Rating is available when the video has been rented.
This feature is not available right now. Please try again later.
Published on Feb 7, 2011
Stock Shot's Time Machine presents "The Bookbinder" from the series "Claim to Fame"
There's another job waiting for the expert. A Dutch museum had an old navigational atlas it wanted restored. Special attention must be paid to the hand painted illustrations. These date back to the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Atlases are historically very important. The information old maps contain can be exploited in many a fields of scholarship. Maritime routes say much about the trade of the time and even the products which were shipped. With a sort of revolving rubber-tipped pen, the surface is initially cleaned. The first thing to do is repair tears. Then comes the collation. The book goes then to the sewing press, where the quires are stitched together. The threads are lead along the cords and fastened to the head of the spine with a binder's knot.
A thorough knowledge of leather is a special aspect of the craft of bookbinding. Does it wear well ? Here natural calfskin is used. Sometimes cowhide or pigskin, but never modern materials or leather coated with glaze. Goat or sheepskin are also rejected. The atlas is taking shape. The moistened spine is getting the cord treatment and the folder is forcing the leather to settle it against the spine and bands. The boards are awaiting their turn. After the head and tail have been turned in, the leather is laid over the spine. Today work by hand has almost disappeared. The book binder has been replaced by the machine. Whether we're talking about stitching on the sewing press, sewing the headcap or treating the boards: the machine does it all in a jiffy. Even packing books in boxes is automated. One advantage is that hard- cover books have become cheaper.
The book restorers who are left can indulge their craftsmanship with magnificent bindings and restorations. This atlas is unrecognisable after he has finished with it. But that's another story. He once sat for a week in the dust of the municipal archives of an old Dutch city to see what they had lying there. The illuminated parchment manuscripts from the fifteenth century are worth a fortune. Also worth restoring are documents with seals made from wax or bread-dough. A project that will cost the Municipality a lot of money.
Another municipal archive hosted this map of the world. A unique piece but almost beyond repair. If he would just re-stretch this map of 2.5 x 4.5 metres and provide a new backing. Just a question of re-canvassing, Paul says. And with scissors, glue and a enormous reservoir of patience, they take on every challenge, again and again. They keep history alive in this way, not just something to read . about in history books. So, with the proper treatment, you can have real history in your own hands.