New Address. New Email. New Studio

I’m moving today.  New address:

Jeff Peachey

Book Conservator

37 Nagle Ave., #3C

New York, NY 10040

jeffrey.peachey (AT) gmail (DOT) com

Cell: 1 (212) 387-7860

Although there will be some delays while I set up during June, I plan to be fully functional by July for conservation work. Since I haven’t moved in 23 years, so am a little out of practice. If you want to order tools, please email me what you would like, and I will let you know once I am on my feet. I’m now located in upper Manhattan and I’m more than happy to give a tour if you are visiting NYC.

The piece de resistance of my new studio is a two part workbench base with ten drawers that Deborah Evetts gave me. Deborah is the former conservator at The Morgan Library & Museum, and now in private practice. She recieved it as a gift from Julia P. Whiteman, who was an amateur bookbinder in New York CIty and a student of Edith DIehl. She was also a serious collector of books, and donated 50 manuscripts, many printed books, and an important collection of technical descriptions of bookbinding to the Morgan.

It will be a privilege to use this workbench. Not only is it beautiful, but it has a very distinguished provenance. Thanks Deborah!

Upcoming Events In June

If you are in the New England area, consider attending the Book Arts Supply Market.

Book Arts Supply Market
June 7th, 2009
12:30-4:30
Arlington Center for the Arts
41 Foster Street
Arlington, MA

I will be there with a full range of tools for sale, including the infamous bargain box, which is quite full right now.

I also have prototypes of some new tools I am working on, for example, a portable, collapsible sewing frame that only weighs 1 lb, 12.4 oz (804 grams) including 5 Al sewing keys.  It is 11 3/8″ (290 mm) between the uprights and packs flat at only 1 1/8″ (30 mm).  Rubber feet keep it from sliding around on the workbench.

portable sewing frame

Also I have a reproduction of the boxed set of knives I made for Abraham Karastovsky, which I wrote about earlier and were featured in the book “Homicide in Hardcover.”

ak knives

Please stop by and say hello!

 

*******

 

I will be presenting the following talk in NYC on Sunday, June 21 at 3:00.  Please feel free to repost and contact me if there are any questions.  I also have a half sheet flyer I can email anyone who would like to post it.  I envision this talk as a type of outreach, since it contains information about book history and conservation.    It should be a lot of fun.

 

THE UNIVERSITY OF TRASH PRESENTS:

THE OBSOLETE MAN AND THE OBSOLETE BOOK?

 Sunday, June 21 at 3:00 pm at SculptureCenter in Long Island City, NYC.

 The Free Skool at the University of Trash announce an Jeffrey S.  Peachey’s presentation titled “The Obsolete Man and the Obsolete Book?” The University of Trash is an experiment in alternative architecture, urbanism, and pedagogy taking place in SculptureCenter’s main space. Throughout the summer there will be a mix of workshops, screenings, and presentations focusing on grass roots, self-organized urbanism, DIY architecture and the evolving aesthetics and politics of public space.

Peachey will screen an original Twilight Zone, “The Obsolete Man”, present a short lecture, then lead a discussion based on some of the issues it raises. Peachey is the owner of a New York City-based studio for the conservation of books.  Because of his experience in examining and treating a wide variety of historic book structures, he is especially interested in how humans have interacted with the physical form of the book over the past 1,600 years, the importance of non-texual information and how the book has acquired such symbolic power.  The images of books in this episode form a locus for a variety of issues—authority, freedom, history, truth, the state, individuality, identity and conformity—that are explored in a classic Serlingesque manner.

 “I am nothing more than a reminder to you that you cannot destroy truth by burning pages.” Romney Wordsworth (Burgess Meredith) declares when the Chancellor (Fritz Weaver) pronounces him obsolete, and then condemns him to death.  Wordsworth, a secret librarian, lives in a room not only surrounded by books, but virtually built out them.  Considering aspects of book conservation, Peachey will deliver a short lecture touching on some of the ideas explored in the film, looking at how books are displayed in Wordsworth’s apartment, commenting on the various book structures portrayed and linking these to themes presented in the episode. Models of several historic book structures will available for handling. Then some more general observations on the value of non-textual elements of books will be made, along with the challenges of conserving these elements.

