still wet with paste.

Left: Irish linen extension lining is being applied. Right: thin layer of leather applied, which will be trimmed to the
height of the book and sanded to create a smooth spine once it is dry. The darker area is where it is still wet.

The next step after spine linings and sanding was to prepare the cover boards. Unfortunately, most of the steps of board preparation were not documented in photographs. For those with some bookbinding knowledge, two thicknesses of .80 board were laminated to achieve a board thickness appropriate for the textblock. The interior of the boards were lined with text weight paper to counteract the pull of the leather to be attached on the outside. When the leather is moistened with paste during covering, it will shrink as it dries, which has a tendency to cause the boards to flare outward rather than bending slightly inward to "cup" the textblock. This inner lining of paper helps to counteract the pull of the shrinking leather.

Left: Punching holes to lace cords through, pencil lines roughly indicate where channels will be carved,
red arrow indicates back cornering (trimming board to accommodate the thickness of leather in the hinge
as it opens). Right: Fraying the cords in preparation to lace through the boards. The tips
will be pasted into points to make it easier to thread through the holes.

Once laminated and lined, the boards undergo further refinement. The outer head, tail, and fore edges of the boards are sanded to create more of a gentle slope from the center portion of the board to the edges (imagine a more subtle version of a pillow form). Likewise, the boards are placed in position and marked according to the location of the cords extending from the textblock. Holes are drilled along with some small channels from the holes to the edge of the board. In the photograph of punching holes into the boards, the pencil lines roughly indicate where the channels will be carved. These channels will accommodate the cords once they are laced through the covers.

View of the inside cover once the cords have been
laced through, but not yet trimmed and pasted flat.
The cords are first frayed before lacing through the cover boards. The fraying allows the binder to flatten the cords into the channels as well as to the lay the ends flat on the inside of the boards so that there are no lumps under the leather on the outside or the endsheets on the inside. Once the cords are frayed, a bit of paste is applied to the ends and dried to shape them into points that can be threaded through the drilled holes. The photograph to the right shows the cords on the inside of the cover board before the pasted points have been trimmed off. The shorter tips extending from the boards are then repasted and smoothed flat to the boards, which results in securing the board as well as disguising the lump of cord. Endsheets will eventually cover the exposed, flattened cords.

There are many steps to preparing a book to be covered in leather. Those steps are referred to as "forwarding". Sometimes, the leather covering is also included in the term forwarding depending on which binder you ask. Please stay tuned for a post about that final step in the process.

In Super Size Me: The Book Conservation Variety, Part 3, our final post about this conservation treatment, we will review covering the book in leather, reapplying the original label, and blind tooling a panel on the front and back covers.

UNCG Libraries Diversity and Inclusion Blog

Pride Month Online

Thu, 19 Mar 2020 18:29:00 +0000

The Office of Intercultural Engagement is excited to share that they have moved a variety of opportunities to engage with Pride Month Programming online!

They know that often Pride Month programs serve as extra credit or credit-bearing opportunities for many courses, and in that respect, almost all of their virtual programming has an associated assignment and/or reflection activity.

They're also excited to announce that they have moved their Queer Film Series online, and are offering eight films that students, faculty, and staff can view for free over the coming weeks.

Keep up-to-date with additional programming they intend to move to a virtual format in the next few weeks by visiting their website and following @uncg_oie on Instagram and Twitter, and UNCG Office of Intercultural Engagement on Facebook.

Librarian Recommended: Electronic Resources at UNCG

The place to discover library tools for your research and class.

Take a Look Back with Accessible Archives

Thu, 12 Mar 2020 15:49:00 +0000

Accessible Archivesoffers history scholars and students a full-text collection of Civil War and Reconstruction-era newspapers, magazines, and books, which were previously available only in microfilm or print.

Included as part of Accessible Archives is a vast collection of 19th century African American newspapers.

The easy-to-navigate environment features eyewitness accounts of historical events, descriptions of daily life, editorial observations, advertisements, and genealogical records. Diverse primary source materials reflect the broad views across American history and culture.

Titles will continue to be added to the collection, covering important topics and time periods.

New DVDs at UNCG

Check-in to see which new DVDs are hitting the shelves in Jackson Library!

New DVDs

Wed, 18 Mar 2020 00:38:00 +0000

21 bridges
The man who killed Don Quixote

Jojo Rabbit

Be natural : the untold story of Alice Guy-Blaché
The armor of light
Little Gandhi
The river and the wall
Super size me 2 : holy chicken!

Ford v Ferrari

Color out of space

Daniel isn't real

Finding joy
The twilight zone. Season one
Locked up abroad. Season 9
The haunting of Hill House. [Season 1]
No passport required with Marcus Samuelsson. Season 2
The Kominsky method. The complete first season
Tell me a story. Season one
Fleabag. Season 1

UNCG Special Collections & University Archives

Photos and other fun stuff from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives in the University Libraries. You can also follow us on Twitter: @UNCGArchives!

