World Book Day – making the books

Blackie and Son

Blackie and Son


Today is World Book Day and to celebrate we wanted to give you a glimpse at the book making process through photographs from our publishing archives. We have records from several publishers, most notably Blackie & Sons based in Bishopbriggs, William Collins & Son and Lumsden of Arden.

Bookbinding is an evolutionary process that has changed a great deal since the introduction of the first codex. The size and use of books themselves as well as developments in technology are some of the factors that have promoted these changes. It is not only the process but the materials used to make books that are different; from animal skins to old rags and finally to the paper that we recognise today, the book has had many different facelifts over the years. Special Collections have more information about the history of the book.

Today there are many varied ways of binding books, some of the processes are shown in these photographs taken from the William Collins, Sons and Co. Ltd collection.

In this first photograph the typeset is being laid out and the next photograph shows the illustrations being painted.


Typeset is being laid out by staff at William Collins


Illustrations being painted by staff at William Collins

Here we can see books being hand stitched together and finally the finished books are packaged up and sent out down a large chute.

Stitching books at William Collins

Stitching books at William Collins

Packaged books

Packaged books

Also of interest today are our chapbooks from the James Lumsden collection as mentioned in one of our recent blogs for National Storytelling Week.

If you would like to find out more about any of our collections please contact us.

Categories: Archive Services

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1 reply

  1. Reblogged this on Cardmon's Blog and commented:
    A definite read.

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