 This will be followed by an open discussion.  Possible topics include questions about the supposed death of the codex; the importance of non-textual elements in books; books as physical expressions of authority; books as moving, portable hand held sculpture; books as democratic instruments; the display of books as externalized knowledge; hand interaction in reading; and most importantly, how closely is our culture inexorably linked with the history of the book.

 This event is free, and there is a $5 suggested donation to the museum.

 Jeff Peachey:

https://jeffpeachey.wordpress.com/

 SculptureCenter:

http://www.sculpture-center.org/

The University of Trash:

http://www.universityoftrash.org/

 Attendees are encouraged to preview the entire Twilight Zone episode at:

http://www.imdb.com/video/cbs/vi759562265/

 info@universityoftrash.org

bookshevles

Montefiascone Project 2009

Yours truly is teaching Week 3, Aug. 10-14.
Flights are fairly reasonable right now....
Hope to see you there!

MONTEFIASCONE PROJECT
SUMMER 2009

Montefiascone is a small medieval walled city about 100 k (80 miles)
north of Rome, on Lake Bolsena. Since 1988 conservators and others
interested in books and their history have come together to work, to
learn and to enjoy this special place. The summer 2009 programme is as
follows:

Week 1:  July 27th-31st
Re-creating the medieval Palette
Through illustrated lectures, participants will examine the story of
colour in medieval times. The class will address the history, geography,
chemistry and iconographic importance, and the actual techniques of
colour manufacture, with special reference to manuscript painting. Using
original recipes, participants will make and paint out the colours. No
previous experience is necessary.
Course tutor: Cheryl Porter

Week 2: August 3rd-7th
Multi-quire, wooden boarded codex from Egypt
The multi-quire, wooden boarded codex from Egypt is a small family of
bindings that structurally predate the familiar sewn through the fold,
laced on wooden board, leather covered binding of later eras. The model
made in this class is based on a reconstruction by Charles Lamacraft,
restorer at the British Museum in the early decades of the 20th c. In
1925, a ceramic jar was uncovered in Egypt containing 5 parchment
codices dating to the 6th c. AD.  Two of the five had bare wood boards,
stamped leather spines and multiple leather slips laced through the
boards (with no connection to the unsupported  sewing) leather wrapping
bands terminating in large, decorated bone slips to secure the bands and
a large decorative bookmarker.
Charles Lamacraft studied these early bindings and published an early
analysis and photographs of them.  He made at least 2 models of the book
structure based on the fairly complete but fragmented pieces of the
bindings.  One was for Chester Beatty, who purchased 3 of the ancient
books, and now resides in the Chester Beatty Library and another for
Prof. Kelsey of the University of Michigan who
purchased the other 2 remaining manuscripts in the jar. Kelsey's model
resides in the Rare Book Room of the University of Michigan Library.
Course tutor: Pamela Spitzmueller

Week 3: August 10th-14th
Late 18th century French Binding Structures
Apart from the French Revolution, one of the most exciting aspects of
late 18th C. French culture is the existence of two full-length
bookbinding manuals. This workshop will focus on reconstructing a
typical full calf French structure of this time period, by comparing and
contrasting the descriptions in these manuals and examining extant
bindings.  In some respects, this structure is the end of 1,200 years of
utilitarian leather binding- 50 years later the cloth case begins to
predominate. Some of the interesting features of this style include:
sewing on thin double cords; edges trimmed with a plough in-boards and
colored; double core endbands, vellum “comb” spine liners and
sprinkled cover decoration. Special emphasis will be placed on using
reproductions of period tools, constructed from Dudin and  Diderot’s
Encylopedie (1751-1780).  Participants will learn to use and maintain a
plough, and become fluent in translating written descriptions of
bookbinding into the construction of a model.  Extensive notations (in
English) on Gauffecourt’s Traite de la Relieure des Livres (1763) and
Dudin’s L’Art du Relieur-doreur de Livres (1772) will be provided.
Basic bookbinding skills are a prerequisite and materials will be
supplied at a nominal cost.
Course tutor: Jeff Peachey