Color postcard photograph of the Alumnae House, circa 1960....

Wed, 01 Apr 2020 10:00:20 -0400

Color postcard photograph of the Alumnae House, circa 1960. Created by Colourpicture Publishers, Inc. Boston 15, Mass. U.S.A. Photograph by Hugh Morton, Wilmington, N.C.

This building opened in 1937 and is considered an excellent example of neo-Georgian architecture. It was designed by Penrose V. Stout of Bronxville, New York, and modeled after Homewood in Baltimore, Maryland. The building was called the Alumnae House from 1937 to November 1972, when the name was changed to the Alumni House.

Spartan Stories

Tales from the University Archives at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Day Students on Campus

Mon, 09 Mar 2020 13:00:00 +0000

When the State Normal and Industrial School opened its doors in October of 1892, there was barely enough room for the 176 students who came through them. By the end of the year, the girls’ school had 223 students spilling out of the dormitories. This overflow resulted in some students rooming in auxiliary dormitories, while others boarded with neighborhood families. Most of these students dined at the college’s dining hall, which was located in Brick Dormitory. The only other students who lived off of the main campus were the small number of girls who lived at home. Initially, there were very few of these “Day Students.” In 1904, there were forty-six students attending classes at State Normal, but living at home.

Town Students, ca. 1953
Because the “Day Students,” or “Town Students,” did not live in the dorms, they tended not to be as involved in groups, and often felt that they had second class status on campus. As Day Students had their own particular needs and concerns, they were encouraged to start their own organization, in the hope that it would encourage them to become more involved on campus. In the early years, these students were represented in the school’s Student Government Association, but they were not given formal recognition until 1929. In that year, the Day Students Association was founded, which allowed the students more representation in the school’s student government. At this time, the group was given a special room in the Students’ Building that was designated for study and relaxation. Unfortunately, the space had very few amenities which would have made life easier for students who lived off campus. It had sparse furniture and no lockers, resulting in the students having to carry their books all day. There was also a parking problem for commuting students, who had to compete for a limited amount of spaces with faculty members.

As the college continued to grow, students continued to live both on and off campus and there continued to be an organization for commuting students. In 1933, the Day Students’ Association changed its name to the Town Students Association. Membership included all women who lived off campus, and the group’s constitution reflected their desire “to participate more fully in college activities, and believing that student government develops self-control and instills loyalty in students.”

President of the Town Students Association Choosing Tunes on the Jukebox

In the years after World War II, college enrollment began to swell. At that time, almost ten percent of the student populations lived at home. By 1949, 220 town students were enrolled at Woman’s College (now UNC Greensboro). Although these young women had only minimal participation in campus organizations, they occasionally would socialize together in the Day Students’ Room. In an attempt to draw these students further into college life and create deeper connections with on-campus students, administration allowed each town students to join a residence hall. This plan was not a great success and most town students preferred to return home after class or to gather in the Day Students’ Organization room, which was now located in Elliott Hall. Instead, to further the feeling of inclusion in typical campus activities, the Organization decided to hold a dance. This type of activity allowed the students to have a typical college experience without living on campus.

Town Students Association Dance, April 1949

When Woman’s College became a part of the University of North Carolina system in 1963, the school became co-ed and the commuting community grew even larger. Indeed, most of the rise in registration was due to local enrollment. Two years later, the Town Students’ Association had its first male officer, Anthony Thompson. This was not popular with many of the female members who were still becoming accustomed to male students on campus. The organization’s new handbook set their goals as: “to inform the Town Students of student government activities; to unite the town students, and to link more closely community students with dormitory students.” Recognizing that meeting attendance was one of the most challenging aspects of the organization, members were requested to check their mailboxes every day for organization news and to attend all meetings, which were held in Elliott Hall.

By the 1970s, the organization attempted to appeal to a broad and diverse range of members by sponsoring a car rally and book exchanges. The early 1980s saw a population of approximately 6000 off-campus and commuter students at UNC Greensboro, and the Town Student Executive Board planned engaging and creative activities. Dues payed for activities included breakfasts and lunches for the members, as well as trips to local breweries and dinner theaters, as well as career planning events.

In 1983, the Town Students Association became the Commuting Students Association, incorporating students who traveled to campus from out of town. The average age of this group was twenty seven years old. Sadly, the renamed organization never really garnered support from the student body, and by 1993, their main function was to supply monthly deli lunches for its members. As the commuting population grew larger, there became less of a formal need for an organization to help the students assimilate to campus life. These students would now help to shape the culture and personality of the school.