Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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edition binding

The business of binding identical books in quantity, usually for a publisher or distributor, as opposed to binding done for an individual and LIBRARY BINDING . Edition binding usually involves the production of a type of binding known as case binding, generally in hard covers. Paperback books and other books with flexible and semi-flexible covers are produced by adhesive binderies, although adhesive binding is by no means unknown in edition binding.

The designation "case binding" or "casebound" indicates that the cover has two distinct characteristics: it is made separately from the book, and it consists of rigid or flexible boards covered with cloth, paper, leather substitutes, and, upon occasion, leather or other materials, in such a manner that the covered material surrounds the outside as well as the edges of the boards.

The major distinguishing characteristic of edition binding is the extensive use of semi-automatic and automatic equipment, some of which operates at very high speeds. This equipment is capable of processing thousands of books in a relatively short time, primarily because all of the books processed in one run are of identical size and format. Because a large, modern edition bindery uses as much automatic (and expensive) equipment as possible, edition runs smaller than about 1,500 copies are not ordinarily handled by edition binderies but by job binders and sometimes even library binders.

The equipment commonly found in a large edition bindery includes:

    Blocking presses
    Board cutters
    Book jacketing machines
    Bundling presses
    Case-making machines
    Casing-in machines
    Cloth slitting machines
    Cutter-perforating machines
    Endpaper-signature stripping machines
    Endpaper tipping machines
    Folding machines
    Gathering machines
    Glueing-off machines
    Nipping presses
    Rounding and backing machines
    Saddle-stitching machines
    Sewing machines
    Three-knife trimmers
    Tipping machines
    Triple liner and headbanding machines
    Wrapping machines (book jacketing machines).

The progression of modern edition binding from purely handwork to a high degree of mechanization followed a course which may be divided into four fairly distinct phases: 1) all processes performed by hand or hand-manipulated tools—about 1780 to 1830; 2) a simplifying and speeding up of the processes while the work is still performed largely with hand tools, a change which was due largely to the pressures exerted by the increased speed of printing presses� to 1870; 3) progressive introduction of machines to handle certain manipulations, e.g., folding, gathering, sewing, etc., with the balance of the processes still being done largely by hand� to 1910; and 4) the present state in which the great majority of the processes are performed by machines, a phase which marks the complete breaking away of the modern industry from the parent craft of hand bookbinding—about 1950 to the present. (58 , 89 , 299 , 314 , 320 , 339 )

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