I have decided to conduct my research project on the history of bookbinding in America. I am still gathering sources, but my interest in this topic so far has been on the impact of mass-produced books on methods of bookbinding. I will also examine the art of bookbinding by hand in contemporary America through an analysis of courses offered at the American Academy of Bookbinding.
I am starting my research with a book entitled Bookbinding in America. It’s a little dated, but it is a nice starting point. I am currently looking at conditions leading to the introduction of machines to bookbinding. I am also looking at the introduction of cloth bindings, the beginnings of casing, the invention of machines operated by hand, then by horse, then by steam and now by electricity.
The meat of my paper, however, will be the role mass-produced paperback books played in changing bookbinding in America. I will also look at how hardcover books are bound in contemporary America, how hardcover bindings differ from paperback bindings, and why hardcover books, which are presumably more expensive to bind, are still produced (I will look at the motivation driving this production).
So far, the subject of my paper seem a little random, so my primary task over the next week or so will be to find some kind of continuity between these subjects.