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The Book | Vellum & Parchment | Papermaking | Calligraphy | Wood engraving | Typography | Letterpress printing | Paper decorating | Bookbinding | Artists' Books | Conservation | Bibliography

The arts of the book are those traditional disciplines or crafts interested and/or connected with the making of books as well as their consituent parts. These include bookbinding, artists' books, fine printing & typography, papermaking, calligraphy, book illustration including wood engraving, paper decorating including marbling, and box making. CBBAG has tried to simplify definitions of book arts, artists' books, livres d'artiste, private press, design binding, etc., in bookbinding semantics.

With the advent of the mass-produced book and, some would say, the introduction of television, the well-crafted book has become an art form. Many artists are devoting their creative energies to the production of unique books or book objects (sometimes in very limited editions) which, textually, may be about anything, and celebrate nothing so much as their "bookness." These are known as artists' books. Other book artists prefer to perfect one of the constituent parts -- specializing with a pen or a graver; trying to make a superior sheet of paper, or to lay down a "kiss" impression with a cranky old press.

In these pages you will learn more about the subjects listed above -- and others. Bear in mind, though, that what information is presented here is simply an introduction: to learn about any of these subjects in real detail, well, that's what books are for! And workshops, and websites, and mentors, and mailing lists (several of which are listed below). For now, you can visit the CBBAG In-Studio Workshops page to find out what CBBAG courses are coming up and about the Home Study Programme, or visit some other sites on the web devoted to those subjects. If you can contribute words or images to improve what's here, or helpful advice of any kind, please notify the web administrator at cbbag@cbbag.ca.

Book Arts Mailing Lists

Mailing lists are e-mail discussion groups. When you subscribe to one (or more) you will automatically receive e-mail from the list every time one of the members posts a question, an answer, a complaint, a flame, and more. Listed below are several mailing lists with instructions on how to subscribe. The instructions must be followed carefully: do not include signature files or extraneous messages of any kind -- just the message exactly as shown (substituting your real name if requested).

The address given is the address to which you send the subscribing information. It goes to a computer, not a human being: if you don't subscribe properly, the computer will not know what to do with your subscription. If your subscription is accepted, you will receive a set of instructions by return e-mail: KEEP THESE INSTRUCTIONS! They will tell you how to unsubscribe; how to stop receiving mail temporarily when you go on vacation; how to find the archives of past postings; etc.

Book_Arts-L -- A discussion group for all book arts
You can join this group by sending the message "subscribe Book_Arts-L Your Name" to listserv@listserv.syr.edu.

TYPO-L -- Discussion of Type and Typographic Design
You can join this group by sending the message "sub TYPO-L your name" to listserv@listserv.hea.ie.

LETPRESS -- Letterpress Discussion List
You can join this group by sending the message "sub LETPRESS your name" to listserv@listserv.unb.ca.

CALLIG List -- A discussion group for calligraphy
You can join this group by sending the message "subscribe" to callig-request@calligraph.com

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