Week 4: August 17th-21st
Ethiopian Bindings Workshop
This five day course is aimed at conservators interested in the history
of the book. The course will give an introduction to the history of
Ethiopian Bindings. Through a series of practical demonstrations and
exercises, participants will gain an understanding of the construction
of an Ethiopian binding within a cultural and historical context.
There will be an introductory lecture on Ethiopian Bindings, placing
them in the context of the history and development of book structures.
This will be followed by practical workshops focusing on:
Preparation of text block and wooden boards.
Sewing the text block and boards.
Endband construction and covering in leather.
Embossing leather with replica tools
The making of a traditional leather carrying pouch with camel skin
Participants will be required to bring some hand tools, a list will be
provided following registration. All materials will be supplied at a
nominal cost. Some knowledge of the history of bookbinding would be
desirable but is not essential.
Tutors: John Mumford / Caroline Checkley-Scott

Cheryl Porter is Manager of Conservation and Preservation at the
Thesaurus Islamicus Foundation and Deputy Director of the Project.  She
has been Director of the Montefiascone Project since its inception in
1988. After graduating from Camberwell College of Arts and Crafts, she
worked with the Paintings Analysis Unit at University College London
analysing the use of pigments in manuscripts. From 1992 to 2007 she
worked as a freelance conservator. She has published many articles
concerning colour in manuscripts and has lectured in the USA, Australia
and throughout Europe. 

Pamela Spitzmueller is Needham Chief Conservator for Special
Collections at the Weissman Preservation Center in the Harvard
University Libraries.  Pam previously headed Rare Book Conservation at
the University of Iowa Libraries, worked as Book Conservator at the
Library of Congress, and the Newberry Library in Chicago.   She
specializes in historical book structures and book sewing techniques,
and incorporates what she learns into conservation treatments of rare
books and creation of one of a kind artists' books. She has taught many
workshops on these topics.

Jeffrey S. Peachey is the owner of a New York City-based studio for the
conservation of books the maker of conservation tools and machines. He
is a Professional Associate in the American Institute for Conservation
and chair emeritus of the Conservators In Private Practice. For more
than 15 years, he has specialized in the conservation of books and paper
artifacts for institutions and individuals. A consultant to major
libraries and university collections in the New York City region and
nationally, he has been the recipient of numerous grants to support his
work. A well-known teacher, Peachey also provides conservation-focused
guidance to students in art, archives, and bookbinding programs.  

John Mumford is the currently head of Manuscript Conservation at the
Thesaurus Islamicus Foundation. He was formally Head of Book
Conservation at the British Library.  John served a five year
apprenticeship at the British Museum and subsequently helped establish
the Rare and Early Book Conservation Studio at the British Library. In
1992 he was appointed manager of the Oriental and India Office Book
Conservation Studio, furthering his study of early Oriental and Eastern
binding structures. In 1998 he became manager of the Oriental and
Eastern Book Conservation Studio at the new British Library at St
Pancras. He has taught frequently in Montefiascone and lectured and run
workshops throughout the UK, Argentina, Patmos and many other European
locations.

Caroline Checkley-Scott is currently head of Collection Care at the
John Ryland’s Library. Caroline, studied printing and bookbinding in
Dublin, Ireland. She was appointed trainee book conservator at the
British Library, London in 1991, where she worked at the House of Lords
in the Palace of Westminster, and the Oriental and India Office Library
and Records. Here she specialised in the conservation of early Christian
manuscripts from the Middle East. Caroline was formally head of
Conservation at the Wellcome Library and organised the planning and
design of the new Wellcome Conservation Studios. She is an accredited
member of the Institute of Paper Conservation. She has lectured both
nationally and internationally in Italy, Slovenia, Argentina and
Brazil.

The cost of the classes is: 445 British pounds  ($640 US, 500 Euro) per
week and includes all tuition(which is in English) and (most) materials.
The Montefiascone Project is a not-for-profit organization, and all
extra monies are used to finance the cataloguing and the conservation
and preservation of the collection.
For further information or to register for one week or more, please
contact Cheryl Porter: chezzaporter(at)yahoo(dot)com . More information is on
the website: www.monteproject.com