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Title(s):

The drying book.

Published/Created:
[Great Britain] : [publisher not identified], [approximately 1820]
Physical Description:
1 volume ([12] unnumbered leaves) ; 43 cm
Holdings:
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Folio A 2013 15
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Information
Classification:
Books
Notes:
Large folio blank album, bound by the manufacturer in sugar paper wrappers, with printed label on front cover: "The drying book." The volume comprises 12 blank leaves, on heavy wove paper, with no watermark. It includes a silk ribbon tie on the leading edge of the rear cover. The paper is not watermarked, but the volume appears to date to about 1820. The manufacturer is unidentified.
The precise function of the drying book is not evident. It may have been used, for example, to blot excess ink from freshly written letters. It is also possible that the drying book was part of an ensemble of tools used to make copies of printed or manuscript material ca. 1800. Rhodes and Streeter note: "The drying book was ... composed of absorbent paper, and was used to dry the newly made copies in, providing light compression so that they dried without cockling. Dampening and drying books remained part of the standard equipment for letterpress copying well into the nineteenth century. The London firm of Nissen and Parker were selling these accessories along with letter presses at least as late as 1850." (Rhodes, Barbara J. Before photocopying : the art & history of mechanical copying, 1780-1938. New Castle, Del. : Oak Knoll Press, 1999. Page 11). The second leaf of the present "drying book" includes faint marks apparently offset from printed material. One cannot rule out other functions for the volume as well, such as the drying of botanical specimens.
Subject Terms:
Botanical specimens -- Collection and preservation.
Botanical specimens -- Drying.
Copying processes.
Form/Genre:
Blotting paper.
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