Museum of Design Bindings
Jan and I are in charge of organizing and designing the Museum of Design Bindings for our city, Loket in the Czech Republic. This will be the first Museum of Design Bindings in the world, as far as we know. The museum will be located in "Black Tower." It is a romantic, beautiful medieval tower in the central square of our town .
The Museum will consist of permanent exhibition of historical bookbinding machines and tools as well as design bindings from beginning of bookbinding history till end of the 20th century. We will also have some original historical bindings but most of historical section will be displayed with colored photographs, because as you know those old books are extremely expensive. The museum will also house a collection of fine bindings from Czech and other foreign binders.
The city will be employing a guide who will take care of the tourists. There will be a 19th century small bindery also. Where visitors will be able to tool something simple to take with them. It will be a great attraction! The opening of the museum is June 21.2001!
As you can imagine the budget for the Museum is not huge. Our city is small, Loket has only 3000 residents. The city is in the process of renovating the "Black Tower". This part is almost done. We are currently having glass panels and cases built for the books and visual documentation. The budget is strained with the cost of renovations therefore it is impossible for the museum to afford to pay for the fine bindings in the collection. We have asked for donations and help from the Czech bookbinding community and the response has been overwhelmly successful. They are so nice! They have sent us their bindings as gifts. They have also donated beautiful old tools and machines. Some tools are from their grandparents - bookbinders. We find this extremely kind being that they had been saving them at home as family treasures.
The Museum was originally designed to house Czech bookbindings only. However, we are changing this into international collection. This change has come about because our foreign bookbinder friends have generously offered their books as gifts upon learning about the collection. We never dreamt that these good, foreign bookbinders would be willing to part with their bindings.
At the beginning, we were afraid, it would be very difficult to build the Museum and start a collection of fine books with the low budget but it has been the opposite. Since there has been a lot of newspaper and TV coverage, people, who hear it or read about the Museum, are coming to Loket and bringing us their old journals and books. This Museum business has restored my faith in people's goodness. We are happy, seeing generous behavior from some bookbinders. I mean even bookbinders, about whom we know that they are very poor, yet, they are giving their bindings for the museum as a gift. Everyday, we are getting something. These books will be part of bookbinding history in the international Museum of Fine Binding in Loket, forever. It is so exciting!
We are looking forward to your visit in Loket
Jarmila and Jan Sobota
357 33 Loket
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