Down the Corridor
binding at the UNT libraries has a more than 75-year history
with the university. When the North Texas bindery was founded
in 1928, it provided the growing college with a cheap and local
source for binding unassembled educational materials and repairing
"The bindery itself wasn't that big. So when we were all working
on the floor, it got pretty crowded," says Dale Phillips ('58),
who worked at the bindery for more than 28 years, starting as a student
assistant in 1956. He left the university in 1958 but came back to
manage the bindery from 1972 to 1998.
Demand for the bindery's products increased steadily throughout
the 1960s and '70s. In 1977 the bindery had a record year,
producing the largest annual output in its
history — more than 22,000 books.
in the basement of the Information Sciences Building, had a multitude
of machinery, including a milling machine to trim the
pages, an over sewing machine to
sew the spines of books together and many "homemade machines" tweaked
by Phillips and other bindery staffers.
"I had to put a lot of guide wires and rails onto the machines
to keep them from getting out of alignment," Phillips says.
In the mid-1980s, the bindery was overhauled with new equipment.
"The university installed a computerized embossing machine and
a spinning wheel printer," says Phillips. "Once we
learned how to use it, it made things go a lot quicker."
But by the time the bindery had been modernized, demand had dwindled
drastically. Most books used at UNT were either bought from the publishers
already assembled or taken to a private company for binding. By the
mid-1990s, the bindery had been moved off campus, and in 1998 when
the budget was cut, the bindery all but disappeared.
However, its legacy lives on. Countless copies of graduate theses
and student compositions wear its tell-tale stamp on their inside
Its products line the libraries' shelves and provide reading
and study material for current and future generations of North