UC Libraries Present Talk from Renowned Book Conservator William Minter

Join UC Libraries at a talk by renowned book conservator William Minter who will display and discuss the conservation treatment he did to the historic Martyrs Mirror. Scheduled for Friday, October 28th from 1:30-3:00pm in 814 Blegen, the talk is free and open to the public. A Q&A will follow and refreshments will be served.

 The Martyrs Mirror, first published in 1660 in the Netherlands, tells the stories of Christian martyrs, especially those who were Anabaptists. Its author was Thieleman Jansz van Braght, elder of the Flemish Mennonite congregation at Dordrecht; illustrations were by engraver Jan Luiken.  Historically for Amish and Mennonites, the Martyrs Mirror has been the most important book next to the Bible. The full title of the book is The Bloody Theater or Martyrs Mirror of the Defenseless Christians who baptized only upon confession of faith, and who suffered and died for the testimony of Jesus, their Saviour, from the time of Christ to the year A.D. 1660. (The use of the word defenseless in this case refers to the Anabaptist belief in pacifism).

The Martyrs Mirror conserved by William Minter is from the collection of UC’s Archives and Rare Books Library. It is significant as the first American (Ephrata, Pennsylvania) publishing of the Martyrs Mirror in 1748.

Book conservator William Minter began his binding career when he started working for The Cuneo Press, Inc. in Chicago, where he met William Anthony, a noted fine bookbinder and book conservator. After assisting Anthony on a number of projects, he was advised to make a commitment to the field of book conservation. Following a seven year apprenticeship with Anthony, Minter opened his own Chicago studio in 1978 where he specialized in bookbinding and the conservation of rare books and manuscripts for university libraries, museums, rare book dealers, and private collectors. Occasionally, he completes a design binding for commission or exhibition. In 1994, the business was moved to rural Pennsylvania where the same services are offered. He has exhibited his work widely with the Guild, Chicago Hand Bookbinders and other groups. Minter is also an accomplished instructor and has contributed much to the field through his writings and conference presentations. He also pioneered the development of the ultrasonic welder for the encapsulation of brittle and otherwise endangered documents and other flat materials.

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