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After printing: bookbinding as cultural heritage


Typography Events
Ralf Herrmann

Event details

The next annual conference of the AEPM will be hosted by the Imprenta municipal – Artes del libro, Madrid, Spain from the 24-26 May 2018.

The theme of the conference is: After printing: bookbinding as cultural heritage

Bookbinding is a vital part of the publishing process. Without it typeset texts and printed sheets could not be turned into books to be read. Most bookbindings serve more or less utilitarian purposes. Others are considered to be of artistic value and so to be worthy of display. Historical bindings are also of considerable interest and are regularly exhibited in museums and libraries.

Books – whether finely-bound of for everyday use – are not the only bookbinding artefacts to have historical or artistic value. Other objects related to bookbinding are also very important because they can help us to understand more fully the history of written and print culture. The machines and tools used by bookbinders in their workshops are of particular interest, as are gilding tools which offer fine examples of artistic engraving.

Many aspects of the non-material heritage of bookbinding, such as technological change, techniques and skills, are also of great interest.

The conference will consider the full range of material and non-material heritage of bookbinding and its place in printing museums:

  • historical aspects of bookbinding: research concerning the artefacts and techniques of craft and industrial bookbinding,
  • contemporary bookbinding: practical research about new techniques and developments; the role of museums in contemporary bookbinding,
  • conservation techniques and issues: preserving and restoring bookbindings in museum collections,
  • the materials and tools of bookbinding,
  • practical workshops and other forms of mediation as means of preserving and transmitting of craft skills and non-material heritage to future generations,
  • the role of the workshop in museums: for public demonstrations, as an archive, and for bibliographical conservation and restauration.

Speakers will include:

  • José Bermejo, Imprenta municipal – Artes del libro, Madrid, Spain
  • Bibliotheca Wittockiana, Musée de des arts du livre et de la reliure, Brussels, Belgium.
  • Pascal Fulacher, Atelier du livre d’art et de l’estampe, Imprimerie nationale, France
  • Maria-Luiz Lopez-Vidriero, Royal Library, Madrid
  • Katharina Mälher, Herzog August Library, Wolffenbüttel, Germany
  • Rosita Nenno, Offenbach, Germany
  • Aitor Quiney, National Library of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain
  • Stefan Soltek, Klingspor Museum, Offenbach, Germany
  • Elke Van Herck, Plantin-Moretus Museum / City of Antwerp, Belgium


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