This "Atlas and Cyclopedia of Ireland" belonged to the grandfather of the owner, who was planning to throw it out. I made bookcloth from Irish linen, salvaged the front decoration to use as an inset, removed and re-used the endpapers because they had the grandfather's signature, and rebound the book. I discovered cigar bands scattered throughout its pages; I could picture the old gentleman settling into his favorite chair, smoking a cigar and enjoying a brandy while he paged through the book. Now, the owner plans to leave the book to his own grandson.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Last Saturday I had the pleasure of delivering this repaired Family Bible to my friend Cathy, who volunteers at the Visitors Center in Gettysburg. The delivery was in the context of a day-long Guild of Book Workers excursion that included a behind-the-scenes tour of the Cyclorama. The tour was hosted by Chris Ameduri, Assistant Archivist of Special Collections at Gettysburg College, and Mary Wootton, a bookbinder and conservator who worked on the 5-year, $16 million restoration of the Cyclorama. Mary, a former Library of Congress conservator, had also restored the Lincoln Bible that President Obama used to take the oath of office.
The day had several highlights, including our visit to the home and studio of Sheila Waters, a renowned calligrapher who collaborated on beautiful bookbindings with her husband Peter Waters. Books of artistry and beauty were generously brought out for us to examine and enjoy. We sat at a long dining table, marveling at the fine work and that we could handle them and ask questions about their creation.
The group consisted of conservators from the Library of Congress, the National Archives, the Maryland State Archives, and University of Maryland. I enjoyed learning from them throughout the day.