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Books as Art: Artist Books by Structure

This guide lists resources in Special Collections about the history of book creation, special binding and printing techniques, the development of illustrations, and artist's books.

Artists' Books by Structure

Accordion books are composed of a continuous folded sheet of paper and often enclosed between two covers.

Bands are removable wraps around the center of a book

Boxes and cases are structures designed to house a book.

Case Binding is a method of binding in which the book case (cover) is made separately from the textblock and later attached to it.

Coptic bindings have sections which are sewn through their folds and attached to each other with a chain stitch linking across the spine. Coptic binding can open to a completely flat position.

A dos-à-dos binding (from the French meaning "back-to-back") is a binding structure in which two separate books are bound together such that the fore edge of one is adjacent to the spine of the other, with a shared lower board between them serving as the back cover of both

Single sheets are folded and glued together at spine and fore edge. A technique that allows for page images to be printed across a page spread.

Japanese / Stab Binding is a way to bind books by sewing through the front cover, pages, and back cover of a book resulting in visible stitches on the cover and spine of the book.

Non Adhesive Binding is a way binding the pages together without using paste or glue.

The pamphlet stitch is a way of binding folded pages by sewing.

Perfect binding is a way of binding pages together by gluing rather than by sewing.

Post binding is a way to bind books by inserting and fastening some type of rod through front cover, pages, and back cover of a book.

Saddle stitch / staple binding is a way of binding binding pages together by stapling.

Spiral binding is a way of binding pages together by threading a plastic or metal spiral form through holes on the edge of the pages.

There are no choices whatsoever, nor is there any form of interactivity involved. In other words, it's basically a Short Story accompanied by visuals and audio.

Tunnel books contain pages that are held together by folded strips of paper on each side.

Special Collections Contact Information

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Special Collections
1015 Volunteer Boulevard
Knoxville, TN 37996
(865) 974-4480

We are open Monday-Friday: 9AM-12PM and 1PM-4PM by appointment only. Go to Visiting Special Collections for more information on how to request materials or make an appointment.