Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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1. A method of marking a book with hot irons that burn letters or symbols into one or more edges, generally for purposes of indicating ownership. Branding was most often employed in Mexico, and was initiated in the early 17th century by the monks in charge of convent libraries. Brands of iron or bronze were used, usually on the head edge, although it was sometimes done on the fore edge and occasionally on both head and tail edges. Unfortunately, the process often damaged the covers, title pages, and endpapers; however. as a mark of ownership, it was effective in deterring the theft of books, as the brand could only be removed by trimming deep into the margins. 2. The process of rolling a FLESHER or SHEEPSKIN with hot rolls for the purpose of smoothing the skin. (115 , 264 , 274 )

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