Beauty, by B.H. Fairchild, published by Blackbird Press

Beauty by B.H. Fairchild was a recent gift to Iowa State University Library Special Collections from the Rodney Fox Estate.  Published by Blackbird Press, this limited edition has been illustrated with linocuts by Anna Alquitela, and bound by Jean Gillingwators.  While the book case is not, in fact, “full metal,” (it appears to be constructed of metallic paper or foil laid over lightweight boards), the binding structure is.

Hinges invented by Daniel Kelm and produced by Drew Gillingwators

The book has been bound with thin metal rods and elegant hinges invented by Daniel Kelm and reproduced for this edition by Drew Gillingwators.

Original clamshell box, with volume inside on raised platform

It is always a joy to come across a unique binding structure in the course of our work, but it was with some relief that I realized this volume, in its own clamshell box, was destined for Special Collections.  Only careful handling prevents the metal rods at the inner fold of the signatures from sliding free of the hinging structure, so its shelf life — so to speak — would be short indeed in the General Collections.  The book opens smoothly, with no stuttering on the part of the hinges, and lays flat beautifully.  Have you come across any such mechanical bindings, with neither adhesive nor sewing?

Click on the image for an enlarged view


Click on the image for an enlarged view