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[BKARTS] Book Arts at the San Francisco Public Library

For Immediate Release: October 11, 2005

Contact: Sherri Eng (415) 557-4282 seng@xxxxxxxx

Images Available


New Exhibition Examines Ethics, Legality of Leaf Books

Main Library Hosts Show's Only West Coast Stop


SAN FRANCISCO-A unique exhibition of 45 leaf books will make its only
West Coast visit Nov. 5-Dec. 31 when it will be on display in the Jewett
Gallery at the Main Library. Disbound and Dispersed: The Leaf Book
Considered is the first exhibition to examine the history of the leaf
book, a late 19th-century development that incorporates a leaf, or
single page, from an original work with new supplementary text in a fine
press publication. The leaf books in this exhibition contain manuscripts
and printed leaves dating from the 12th through 20th centuries.


Noteworthy leaf books in the exhibition include those containing
original leaves from the first four folios of William Shakespeare's
plays, a leaf from the Gutenberg Bible, and a leaf from the first
edition of the Canterbury Tales. Books were drawn from the collections
of Northwestern University, University of Chicago, Brigham Young
University, Harvard University, Indiana University, R.R. Donnelly & Sons
Co. and three private collectors. Related materials from the Main
Library's Book Arts & Special Collections Center will supplement the
exhibition during its stay in San Francisco and will be on view in the
Rare Book Room on the Library's sixth floor. 


The Caxton Club of Chicago, a society of book collectors founded in 1895
and named after the first English printer William Caxton, organized the
exhibition. After its two-month stint in San Francisco, the exhibition
will travel to Harvard University's Houghton Library and Indiana
University's Lilly Library.


While leaf books have a devoted following, the practice of creating
them, which entails destroying one book to make another, continues to be
controversial. The exhibition's opening program, "A Poor Man's Morgan
Library: The Challenges and Issues of Publishing and Collecting Leaf
Books," will feature a panel of book collectors and enthusiasts who will
discuss the ethical, legal and historical issues surrounding the
creation of leaf books. John Windle, antiquarian bookseller and leaf
book publisher; Anthony Bliss, curator of rare books at UC Berkeley's
Bancroft Library; Michael Thompson, attorney and co-author of "Disbound
and Dispersed;" and private collector Paul Robertson are among the
panelists. The program is sponsored by the San Francisco Public Library
and the Book Club of California.


The panel discussion will be held 2:00-4:00 p.m. on November 5 in the
Koret Auditorium at the Main Library. The program and exhibition are
free and open to the public. For more information, please call
415.557.4560 or 415.557.4277.


* * *


Press release: http://sfpl.lib.ca.us/news/releases/leafbook.htm

Exhibitions at SFPL (Upcoming):

Directions to the Main Library:


Asa Peavy, Program Manager

Marjorie G. & Carl W. Stern Book

Arts & Special Collections Center

San Francisco Public Library

100 Larkin St.

San Francisco, CA 94102

T: 415.557.4560

F: 415.437.4849

 <mailto:asap@xxxxxxxx> apeavy@xxxxxxxx 




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