In my last “Fun with PhotoDoc” post I discussed the my recent RTI training with Cultural Heritage Imaging at Yale University. If you missed that post you can check it out here. In that post I discussed our first RTI capture session on a book entitled, Aller Bücher und Schrifften des thewren, seligen Mans Gottes Doct. Mart. Lutheri …, which is part UC’s Archives & Rare Books Library’s collection and is the eighth volume in an eight volume set. The binding is most likely age-hardened alum-tawed leather (though possibly vellum) on wooden boards with embossed paneled decoration that is barely visible under normal illumination. In that first RTI blog post I shared some snapshots of the various RTI modes you can explore within the RTI Viewer software, but I knew that I ultimately wanted to create a video capture of the RTI Viewer in action. I was finally able to do that using a free software called TinyTake.
In this video we explore the following modes built within the RTI Viewer as the light position is moved around the object:
Default Mode (HSH)
Specular Enhancement Mode with color removed (HSH) – notice the “1571” inscription that becomes more apparent. This volume was printed in 1568, and we believe that 1571 was when the publication was bound.
Normals Visualization Mode (HSH) – allows the human eye to better determine is convex and concave on the surface of the cover.
Diffuse Gain Mode (PTM) – This mode is ideal for visualizing surface abrasions and losses. Take notice of the “ID” inscription that becomes more visible, and when we switch back to the default mode you can see that this “ID” inscription is virtually invisible to the naked eye.
I have to say, Catarina and I really enjoyed the capture process for this binding, but when we found that “ID” and then looked at the physical binding and could barely see anything…we were kind of giddy! I’m hoping to create more RTI Viewer video captures like this as we carry out more RTI capture sessions for collection materials. When I do, I will make sure to share them here.
As a farewell gift and appreciation for all the work and time dedicated to the University of Cincinnati, The Preservation Lab was asked to create a custom binding for an Album for the Provost and 29th President Beverly J. Davenport. UC Government Relations and University Communications provided the lab with single sheets printed with photographs of Dr. Beverly J. Davenport during her time at the University of Cincinnati.
To create the custom binding the single sheets had to be cut using one of our board shears. All the sheets were precisely cut to the same dimensions and a textblock was created.
Once the textblock was ready, endsheets and pastedowns were selected. In this case since this book was dedicated to our Provost and 29th President, the color of the endsheets where the colors of UC, red and black. A white paper was chosen as a pastedown.
Since the pages were single sheets, the finished book would need to have a simple structure: a double fan adhesive binding. This structure is perfect for a textblock of single sheets as it provides a strong binding that allows the text block to be opened almost flat without causing the pages to separate from each other and break free. The adhesive is pasted onto the spine of the text block with a double fanning technique, where the pages are fanned in both directions allowing the adhesive to reach about 1 mm into the text block pages. After the pages are fanned in both directions, the spine of the text block received a lining of Cambric Cloth to provide support and an attachment for the cover. The spine was also lined with a handmade paper further strengthen the spine and prevent it from breaking from heavy use.
Once the textblock was finished, the cover was created, a cloth cover quarter binding. To continue with the theme of UC colors, a marbled paper with red and black tones was chosen. A black cloth was chosen for the spine lining. The album received striped red stuck- on endbands.
After the cover was made and the textblock was cased in and the album was ready to receive a title. The title was created using the Lab’s hot stamper. Several titles were made using the same black cloth used on the spine. A silver title stamped on a black cloth was chosen, since it best matched the theme and colors of the cover.
And the final result:
The Lab deeply appreciated this opportunity to contribute to the farewell gift and wish our 29th President Dr. Beverly J. Davenport all the best.
Every once in a while a library receives a new book that needs a little something special. Sometimes it’s a pocket to hold an enclosed map or other added material, sometimes it’s a special box or enclosure, or sometimes it’s an extra page that needs to be tipped in. Recently the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County received 20 copies of the book, “S” by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst. It’s unusual and highly visual, filled with things like postcards and news clippings, 22 in all, stuck in at different points as if someone had been reading it and had absent-mindedly left their impromptu bookmark between the pages. None of these ephemeral-seeming pieces are attached in any way. It’s a really neat interactive book, in fact I want a copy of my own, but having a book with numerous loose parts is definitely challenging as part of a library collection. The potential for the various pieces, all part of the book’s storyline, to be lost or misplaced is huge! In fact there was an outcry across the country as the book arrived and librarians saw the potential for chaos and disaster:
Making a blank book can be a lot of fun and it’s fairly easy to do if you have the right equipment. A blank book can be almost any size, shape and color that you want it to be. It can be used as a sketchbook, diary, photo album or just about anything you can think of. The type of book I am making is called a quarter binding because approximately one quarter of the cover is cloth while the rest of the cover is paper.