Tuesday, April 13, 2010

ethiopian board book

i sometimes spend a little time in the archives and special collections of the owen d young library at st. lawrence university. there's a small book in the collection that i visit. 
it smells of smoke and the desert and places far away, and i can't read the text. but i can look at the pictures. and touch the wonderful, thick thick vellum pages, 
the broken and mended front cover.
there is one mend in a text page: front
 
and back 
this wonderful book has details that keep me looking:
this is the back cover
an ingenious way to strengthen the sewing, also to retard the back cover from breaking.
the librarian, mark mcmurray, asked me to include this citation:  "Ethiopian Book Collection, Mss. No. 120, Special Collections, Owen D. Young Library, St Lawrence University, Canton, NY". mark also runs caliban press in his "spare" time. 
my second shifu book, this day, also lives in here. it, too, has an old style binding, and the cover, not the pages, is vellum, dyed a soft green.

11 comments:

Dianne said...

The board book in the collection must be so inspiring... and your shifu book is lovely...

Suzanna said...

Oh my! Treasures...

EMBELLISHER said...

Thanks for sharing the pictures of that beautiful Ethopian Board Book and your own creation is no less unique.Just the inspiration I need because I need to make a mini book for a mini book swap.

Hannah said...

Sweet!

mjc said...

Hmmm, I commented yesterday but it didn't go through again. Love both the books; I really love the repairs in old vellum pages, or when the scribes worked around holes in the skins, so thanks!

Velma said...

melissa, you and carol and i just want to sew up teeny tiny rips in vellum. hmmmm

neki desu said...

now we're talking about 2 real beauties here.

Velma said...

i could (almost) swipe that book and gloat over it at home. if my parents hadn't raised me right...

bookconservator said...

Lovely book posting! Do you remember how the cords were attached to the center hole on the back board? Was it a wooden peg or something else? I love these old bindings that have individual binders' made up techniques that you don't find anywhere else! (Hi Velma! I still haven't made anything with my dyed cloth but I do have something brewing in my mind and it may become part of a quilt instead of a binding)

ArtPropelled said...

What a wonderful little book and how lucky to be able to hold it and study it closely.

I really enjoyed the article at handeyemagazine. The story about the children and your healing book is very touching.

Velma said...

really amazing for me to be the maker of something bigger than me.