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Re: [BKARTS] Skinny gatherings.


Perhaps the answer to your question is bibliographic rather than one of
binding trends.  I'm currently working on a law book (England and Wales, Law.
 London, 1660-62).  It also consists of many skinny gatherings comprising a
large volume.  Although it has a title page and looks like a monograph, the
individual gatherings, with few exceptions, have different dates and
represent individual Acts of Parliament.  In short, I am suggesting the
reason for the thin gatherings is that they were printed throughout the three
year period of publication as individual items, and the entire run collected
(by some) for binding with the title page (later?) supplied by the printer.

In the event that the subject matter of the volume you have before is
similar, I'll mention that the one I have here was sewn on five raised cords,
3-on.  A detailed index in manuscript precedes the printed text.

Nancy H. Nitzberg
B o o k - C a r e

In a message dated 1/29/2003 2:11:47 PM Eastern Standard Time,
africa@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx writes:

> Dear book folk
>     A question for those of you more knowing in the area of printing
> history than I:   When and why did the practice of printing skinny
> gatherings arise?
> That is to say, printing thick books in gatherings of bifolia (or what ever
> you want to call them-4 leaves, 8 pages).  The example before me is an
> English printed book (London, 1668) nearly 1000 pages, in skinny
> gatherings, good but thin paper, with the folds virtually destroyed by the
> deterioration of the spine (bad leather+over-cooked animal glue).  It will
> take me forever to mend the thing, longer to sew it, and I hate sewing up.
> Given the number of gatherings the printer has cursed me with,  I don't
> think I'd have much choice even if I didn't have to mend folds.  So why was
> the format so common?
>    Dorothy Africa

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