This Folio Life: Creating the facsimile of Love is Enough
One of the most challenging elements of facsimile publication is the reproduction work required.
The Morgan Library & Museum in New York, where the original copy of Love is Enough is held, photographed each page and supplied us with digital files. Each page is photographed next to a colour bar, to ensure the proofs we produce are true to the colours of the original.
Our repro house merges the two pages to make a spread and provide the first digital proof, which we mark up with instructions: to get rid of the join in the spine, to extend the page edges, to delete the set-off (i.e. where the image has transferred to the facing page) and to clean up spots/marks. Extending page edges is painstaking work, achieved through repeated duplication of the background area, but it is necessary to do so in order to even out the page size which almost always varies with old books bound by hand, and to create ‘bleed’ so that when the text is printed, the page can be trimmed back to the size of the original.
This second proof shows that the page edges have been extended and the pages have been merged at the spine, to form a spread. There are still a few spots to clean up. However, the page on the left is too clean – the repro house replaced the page with a solid block of colour which looks wrong, rather than duplicating the background colour of the original page, which shows the original paper texture.
Finally, here are some unbound sheets, showing the printed result!
Above, it was necessary to remove the set-off from the right-hand spread, whilst retaining the show-through (i.e. any image showing through from previous page, in this case the daffodil stalks) from the left hand spread.
It is essential to check proofs carefully to ensure that the original image is never removed when pages are cleaned up or extended – see below!
I was delighted to have the opportunity to meet John Bidwell (Astor Curator of Printed Books and Bindings at the Morgan Library & Museum) last week, whilst on a trip to New York, and present him with an early copy. John was delighted with the Folio facsimile which was praise indeed, as no one knows the original Love is Enough better than he.
This blog is by Kate Grimwade, Production Director at The Folio Society.