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From the Hand to the Machine Nineteenth-Century American Paper and Mediums: Technologies, Materials, and Conservation


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No where did the industrial revolution occur faster and to such a degree than in the United States during the 1800s. American paper and printing industries grew exponentially, enabling the mass production of reading material. New businesses specialized in art reproductions for homes of the middle class, employing nineteenth-century inventions, lithography and photography.

Today, paper and book conservators are faced with problems of identifying a bewildering array of papers and mediums that comprise nineteenth-century artifacts, as well as analyzing complex deterioration processes. Basing sound storage and exhibition recommendations, and conservation treatments on as much material and technological information as possible is crucial if the conservator is to make the correct decisions for the preservation of valued artifacts.

This book will also inform librarians, archivists, curators, cataloguers, collectors, and bibliographers, as well as books-arts practitioners—all who wish to know more about papers and mediums used in both the hand and machine eras.

Contents: history of the American paper industry; typical materials, processes, and technologies used in hand and machine papermaking; letterpress printing, fine printmaking (intaglio, lithography), photo-mechanical reproductions; dry and wet writing, drawing, and painting mediums; decorated papers are also discussed. Appendices include contemporary accounts of hand and machine papermaking; testing procedures; preservation recommendations; glossary, bibliography, and index.

In 2005, Dr. Baker received the Samuel H. Kress Conservation Publication Fellowship  to write this book. She is a Fellow of the American Institute for Conservation (AIC), and the author of several books, including By His Own Labor: The Biography of Dard Hunter. In 2012 in addition to being awarded the AIC’s first publication award. Dr. Baker also received the AIC Sheldon & Caroline Keck Teaching Award. She is Conservation Librarian Emerita, University of Michigan.

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Cathleen Ann Baker
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