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© 1997 – February 2018

The Legacy Press


The Legacy Press


Books about the Printing, Paper, and Bookbinding Arts


Essay Series


In 2013, The Legacy Press published the first volume in the series, Suave Mechanicals: Essays on the History of Bookbinding. This project came about after discussions between Cathy Baker, the publisher, and Julia Miller, bookbinding historian, about the need for a journal-style publication that would not only feature published scholars, but would also provide a forum for those who have not been published. The goal for Suave Mechanicals was to encourage authors to explore areas of the history of bookbinding that had not been addressed previously, and to add to the body of established scholarship on some of the more well-known binding structures. And since 2013 three more volumes of Suave Mechanicals have appeared to critical acclaim.


A few years ago Cathy decided to publish two new series, Papermaker s Tears: Essays on the Art and Craft of Paper and Historia Typographica: Essays on the Art of Printing and Beyond. Editors for these new series are working on their first volumes, and more information about each of The Legacy Press series is described below.


Suave Mechanicals

Essays on the History of Bookbinding


Julia Miller, editor

Vol. 1 (2013)

Vol. 2 (2015)

Vol. 3 (2016)

Vol. 4 (2017)

Volumes 5, 6, and 7 are in preparation:


Topics for Volume 5:

•  history and structure of tintype albums in America

•  a follow-up pictorial essay on Samaritan bindings from selected special collections

•  a study of a 12th-century limp tawed binding

•  exposed structures in the Michigan State University Criminology Collection

•  the continuing evolution of parchment binding over boards

•  endband varieties in the Islamic world

•  physical evidence of curtains added to medieval manuscripts

•  adhered-board bindings

•  research/testing on the cloths used on a group of 18th- and 19th-century “canvas bindings”


Topics for Volume 6:

•  tacketed account books

•  Anabaptist bookbindings

•  the origins and future of the University of Iowa bookbinding model collection

•  increasing visibility and access to historical binding collections

•  a late-Coptic binding with bridled leather boards

•  18th- and 19th-century Indian bindings in the Library of Congress’ collection

•  publishers’ square back case bindings, late 20th century


Volume 7: an Americana theme

This volume will be dedicated to the theme of American bookbinding, both colonial and post-colonial. Although many essays in the previous volumes in the series have addressed aspects of American bookbinding, it is our belief that this continues to be a rich area for more research. The assumption has long been made that North American binding (including Canada and Mexico) was largely influenced by four binding traditions: those of Great Britain, France, Germany, and Spain. While the assumption is true for early colonial binding, we still need to document many of those early bindings for similarities – and differences – rather than giving in to the dismissive attitude often applied to colonial or provincial work. Distances from supply sources and a “make-do” response have had a telling effect on which directions North American bookbinding practices, materially and structurally, have taken over the centuries, and it is important to document them.


Editor: Julia Miller has written extensively about the history of bookbinding. Her background is in book conservation and in teaching historical structures.


If you have an essay in preparation or if you would like more information about Suave Mechanicals, please email Julia:


Papermaker s Tears

Essays on the Art and Craft of Paper


Tatiana Ginsberg, editor

The first volume of Papermaker s Tears: Essays on the Art and Craft of Paper is expected by the end of 2018.


Topics for Volume 1:

•  papermaking in India (Radha Pandey)

•  papermaking experiments to replicate the first western wove paper (Cathleen Baker)

•  interviews with people who make equipment and tools for papermakers (Aimee Lee)

•  Western European papermills (Peter Thomas)

•  history of Dieu Donné papermill (Susan Gosin)


Editor: Tatiana Ginsberg is Studio Collaborator and Production Manager of the Dieu Donné papermill in New York City. Her background is in Japanese and Western papermaking, printing, teaching, and collaborating with artists.


If you have an essay in preparation or if you would like more information about Papermaker s Tears, please email Tatiana:


Historia Typographica

Essays on the Art of Printing and Beyond


Rebecca Chung, editor

The Historia Typographica series is not restricted to essays about letterpress printing, but encompasses all of the printing arts, including intaglio, lithographic, and serigraphy, as well as related arts, such as stamping, stenciling, and pochoir.


Call for Essays: The first volume of Historia Typographica will be devoted

to women and printing: historical and current.


Editor: Rebecca M. Chung has been involved in the printing arts as a textual scholar, book historian, and archivist. She is a practical printer, bibliographer, and information specialist (preservation, archives). She is particularly interested in the materiality of printed texts and images, as well as their history of textual transmission (in all media including digital).


If you have an essay in preparation or if you would like more information about Historia Typographica, please email Rebecca:

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