Thursday, July 13, 2006

Being Bookish

Mostly in a public library we are interested in access to the content of books, and not so much in the history of the physical objects and their makers. But two of our readers in the last couple of weeks have sent us links to articles about bibliographic scholarship.

One was an aritcle from Seed Magazine, Dating Books With Biology, about studying the woodblock prints in hand-printed books from the 16th century to deduce which are the later printings based on wear in the blocks over time. The other, from Americana Exchange, invents a new term, The Probability of Appearance, for estimating print runs of certain obscure antiquarian items. The author has a complicated train of thought based on how many exemplars there are in the OCLC database.

One of the more entertaining places to hang out with people who love the objects in the hand as well as the words on the pages is J. Godsey's blog, Bibliophile Bullpen. On Sunday, for example, she informed us that we "may want to build up a collection of endpapers from deceased books"--and offers a one minute video on how to tip in a page.

Lastly, though this is rather a long time from now, it fits right in: mark your calendars for Santa Fe Bookarts Group's Celebration of the Book, on October 21 and 22, Main Library Community Room, 145 Washington Ave. Artists will display their handcrafted books and conduct demonstrations of book making techniques.

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