Tuesday, July 27, 2010
out last week
I didn't post last week because I was at Rare Book School, taking the course "The American Book in the Industrial Era 1820-1940". What a week! We covered quite a time span, from the days of handmade paper, handmade type and hand bound books, right through the mechanization of the whole publishing process.
One of the really great things about Rare Book School is their teaching collection. It is one thing to read about the different types of paper, printing processes etc. but having examples on hand makes such a difference.
The plate on the right is a steel engraving, while the plate on the left is commonly called a wood engraving, even though it is actually a relief printing process. They're both made by hand. This particular wood engraving was used for an illustrated newspaper (see the sample just above it), while the steel engraving was probably for a book.
And then there's Lucille...Rare Book School has approximately 400 copies, that span over 30 years of publishing. For this class we looked at a little over 20 copies to get a sense of how the book changed in cover design but the publisher regularly re-used the same plates to print the text.
There were enough books to hand around so each student could make their own discovery about different editions or issues.
Intense and fun!