International 'task force'
- It is with great pleasure that I submit this summary, announcement and call=
The work will be enormous, and every kind of help will be appreciated.
A standard terminology for decorated paper
First target of an international 'task force'
On invitation of the Buch und Schriftmuseum of the Deutsche Bücherei in Lei=
pzig, a two-
day meeting (27-28 Febr. 2004) was organised on the current topic of decora=
The 18 participants, residents from Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and t=
represented the major disciplines involved in this intriguing subject: coll=
book and paper scientists and historians, conservators, and decorated paper=
manufacturers. This 'colourful' multidisciplinary group of experts offered =
platform for state-of-the-art presentations and fruitful discussions on bot=
h technical and
theoretical issues. The communications presented by the specialists reveale=
d a fascinating
spectrum of ongoing decorated paper projects, including new research into i=
production process of brocade paper, the use of sample books for identifica=
dating purposes, a study on Oriental silhouette papers, the publication of =
a catalogue on
historic printing blocks, transcription and database access of recipe manus=
cripts, an art-
historical doctorate study on ornaments and patterns, and several conservat=
digitisation and retrieval projects.
The lack of an established vocabulary for decorated papers, was unanimously=
very serious problem, hampering progress in general and specifically in cat=
improving the access of collections. Consequently, it was decided to make a=
t a joint effort
to establish a standard terminology for decorated paper, covering both East=
Western hand made and machine made papers; co-operating as an international=
force', the pursue of this objective may result in a fundamental basis for =
collaboration. It was agreed that the primary focus should be on the develo=
pment of a
suitable decorated paper thesaurus, in which the terms of the distinctive c=
unambiguously defined and presented in a hierarchical context. The attendan=
ts of the
meeting acknowledged that the recognisable features of the manufacturing pr=
well as the mere visual image, i.e. appearance, should play a role in the c=
system. The ultimate list of decorated paper terms should preferably be int=
egrated in a
more general system for paper terminology, such as the 'Paper Terms' thesau=
by the ALA Association of College and Research Libraries (1990). Finally, w=
e do not have to
start from 'scratch' and shall have the advantage to build further on previ=
standardisation attempts, among others by the International Association of =
Historians (IPH), which erected a special subcommittee for this purpose, an=
d the Belgian-
Dutch Society of Students of Bookbinding, that published a proposal for an =
standard for Western hand made decorated papers in 1994.
The fact that a clear consensus was reached with regard to the approach cer=
confidence in the success of our undertaking. Although the enormous variati=
complexity of decorated paper, both in its production techniques and in its=
surely offer many stumbling blocks, we are determined to make a safe passag=
this 'mine field' and are convinced to succeed in our efforts.
We fully realise that an attempt to standardise decorated paper terminology=
produce a generally accepted result, if a broader circle of interested and =
individuals is able to offer input. Therefore, any reader who can make a me=
contribution to our enterprise, or give support in any other way, is kindly=
address the contact person indicated underneath.
Dr. Henk J. Porck
Curator Paperhistorical Collection, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, National Libra=
ry of the
P.O. Box 90407, 2509 LK The Hague, The Netherlands
HYPERLINK mailto:henk.porck@... henk.porck@...