preservation and persistence of the changing book



Can you describe, very briefly, the scope of this web site?

Welcome to an elementary idea that the book now spans both physical and virtual delivery formats. I choose to name these two formats “print and screen”. Print in the narrow sense of printed format is not intended and screen in the narrow sense of e-book publication is not intended either. Print and screen are used in the widest sense to encompass all physical books and all screen based access to books.

We will adventure in a wonderland of the changing book. Specialty enclaves such as library preservation, academic book studies, and studio book arts are all shifting to adapt and readapt to the advent of electronic resources. Wider sectors of publishers, educators, and information technologists are also being moved. The new electronic resources with their infrastructure of connectivity and user engagement are beginning to displace the role of physical books.

The implementation of the new interplay of print and screen books has been commerce and enterprise driven. For example, Google has pre-empted academic agendas and modified study habits side stepping millennia of teaching and learning methods. Information technologists have been no less influential instilling urgency and de-installing even recent formats. History itself is now viewed as a process about to occur.

Was the enterprise of printing and papermaking at the turn of the 16th c. also shifting an installed scholastic and religious infrastructure? Did an entrepreneurial incentive reveal that the future would be vernacular genre rather than Latin classic? Perhaps we are again at a moment in transition of books. If so book readers are a test bed for evaluation. Almost everyone is aware of the churn of the identity of books.

You mention that there is a fulfillment infrastructure at this site. What do you mean by this?

Here you will find

REPORTS, current, short notices of meetings and events,
WORKSHOPS, hands-on sessions presenting FotB book making methods,
STORE, a place to get
Iowa Book Works book craft kits, and a brief page of
LINKS. These resources are intended to provide context for the continuing coverage of relevant contingencies at
There is also a VOCABULARY explaining terms used at this web site
GLOSSARY of bookbinder’s terms and a
BIBLIOGRAPHY of sources on the history and future of books.

Is there an FotB manifesto?

The circumstance of mixed delivery options for books reveals a surprisingly complementary and interdependent relation of affordances and a third stance going forward. We advocate for the interdependence of paper and screen books; neither will flourish without the other.

Specialty enclaves of library preservation, academic book studies, and studio book arts are moving beyond contentions or “tipping points” to a fulcrum position of interaction between print and screen books. Other, wider sectors of publishers, educators, authors and information technologists are also assembling a composite stance.

Components of the composite stance include continuing print book roles of back-up, mastering and authentication in a context of its own screen delivery. Interplay between screen and print emerges in complements of storage and display, navigation and device access. Persistence and display functions of print are fused together while screen books disengage persistence and display resulting in distinctions of costs, editorial management and reference transactions. Navigational interplays mingle codex manipulations and touch screen prompts each with different implications for neurology and comprehension. Print and screen devices interplay fulfillment services, connectivity and portability. Gratuitous linkage of screen convenience with print displacement will be examined here as well as appraisals of other risks to reliable transmission of literary culture.

All the Best,

Gary Frost
Conservator Emeritus
University of Iowa Libraries

Copyright © 2000-2000 futureofthebook.com All Rights Reserved • Powered by WordPress • Hosted by Weblogger