"Historic Flight" of an 18th Century French Catalog Card
I'm always flattered when someone requests permission to use one of the images on my blog or website. An unusual request came from artist Catherine O'Dwyer in Melbourne, Australia in April. Catherine wanted to know if she could print the back of an image of an 18th century French catalog card (repurposed from a playing card shown at left) from my collection which I wrote about in 2011 onto pergamenata parchment for an art work on the history of the book. I, of course, said yes. She recently shared some images with me of her completed artwork which she calls "Historic Flight" (see below). Catherine indicated that the creation of her work was partly inspired by an article on the BBC website about the 1986 digital Doomsday book, (created on videodisc) and her interest in the subsequent discussion addressing problems concerning the access and digital preservation of material recorded on obsolete formats. She noted that the original Doomsday Book, a nine hundred year old codex is still completely legible. Catherine said she wanted to portray in "Historic Flight" her own sense of nostalgia and appreciation for the form which has had great significance in her life, as well as represent previous forms of the book in history. Traditional bookbinding materials and methods were used in her work as well as clay and pergamenata parchment. I'm greatly impressed with the resulting artwork and extremely happy to have had a very small part in its creation.