Preservation Department – Practicum

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“Structures for Book Conservation ”¬†Course Description

A training course produced by the Conservation unit, University of Iowa Libraries

This course will study the anatomy of the hand made book in three periods of special social and technical influence; (1) introduction of codex format within sectarian environments of north and eastern Africa in the 1st through 4th centuries, (2) impact of wide distribution of printed books at the end of the wooden boarded binding period in northern Europe in the 16th century, and (3) projection of the hand made book in context of electronic communication and digital publishing as exemplified by book workers at the University of Iowa at the beginning of the 21st century.

The class projects will include (1) exemplar of the earliest codices from late Antiquity as well as a model of a traditional or modern book type that retains features of the earliest prototypes, (2) a model of the skin covered, laced construction binding of earlier printed books exemplified by those at the end of the wooden board era and (3) models exemplifying a transition from current case binding and mechanized paperback binding that also demonstrate practical application of hand skills to book production.

The practicum will also develop student career skills. These skill agendas include those of (1) library preservation and book conservation, (2) artistic expression in book format (3) enterprise in book production and distribution and (4) academic interest in the history of book production.