We are also featuring
exhibitions on paper history at our new gallery space in Williamsburg at 31
Grand Street, Brooklyn, New York.
Click here to read about our new exhibit.
1. Old books and rare books on the subject of
papermaking. Among the authors and/or private presses represented in our
collection are Dard Hunter and Dard Hunter II, Henry Morris, Walter Hamady,
Jesper Trier, Fred Siegenthaler, R.H. Clapperton, Matthias Koops, Alembic
Press, Cannabis Press, Roycroft Press, Janus Press, Sea Pen Press. We also
have a large collection of European books or parts of books spanning the
15th through the 19th century, all printed on handmade paper.
2. Rare book forms, including accordion-fold prayer books of Cambodia, Burma
and Thailand, of which the most extraordinary is a 16th century Khmer
manuscript illuminated by palace paintings; palm-leaf books with incised
writings; lacquer manuscripts; and writings on metal, papyrus, vellum and amatl, all representing various ancient cultures.
3. Papermaking moulds and tools, both Asian and European. We have a
considerable collection of moulds from the historic mill at Wookey Hole,
England, made by the Green Co., and many moulds made by the Amies Co. Our
Asian moulds and beating tools come from dozens of papermaking villages in
China, Japan, Nepal, Myanmar, Vietnam and Korea.
4. Handmade papers, numbering in the many hundreds. We have collected
examples of handmade papers wherever we have traveled. In many cases we have
found the fibers used in the papers, and these are also displayed.
5. The McClure collection. In 1985 we were given, in trust, the collection
of Dr. Floyd Alonzo McClure, a botanist who lived and worked in China from
1920 to 1940. Dr. McClure was fascinated with handmade paper, and during his
long stay in China acquired a huge assortment of papers with a view to
eventually writing a book about them. This did not materialize in his
lifetime, but Elaine Koretsky discovered the papers in 1981, and edited a
book about them, using some of the paper as samples. The book, Chinese
Handmade Paper, was published by Bird & Bull Press in 1986. The rest of the
collection, still gathered into their original seven boxes and trunks,
remains at the Carriage House for study.
6. The Tongan Collection. In 1990 Elaine spent two weeks in Tonga and Samoa,
studying the process of pounding mulberry bark to produce ngatu, better
known by its Samoan name, tapa, or bark cloth. We have an entire collection
of materials, tools and finished ngatu and tapa on display, plus amatl from
Mexico, bark cloth from Uganda and bark paper from Indonesia.
7. Papermaking plants. This is a living collection of plants that have been
used historically in the making of paper by hand. It includes paper mulberry
or "kozo", Broussonetia papyrifera; papyrus, Cyperus papyrifera; the "paper
plant of Nepal", Daphne bholua; the Japanese shrub "mitsumata", Edgeworthia
chrysantha; sisal, Agave sisalana; abaca, Musa textilis; various types of
cotton, Gossypium sp.; flax, Linum usitatissimum; China grass, or ramie,
Boehmeria nivea; jute, Corchorus sp.; rice, Oryza sativa; bow-string hemp,
Sanseveria; and winged Celtis, Celtis pteroceltis.
8. We are unsure about listing this as one of our highlights, but we
probably have the largest collection of handmade toilet paper in the world.
China, where paper was invented, was also the first to make paper for
sanitary purposes, at least as early as the ninth century A. D. Incredibly,
this type of paper is still made by hand, and we have many examples from
China, Vietnam and Myanmar.
9. Audio-visual material. We have slides, movies and videos documenting hand
papermaking all over the world. The videos produced by our studio may be
purchased from us.
10. Contemporary papermaking in the 21st century. On file are handsome
catalogues and publications of contemporary works in handmade paper, where
the paper is used as the medium for art forms. Also on view are sample
papers made by leading handmade paper mills throughout the world.