Jefferson Bible

Jefferson Bible

After you follow the link to this very well done digital copy, check out the conservation project conducted on the bible in 2011.

No matter what you think of this religiously the Jefferson Bible is an interesting study in bookbinding and the history of one of America’s founding fathers.  Thomas Jefferson essentially “edited” passages from the first four books of the new testament, eliminating all the parts he didn’t agree with (miracles and the resurrection) and putting everything else back together in a single volume focused entirely on Jesus, the man, and his teachings on morality.  In the end it was only 84 pages long.  He did this for his own purposes and kept it to himself throughout his lifetime without any intention of publishing.  (Although now you can buy a facsimile copy.)

This is very much an artist’s book, painstakingly created long before X-Acto knives were a thing and put together with who knows what adhesive.  Be impressed people.

Two of the source bibles.


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Illustration from Lithographers Journal, 1940

Illustration from Supplement to the Lithographer’s Journal -Feb 1940 Vol. xxiv. No.111

Before getting into binding I was a printmaker and I’ve always loved old presses and the Rube Goldberg level of complexity they sometimes achieved. Look at the size of these things.  That’s a whole lot of machine just to print 4 colors.


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Chinese Insect Paper

Interesting article in Archival Products recently about the history and use of insect-resistant paper in China. Author Jody Beenk is the Head of Preservation & Conservation at University of Hong Kong Libraries.  In the article she describes each of the different types of traditional insect-resistant paper: Yellow, Wax Burnish, Pepper, Blue, and Orange Red.

Here’s the pdf: ChineseInsectPaper_apnewsvol19no4

Insect Paper

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Art of the Marbler, Retro Video

Link: Art of the Marbler

or copy and paste the url (

Super-retro video of Cockerell Marbled Papers.  Can’t find the original date of production but the original film and the youtube video were both published by the Bedfordshire Archives:  Bedfordshire Archives

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The Shape of Content

There is an excellent show up at Bridwell Library right now called The Shape of Content. The main focus of the show is the varied presentation of manuscript and printed media. Featured works include manuscripts, books, broadsides, and readable objects.  I recommend taking a look at the heart shaped prayer book.  In it’s unbroken form it would have “bloomed” open like a flower in order to be read.

Check out the online exhibit here:  The Shape of Content

Formats_array_2_1200 MS128_scan_1200

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New LSC Officers

As of September the Lone Star Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers is now being led by a new team of officers:

Tish Brewer – President, LSC

Jeanne Goodman – Events Coordinator

Jesse Hunt – Communications Officer

Catherine Burkhard – Secretary/Treasurer

Tish, Jeanne, and I are all new to this and Catherine, the former president of LSC, has agreed to stay on as Secretary/Treasurer to help us all learn the ropes.  Thanks so much, Catherine!

In addition to revamping the blog, we also have a new Lone Star Chapter Facebook page.  You can check it out here: GBW LSC Facebook

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Chapter Exhibit Catalogs Now on Sale!

Two catalogs from past Lone Star Chapter exhibits remain available and are now on sale! The Thread That Binds catalog, originally $20, is now $15 by mail or $12 if you can pick up in person at Books ‘n Letters Studio in Dallas. The Heaven on Earth catalog, originally $8, is now $3. Contact Catherine Burkhard  at:  to purchase a copy of either—or both!

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