Course:LIBR559A/Hunter, D. (1978)
Hunter, Dard. (1978). Papermaking: The History and Technique of an Ancient Craft. New York, NY: Dover.
Dard Hunter (1883-1966) has been considered the world’s foremost authority on papermaking. Hunter travelled the globe extensively, studying papermaking techniques of various cultures and how they had evolved or influenced others of the world. He applied what he had learned to his family’s own book publishing company, eventually lending his knowledge to innovations of his own. This all took place during the Industrial Revolution and while Hunter did not have a traditional education and conferral of degrees, his books, founding of the American Paper Museum, and innovations place him as the world’s leading expert on papermaking. Although Papermaking: The History and Technique of an Ancient Craft has not been updated since 1947, this text is still a valuable resource, not only due to the fact that the author was a prolific innovator and researcher in this field. The text continues to be widely referenced. The majority of the text outlines the history of papermaking, its spread and the transformation/addition of techniques across the globe, and how paper impacted and was impacted by societies’ and cultures’ needs at various points in time. Hunter explains how advancements and innovations in other technologies created a need for innovations in papermaking, which in turn contributed to societal changes, sparking different needs and uses for paper and related (or seemingly unrelated) technologies, and the cycle continued. The text was renewed in 1970 by his children, Dard Hunter, Jr. and Cornell Hunter, but essentially remained unchanged and the 1978 copy is a reprinting of the unabridged 2nd edition. It would be beneficial to have a thoroughly updated edition. One that would expand on any cultural and societal changes, in regards to their approaches to papermaking that have occurred since 1947. Additionally, if there have not been changes in that time, it would be notable as well.
Areas / Topics / Keywords
Technology, Papermaking, Social impacts
Page Author: Kelly Murphy