The Beauty of Production Versus the Beauty of the Finished Product, as Reflected in HistoryofInformation

For as long as I can remember I have been interested in both the beauty and interest of objects and the way those things are made. Having worked in the antiquarian book trade for fifty-six years, my experience has been that most often art objects, whether they be books or prints or paintings or art works of any other kind, tend to be displayed and promoted as finished works, much as they should be, without detailed explanation of the art and technique of their production. Reasons for this vary. The primary reason may be that most people simply want to appreciate the object rather than understand the nuances of its production, especially as the long and complex process of production may generally interest only a few.

As HistoryofInformation evolved over the past twenty years, I have found myself concentrating more on the processes of production than on the objects themselves. Part of my motivation was to find and collect the documentation of artistic and technological processes, especially as they pertain to the creation, distribution, and storage of information. With respect to books and printed matter, which have been the most basic tangible vehicles for the creation, distribution, and storage of information until the development of the personal computer, the Internet, and the Cloud, I have confirmed what must be widely known to specialists, that the finished examples of production tend to be far better preserved and better known than the means of production at any given time.

For example, Moxon, etc.
History of printing presses in the 19th century--steam press culture, explosion of mechanisms, typesetting machines
Bookbinding manuals
Peter Koch Greek