Lecture by Alison Kuller, bookbinder and conservator
From the perspective of a book conservator, this lecture will explore how a book ages and the various considerations for its care. From the choice of materials used in the production of the book, to the successive care of its owners, the choices made by a book’s handlers will have enormous impact on its lifespan. In addition, this lecture will consider how the electronic age has affected the value of the tangible, printed book. While the idea of a book as a work-of-art is not new, nor is the idea of a single book having enormous value; what is new, is that in an electronic age where fewer books are printed, their value may increase simply because of their scarcity. These volumes are likely to find an audience because of their authenticity, longevity, and beauty. They are also likely to become curiosities of an earlier age, intriguing chiefly for the stability of their format.
Alison Kuller is a bookbinder and conservator who was trained at the North Bennet Street School in Boston and has since worked at a variety of libraries and labs, including the Widener Library at Harvard and the Northeast Document Conservtion Center in Andover, MA. Her private work includes commissions for individuals and institutions nationwide.