The varying forms of recording events and ideas changed from age to age with the development of civilization. Long before an alphabet was conceived, and writing developed, man had been recording his thoughts and events on cave walls or rock outcrops with great effect. Later, using hieroglyphics and varying alphabets, man started to use other bases for his writings including stone, wood, animal skins and papyrus.
Papyrus was rolled into scrolls which eventually gave way to the flat sheet of the codex, or the flat book of the Christian era. As vellum superseded papyrus, the written sheets were folded, gathered into sections and sewn together. From this point, the codex, or book as we know it today, with its structure and form, emerged.
History and its recording usually only shows the visual changes to the outside of the book, the style of decoration and its changes through time, the shape, the materials used, the use of gold and metal. Construction methods including natural round, sewing styles, sewing supports, attachment of boards and the many styles of corners and headbands are not generally recorded but are just as important to the modern book restorer.
The codex as we know it today emerged as early as the 2nd century AD, at first using papyrus then the stronger but more serviceable parchment/vellum. The bindings from the first to the fifth century were by todays standards, rough in their execution but definitely an important stage of the evolution. Early vellum pages were illuminated and bound into books in monasteries by the monks. The use of paper in books generally coincides with the introduction of printing in the late fifteenth century.
Thick leather thongs were used as sewing supports, and were attached into the wooden boards by means of holes and small wooden wedges. Leather thongs later gave way to fibre cords and even later to woven tapes. The early sewing supports, being raised from the spine surface became part of the spine design and are refered to as raised bands. The introduction of recessed sewing in the sixteenth century resulted in a smooth spine devoid of bands and panels. This also allowed for the introduction of the hollow back which allowed books with heavy paper to open more easily, and gave the binder the whole spine on which to apply an overall design. The French used this style of tooling with great successs, but most binders kept to the orthodox style of paneling by tooling the bands in gold. Tradition has kept the raised bands, either by them being sewn on, or by applying them as false bands. Today, we can apply leather strips as false raised bands over the most modern sewing methods to retain that look of a real book.
In early bindings, wood was the usual material employed as cover boards as the emergence of pulped boards later coincided with papermaking. Wood and its weight was found to be a good way of containing the yawning of the vellum leaves, caused by atmospheric changes. Heavy metal decorations and clasps were popular for this very same reason. Boards have changed over time, pasteboard, rope filled board, tar board,strawboard, mill board and boxboard, although modern mill board is the one recommended for use by todays binders.
Early books were generaly large and cumbersome compared to those bound after the introduction of printing. As more books could be printed, more books needed to be bound. Books became smaller in size, so binding methods were refined.
Leather has been in constant use as a covering material since the earliest times. The use of Vellum, Alum tawed pig and goat skins, Calf, Deer, Sheep and Russia leather have all been part of the books history. Covering styles have also changed over time to include full, half and quarter styles, the latter two progresivly introduced to save costs.
Professor Roohollah Bagherzadeh’s research interests include Flexible Piezoelectric Power Harvesting materials, and High-Performance Biomaterials and the use of these in the development of Functional Fibrous Materials. A current focus involves the use of these tools and materials in developing Power harvesting and Nanogenerator from the molecular to functional clothing domains in order to harvest mechanical energy from environment and biological systems for powering a personal electronics. Roohollah has published more than 35 refereed publications; and co-authored several chapter books. Roohollah completed his PhD (2010) degrees at Amirkabir University of Technology (AUT), and was awarded a Research Scholar scholarship from Deakin University, Australia, in 2011. He was appointed as a Assistant Professor at the AUT in 2012.
University of Technology Sydney, Australia.
Some editions of the publication "" are available from these libraries. The edition containing this article ( 2013 Sept 10, p.5692 ) may not be available:
The Thesis | Adelaide Graduate Centre - University of Adelaide
& May, Ronald J.
Eighth Waigani Seminar [Port Moresby Papua New Guinea].
The Research School of Pacific Studies, The Australian National University and The University of Papua New Guinea.
Article Essays: Thesis Binding Adelaide University …
MAY, Ronald J., Editor.
Papers delivered at the Sixth Waigani Seminar sponsored jointly by The University of Papua and New Guinea, The Australian National University, the Administrative College of Papua and New Guinea, the Council on New Guinea Affairs and The Papua and New Guinea Society, held at Port Moresby 30 April to 5 May 1972.
The Research School of Pacific Studies, The Australian National University.
Thesis Binding Adelaide University
photos, text line drawings, 5 maps; hardcover in reproduction dust jacket; ex library copy, foxing in the text, spine ends frayed, library number on spine o/wise good condition.