headbands and how to find them

The subject of Headbands and how to make them came up on the Book Arts list. (the headband is the doohickey on the top pf the spine that is supposed to protect the spine of the book when you tug on it.)

I always assumed Jane Greenfield’s Headbands and How to work them, was the definitive text on making them, but there are bits and pieces stuck in every binding book everywhere.

Alan Shalette did a survey of his 200 plus volume collection of books on bookbinding and create a unified index. Which is in a word jawdroppingly complete and just splediferous in that geeky fashion information junkies get all hot for. link to pdf Union Index References for ‘Headband’ or ‘Endband’

From Alan:

My collection of books on bookmaking, book craft, bookbinding, and the like now numbers over 200 titles. In addition, I’ve sourced the internet for
related information — e.g. for “The Bookbinder”, “The Book Collector”, and BonaDea’s “Conservation Book Repair“. The bibliography is strongly biased in favor of bookmaking, bookcraft, and conservation.

Even when the number of titles was just a few dozen, I often spent too much time thumbing through indexes, tables of contents, etc., to find specific details. This was hard on both my thumbs and the books.

I finally resolved to find a better way after once spending an enormous amount of time trying to locate information about the reason for beveling
the inner corners of boards. I knew it was there, but not where there was.

To solve the problem, I developed my union index database.

I create index entries by doing OCR scans of individual pages – indexes, tables of contents, lists of figures, and the like. When necessary, I’ll
create new entries for un-indexed or under-indexed books (egregiously, Jane Greenfield’s “ABC…”). Recently, I’ve begun using my digital camera to
photograph rather than scan pages, then passing the resulting images to my OCR software. This significantly reduces wear and tear of the books vs.

Next, I edit the OCR results to eliminate translation errors. Then I eliminate accent marks, convert foreign spellings (mostly British English
converted to American, such as substituting “color” for ‘colour’), and generally make the contents of records uniform across the various sources.

Finally, I move the edited entries into an MS Access database where I’ve created a search function that supports queries like (“this AND that” OR “the other”) BUT NOT (“something else”.) I’ve found that this logic significantly reduces irrelevant results.

The index now contains over 70,000 subject-page-title entries. A typical query takes 10-15 seconds.

My work now continues at a rather slower pace than when I first began. I think my backlog is about 2-3 dozen titles, my magnum opus being “The Bookbinding Trades Journal“.

Alan Shalette

Above image from flickr is Linen sketchbook – Headband
Originally uploaded by Zoopress studio.

the credit line keeps disappearing and reappearing, go figure.

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