The Printed Book
Gutenberg and After
The Infancy of Printing
This web site, hosted by the Golda Meir Library at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, was designed to accompany an exhibition on introduction of printing. It contains a good selection of images, with the option to view enlargements, as well as an interesting essay on printing during the Renaissance.
Gutenberg to Gates
This web site accompanies an exhibition mounted by Springfield Library Massachusetts that explores the development of the book after the invention of movable type in mid-15th-century Europe. It is well illustrated with useful accompanying text.
The Legacy of Aldus Manutius and His Press
A digital exhibition containing a selection of the Brigham Young University Library’s Aldine holdings, celebrating the quincentenary of the founding of the Aldine Press.
Colour Printing in the Nineteenth Century
This web site was designed to accompany an exhibition at the University of Delaware Library. It documents the development of colour printing as used in book illustration. Images are provided from some of the books in the original exhibition.
William Morris - A Note on his Aims in founding the Kelmscott Press
This is a digital copy of an essay written by William Morris in 1895 in which he outlined his goals for book production.
The Planets and their Children: A Blockbook of Medieval Popular Astrology
This link leads to a page which is part of a larger site dealing with medieval blockbooks about the planets. The page contains some useful background information about blockbooks - how they were made and their place in the history of printing. As you examine this example, keep in mind that the “book” presented is a hybrid recreation rather than a straight reproduction of a single volume.
This page on the Biblia pauperum or Bible of the poor, is part of the National Library of the Netherlands site. It provides general information on blockbooks, some information on Biblia pauperum and an illustration.
The Gutenberg Bible is the earliest example of a book printed with moveable type still in existence. This link will take you to a digital version of the Gutenberg Bible. In addition to images of each page of the Bible you will find a range of other resources, including information about Johann Gutenberg, a discussion of the significance of his invention and images of printed pages that have subsequently been illuminated. This British library website provides digital images of two version of the Gutenberg Bible held in the library’s collection. To compare a single page of two copies of the Gutenberg bible use the texts link on the main page.
This page, from the special Collections library at the University of Michigan, discusses the Kelmscott Press, with particular emphasis being placed on the development of Morris’ typefaces and decorativions.
This web page provides images of several pages of the Kelmscott Chaucer, showing typeface, layout, illustrations and decorations. Although the images are of single pages, some of the scans provide a glimpse of the facing page so you get some sense of Morris’ focus on the design of an opening.
Bookmaking interlude 3
The pamphlet stitch
The pamphlet stitch is a simple, effective way of binding a single signature and a soft cover to create a book.
Bookmaking interlude 4
Sewing on tapes
This is the technique used for a traditional case bound (ie hard cover book) where the tapes are covered up by the covers, spine and end papers. It is also possible to create an exposed spine version where strips of leather, decorative tape or other materials are used in place of linen tape. Another variation involves the use of cords rather than tapes, as seen in traditional leather bindings.