Thursday, 25 February 2016

follow-up to our Fisher field trip

Hope you all enjoyed our field trip to the Fisher earlier this week. As promised, here's a post with some follow-up information for those who'd like a closer look at the books we viewed.

The books in the Shakespeare exhibition will be behind glass and unavailable for calling up for the next few months, but you can find a complete listing and several detailed chapters about them in the exhibition's catalogue, copies of which are held at the Fisher: . Part of the exhibition includes work by three living bookmakers, whose websites are worth checking out. The book Illustrations from Macbeth (with the black binding and diagonal slashes) was made by Toronto bookbinder Don Taylor (, who can sometimes be found in the bibliography room at Massey College. The tiny dos-a-dos-a-dos book Storming Shakespeare was made by Jan Kellett, who specializes in miniature books ( Finally, one book I didn't discuss but which some of you may have noticed in one of the downstairs display cases was the edition of A Midsummer Night's Dream that was rebound by Toronto's Robert Wu (, pictured below. As I mentioned during the tour, it was important that the exhibition include work by bookmakers who are alive and well and actively pursuing their craft, which is very much a living tradition. That's especially so in Toronto, where we have a thriving book arts community, thanks in part to the Canadian Book Artists and Bookbinders Guild (or CBBAG, pronounced "cabbage"), who offer workshops on various aspects of book production.

Downstairs, Sarah took us through several examples of Thomas Hardy's works in various formats, from serials to rebound magazine publications to triple-deckers to that wonderful 1970's faux-luxe edition. (I imagine the latter sitting on Ron Burgundy's bookshelf, mostly unread.) As Sarah mentioned, the those Hardy books are still uncatalogued, but if you ask Alexandra at the Fisher's reference desk about them, she may be able to help.

Here are the catalogue links for the other books we examined:
Note that the catalogue entry for the 1847 Euclid -- the one with the multi-colour pages -- includes a print-on-demand link that gives you the option of downloading a full PDF of the book, or having it printed at the U of T bookstore. If anyone decides to get their own copy printed, please bring it to class to show us!

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