Why we do it
In this digital age when nearly any writing or image from throughout history can be accessed with a single click, the physical book may seem an anachronism. While ‘content’ is preserved and certainly made more widely available through digital means, the physical book is much, much more than just content. Handling and touching the book, we connect with the spirit of all those who had a part in its making and all of those who have read and used it. To the book collector, the physical book is an historical artifact. To the bookbinding historian, the physical book tells the story of changing technology both through the years and across continents. To the cultural historian, the physical book, especially one with inscriptions and marginal notes, reveals how people related to knowledge and to one another. To a family member the physical book connects generation to generation spanning the years, or perhaps the centuries.
Whether we are book dealers or collectors, family members, or caring for an institutional collection, each one of us is a steward of our collective cultural heritage. This heritage has been passed down by those who came before us. We are charged with its care for the time it is in our hands, and we will pass it on to those who follow. Our spirit joins with those of all others held our book.
As bookbinders our aim is to assist you in preserving your books in the most appropriate way. To do this, we will carefully inspect the volume and discuss with you possible treatment options and their costs. Together we can return your book to attractive and usable condition, making it possible for those in the future to be able to continue to read and enjoy it.
How we do it
We work with cloth, paper, leather, vellum and gold leaf. All materials are chosen for durability, longevity, and aesthetic quality. Certainly we are concerned with and work hard to be certain the book ‘looks’ good. Some of the extra steps we take include custom toning of materials to match or compliment the original, or to make a new binding look age-appropriate. But behind the apparent looks of the book, there are important though unseen factors that determine whether a book will function smoothly and, indeed, whether it will hold up well over time. We take great care not just with the outer and obvious qualities, but with the ‘mechanical engineering’ as well, to ensure that the book opens and turns well now, and continues to do so in the future.
Who we are
Jack Fitterer began his interest in the book arts, especially lettering, as a child. While in college he began his formal studies in calligraphy. After graduation he continued studying and practicing calligraphy and then added printing on the handpress, paper marbling and bookbinding. He does all the leather work and some of the paper restoration and cloth binding as well marbling all the paper we use in the shop.
Taff Fitterer knew from the time her hand could hold a pencil that she would be an artist. Her degrees are in painting which she continues to do. You can see her paintings here. In the workshop she uses her skills with a brush to produce dust jacket restoration of high quality, as well as doing much of the cloth binding and other paper restoration.
We are located in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York.
Roscoe is our chief packaging inspector, making sure that all boxes have sufficient cushioning to protect your books during return shipping.