The Art of Marbling. North Hills, PA: Bird & Bull Press, 1980.
Franz Weisse (1878-1952) was a German bookbinder and marbler trained under the apprentice system. His manual on marbling, Die Kunst des Marmorierens (1940), which is here translated into English for the first time, was one of the last such manuals printed by a master craftsman before the craft fell into decline. It was also the first manual to use photographs alongside the descriptive text to demonstrate how to make marbled paper. The Bird & Bull Press edition also includes samples of marbled paper (which were not present in the original), so as to provide a demonstration of the techniques that Weisse is describing. The original German edition of Weisse's manual is extremely scarce, as many of the copies were destroyed during the Second World War..
Typewritten letter to Henry Morris, with attached marbled paper samples, 20 June 1978. Bird & Bull Press Archives.
Fine Printing and Publishing and Bookselling in the USA: 1980. Port Clarendon: Cul-de-Sac Press [i.e., North Hills, PA: Bird & Bull Press], 1980.
This book was printed by Morris as a joke to mock perceived pretensions in the fine press and book arts movements. In the foreword, the author proclaims that this book is meant "to record for posterity the triumphs, advances and accomplishments of some of the leading bookpersons in America today." Aside from the front matter, the entire book consists of printed waste sheets with several layers of image printed over them, creating an incomprehensible jumble of type.
Practical Remarks on Modern Paper. North Hills, PA: Bird & Bull Press, 1981.
Originally published in 1829, John Murray's Practical Remarks on Modern Paper was the first book to raise concerns about the risk that books printed on acidic paper would be chemically unstable and thus subject to degradation over time. Technological advances had recently led to the industrialization of papermaking, and Murray was concerned that the methods and chemicals in use were lessening the quality and long-term longevity of the paper being produced. Murray's fears proved true. While early handmade paper has remained structurally stable for centuries, the mass-produced papers of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries have not, and present many more preservation problems than papers that are centuries older.
Practical Remarks on Modern Paper, With An Introductory Account of its Former Substitutes; Also Observations on Writing Inks, the Restoration of Illegible Manuscripts, and the Preservation of Important Deeds From the Destructive Effects of Damp. Edinburgh: William Blackwood, 1829.
Bon Mot. [North Hills, PA: Bird & Bull Press, 1981.].
Japonica: The Study and Appreciation of the Art of Japanese Paper. North Hills, PA: Bird & Bull Press, 1981.
Japonica contains original samples of chiyogami (Japanese decorated papers) which were originally collected by Dard Hunter in 1933, during a trip that eventually resulted in his A Papermaking Pilgrimage to Japan, Korea and China (1936). Hunter planned to use these materials in one of his books, but never did so. His son suggested that Morris might want to use the paper samples for one of his publications, which, in turn, led to Japonica's conception. Other samples for Japonica were derived from a collection of nine nineteenth-century sample books.
Japanese paper sample book, [nineteenth-century?]. Bird & Bull Press Archives.
This is an unused example of the type of sample book that supplied raw material for Japonica.
Cartographers of the Deus Loci: The Mill House. North Hills, PA: Bird & Bull Press, 1982.
This poem is about the Mill House in Marlborough, New York, so named for being the site where Dard Hunter set up his first paper mill in 1913. Morris identifies this as the beginning of the twentieth-century revival of hand papermaking in America. The book is printed on paper that was made by Dard Hunter in 1930, at the Lime Rock Mill. Portions of the proceeds from the sale of the book were donated to help restore and preserve the Mill House, which is now a museum.
Pencil sketches of the title page design for Cartographers of the Deus Loci, [circa 1982]. Bird & Bull Press Archives.
Another interesting tidbit.
English Book Prospectuses: An Illustrated History. newtown, PA: Bird & Bull Press, 1984.
English Book Prospectuses covers the history of the prospectus - a document printed to advertise a book - in England from the seventeenth century to the present day. The book is illustrated with reproductions of prospectuses housed in the Bodleian Library, dating from 1610 onwards. As originally conceived, each copy of English Book Prospectuses would be accompanied by a selection of original book prospectuses. This proved impractical, due to the scarcity and cost of surviving originals. The project was originally suggested by Dennis Fleigenbaum in 1981, and was published as a joint venture between Morris' Bird & Bull Press and Fleigenbaum's Daedalus Press.
Engraved printer's plate for the prospectus Proposal for Printing Judge Winch's Book of Special Pleadings (1679), reproduction for the facsimile printed in English Book Prospectuses, 1984. Bird & Bull Press Archives.
Facsimile of prospectus for The Altar Book (1896).
This facsimile prospectus was issued with Early English Book Prospectuses.
Facsimile of prospectus for Proposal for Printing Judge Winch's Book of Special Pleadings (1679).
This facsimile prospectus was issued with Early English Book Prospectuses. The engraved wood block that was used to print this facsimile can also be seen on display.
Trade Tokens of British and American Booksellers & Bookmakers. newtown, PA: Bird & Bull Press, 1989.
Trade tokens were issued by British and American booksellers from the seventeenth through nineteenth-centuries. They were used as coinage for everyday transactions in order to make up for shortages of official small-denomination coins. The tokens could also be used as advertisements or as propaganda. At the time that this book was printed, the only other monograph written on the subject was William Longman's Tokens of the Eighteenth Century, printed in 1916. The book also includes a portfolio of ten tokens designed by modern-day presses, and cast in the style of their historic counterparts.
Kolophon, Colophon. [newtown, PA]: Bird & Bull Press, 1989.
This book contains a silver Tetartemorion, a coin produced at the Kolophon mint in Ionia, Greece, circa 430-400 BCE. Kolophon, Colophon was printed in an edition of two copies, with a third copy being bound together with Morris' personal copy of 30 Years of Bird and Bull.
Mock-up of Kolophon, Colophon, with Morris's manuscripts notes and corrections, 1989. Bird & Bull Press Archives.
Morris' notes include instructions about how to construct the material for the book. The one line which he has crossed out here was reinserted in the final text.
Adlai Stevenson's Cat Bill Veto. [newtown, PA]: Bird & Bull Press, 1989.