Historic Book Structures for Conservators Course Application


1) A one page personal statement on your interest in book history/ book conservation and how this class will help you in your career:


Thank you for considering an application for the Historic Book Structures for Conservators course from someone who is not a conservator. I am a bookbinder and a book artist, originally from Brazil but entirely trained in the US, where I’ve been living since 2004 (having had started as a work-study at the Center for Book Arts back in 2002.) I do all my work at the CBA communal workshop, where I have taken practically every class in the book. My unresolved immigrant status has prevented me from furthering my education but it didn’t stop my training, nor did it prevent me from assisting several CBA teachers and other bookbinders in New York. I have been for over a decade a full-time book maker – only because letterpress printing got involved, I can’t claim to be a full-time bookbinder anymore. It is true that I’ve made a lot of boxes in my life, but I am also completely at home with leather work.

At some point along the way I started making artist books, at first to hone my letterpress skills and get busy when work was not available for me, but eventually as a path of its own. My work has been collected both privately and institutionally – to my honor, the list has just recently included The Watkinson Library and the Houghton Library. The artist books I make grow out of my passion for book structures and book history, which is the reason why I would cherish every bit of the course being offered. I like to say that I printed Lightweight (image attached below) because since no one had hired me to bind a limp-vellum book I had to make one up (in an edition of 21, each book will be personalized and bound upon request.)

To become as intimate with a binding as to figure out the ways in which I can bend it into innovative shapes while retaining its integrity is the core process of my practice, and has been a constant among almost all of the artist books I have made. For these reasons I believe I am a valuable candidate for course you are offering, even though I do not intend to pursue the career path of a conservator. I have the muscle memory of a well-over-10.000-hours crafts-person, and I stand on the shoulders of giants to make new work –  work that I am dedicated to see Special Collections filled with. This dedication inhabits every room of the expatriate home I have made for myself in the US;  while not an option in Brazil, bookmaking has become second nature to me here.

The making of artist books, however, hasn’t come out with the ease and flow and excitement I feel when I am practicing bookbinding or studying book anatomy. Creating artist books has been a more arduous path, as well as one much less joyful. While treading this path, the experience of being in the company of such classmates and such instructor as in the Historic Book Structures for Conservators course would result in further explorations, deeper understanding, inspiring assignments and, one hopes, many future soundly-bound books being acquired by the Institutions that are the keepers of our technology and artistry.

2) Your resume or cv.

Ana Paula Cordeiro


642W 207th St NY NY 10034

cel # 646 789 9967



1995 – Universidade Católica do Salvador, Bahia, Brazil: Bachelor’s degree in Social Communications

2002 – The Center for Book Arts, New York, NY:  Intern

2003 – Women’s Studio Workshop, Rosendale, NY: Intern

2005 – The Center for Book Arts, New York, NY: Stein Scholar for Advanced Studies in Book Arts

Solo Exhibition:

Teaching English as a Second Language: Portraits – February 2001 – International Center in New York

Caxixis-New York – April 2004 – Galeria Pierre Verger, Bahia, Brazil

Group Exhibitions:

Private Viewing – June 19th – September 11th  Islip Art Museum

Blood Quantum – November-December 2015 23Sandy Gallery, Portland, OR

Finding Our Place – October 2015 – January 2016 Annmarie Sculpture Garden, Dowell, MD

Content: Artifact – September-October 2015 – Abecedarian Gallery, Denver, CO

Then & Now – September-November 2015 – Castle Gallery New Rochelle, NY

Embraced – July-September 2015 – The Center for Book Arts, New York, NY

Then & Now – April-June 2015 – The Center for Book Arts, New York, NY

Tell me how you really feel – July-September 2012 – The Center for Book Arts, New York, NY

Tell me how you really feel – September-November 2012 – Payne Gallery, Bethelem, PA

Multiple Limited Unique – Selections from the Permanent Collection of The Center for Book Arts

July-September 2011 – The Center for Book Arts, New York, NY.

Fun Games and Such – July-September 2008 – The Center for Book Arts, New York, NY

(un)Contained Vessels – July-September 2007 – The Center for Book Arts, New York, NY

DeGolyer Triennial Competition and Exhibition – June 2006 – Bridwell Library, Dallas, TX

Mutilated/Cultivated Environment – June-September 2006 – The Center for Book Arts, New York, NY

Celebrating Artist Members – July-September 2005 – The Center for Book Arts, New York, NY

3) A portfolio of bookbinding, book conservation treatments, or other craft activities that exhibit hand skills and attention to detail.

Title: Lightweight. Year: 2015. Limp Vellum binding on dyed goat parchment, approximately 7 7/8 x 7 7/8″, edition of 21.

lw w closed box crop

The association between historical ownership and lavish decorations motivated this book. Without precious gems or metals, it’s safeguard will be the sculpted beam formed by no less than 32 scoring jigs. After studying papers published by Jen Lindsay, Barbara Giuffrida and Pamela Barrios, as well as Chris Clarkson’s book, I opted for the 3-part construction proposed by Barrios in order to liberate the front cover to be sculpted and the spine piece to be slanted, and to minimize the opening restrictions brought about by the text block shape. I found this also to be an advantageous adaptation over the historic limp-vellum constructions in regard to what Barrios summed up as “the problem of creasing and cracking of the vellum”. Remaining non-adhesive, the 3 parts are mechanically held together by the sewing/endbands supports. This adaptation also relieves the joint stress and permits the acutely angled lacing of the head endband support.

Lightweight the limp-vellum
Lightweight – overall shot
lighweight flying
Lightweight – detail
lw colophon
Lightweight – detail



Title: Notions. Year: 2012. Exposed spine with coptic and catterpillar stitches, concertina guard. One-of-a-kind.

notions a

Text block formed by 2 individual pamphlets each containing 2 Paris maps bound to open within one another, forming 2 containers. This structure was created after a workshop about historical atlases taught by Pamela Spitzmuller. The pamphlet/maps are stitched shut and together in order to stay permanently linked, representing a confinement without fixed boundaries. They are identical in size, printed patterns and shape, differing only in the content (each a side of a given perspective). 6×7″ (closed).

Notions – overall shot
Notions – detail


Title: Milton a Poem; Year: 2009, edition of 23. 4 x 5 1/2″

blindness in binding: sewn-boards allowed a hole for light across the book depth. all letterpress.

This edition exemplifies the structural flexibility allowed by Gary Frost’s Sewn-boards binding, thanks to which I was able to feature a hole in a single position throughout the entire depth of the book (vital for printing registration.)

title page
Milton a Poem – detail


4) A letter of recommendation from a professional in the conservation or preservation field, or a teacher who is familiar with your work.

For attached pdf lease click the link letter-of-recommendation-for-ana-cordeiro