HIST 12
Introduction to Hand Bookbinding Winter 2023

Class Details

This class will offer a fast-paced, workshop-style introduction to bookbinding, starting with single sheet structures and working through several codex structures with a variety of cover-to-text-block attachments. Throughout, our benchwork-folding, cutting, sewing, adhering-will be grounded in the historical context of the craft and accompanied by readings and online resources, as well as discussion of material and structure, and the implications of both for the conservation and preservation of books. While the course will be focused on Western bookbinding techniques, we’ll also touch on other cultural binding traditions with an eye toward understanding the comparative youth of Western book crafts. Class will meet three times a week for three hours, including a weekly visit to Special Collections to examine historical examples of bindings. Students should be prepared to spend significant time outside of class exploring the world of book arts and book history online, and developing and completing independent binding projects, including a set book for the final project. The course will conclude with an exhibition of student work.
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 12
Expected: NA
Class#: 1152
Grading: pass/fail only
Requirements/Evaluation: Completion of in-class and independent binding projects, 1-2 brief presentations, and capstone binding of set book
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Preference will be given to students who have little or no previous bookbinding experience, and to those who express early and enthusiastic interest.
Unit Notes: Cara Schlesinger '91 is an independent bookbinder and conservator in New York City. She has worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Columbia University as well as with private clients and rare book specialists around the country.
Materials/Lab Fee: $155
Attributes: EXPE Experiential Education Courses

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