This is a re-post from the first Peter Verheyen Day in 2019.
Today is the first Peter Verheyen Day. Subscribers to the Book_Arts-L, a Syracuse University-based mailing list managed by Peter Verheyen, decided that it was about time we honoured Peter for his contributions to the book arts world. The date —June 23, 2019— was chosen by Peter himself as this day marks 25 years since the list began.
If you have never heard of Peter Verheyen or the B00k_Arts-L, and you are interested in the book arts, it is high time that you were introduced. To begin, here’s Peter.
The photograph is deceptive. My experience in dealing with Peter, albeit only by email or through his posts on the list, would indicate that he is a kind, generous, thoughtful, and occasionally very funny man. He is the list moderator, which means that he tries to keep conversations on the list from degenerating into rudeness. (He left us on our own for a week or so once, and a surprising amount of bad behaviour occurred in his absence.) You can read more about Peter here.
The Book_Arts L functions as an information exchange between people with an interest, professional or amateur, in the book arts. Current membership is approximately 3,000 and includes fine binders, letterpress printers, conservators, paper makers, leather tanners, collectors, book dealers, a wide range of book artists, and more.
The list is an invaluable resource. I have learned a lot by reading the exchanges. If you have a book-related question, someone on the list probably has an answer. If you aren’t already a subscriber, you can sign up for the list here. All list emails are archived. You must log in for access to the archives, but the process merely requires your email address and a password of your own choice. Click on the BOOK_ARTS-L ARCHIVE (7/2009 -) to register your password.
Peter also maintains a website which hosts the Book Arts Web. If you go to the home page of philobiblon.com, you will see a red menu bar at the top. Each header has a drop down menu.
Peter was also the publisher and editor of The Bonefolder, a peer-reviewed online e-journal published between 2004 and 2012. You can find links to all back issues and an index here.
The Philobiblon website also has a link to the Pressbengel Project blog. Here you can find Peter’s posts on various aspects of German bookbinding traditions.
As you can see by all of the above —and I haven’t included everything— Peter’s contribution to international book arts has been, and continues to be, huge and definitely worth celebrating at least once a year.
How should you mark the day? I believe a number of list subscribers are gathering in various locations to consume high calory desserts, so you could have a piece of cake or some cookies. If you think something more significant and bookish is called for, you could print out a copy of Peter’s English translation of Ernst Collin’s The Bone Folder and bind it following one of Peter’s articles on binding structure.