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Older commments[edit]

From the article and photo's title, I'm guessing that a sash, in this context, is a thin strip of cloth sewn into the binding, but it might be good to include a definition of the term.

--Joel 16:56, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

My article and written contribution to 'Restoration hand binding' seemed to me to add rich relevant content to the page. Furthermore it seemed only fair to acknowledge the creator and donator of the fine image of an example: 'Restoration hand binding' - A Royal Binding of A Geneva Bible by Paul Tronson. This content was further enhanced by comments from Andrew Clarke.

In addition it seemed only reasonable to create an external link to Mr Tronson's web site that is on the front page for this keyword phrase on every search engine.


I agree that "Restoration hand binding" does add useful information to the content of the article, however wikipedia is not a place to promote or advertise businesses which sell products or offer services, either in the articles in return for any contribution, nor in "External links" sections.
Please see: Wikipedia:External_links and Wikipedia:Spam for wikipedia policy on External links.
1.3 What should not be linked to:
1.3.3. Links that are added to promote a site, by the site operator or its affiliates. See External link spamming.
1.3.4. Sites that primarily exist to sell products or services.
LDHan 23:10, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Dear LDHan As you only joined Wikipedia in January 06, I do not believe that you have sufficient experience to warrant vexatiously deleting people's genuine contributions. see 'foxing' and 'bookbinding.'

As far as this page 'bookbinding' is concerned, Mr Paul Tronson is one of only three bookbinders in the world who can do this supremely difficult work as evidenced by the image he has donated to the site: Royal Binding. He is also the only person in the world to have developed an aqueous solution to remove foxing.

The image is not evidence that there are only three, but I'd be interested to know who the other two are supposed to be. --Blake the bookbinder (talk) 18:45, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

To my knowledge, there is no restriction in Wikipedia on referring to a 'noted' named personage or referencing their web site in the page or in external links.


I know little about bookbinding, but I know something about Wikipedia, and I'm sorry, Careersnet, you're way out of line here. There is no "probationary period" at Wikipedia; someone who's been here three months has as much right to be bold as someone who's been here for three years. In fact, I as an anonymous user (by personal choice) have the right to delete anything you say in an article if I can justify it. LDHan cited the Wikipedia guidelines on external links; that's exactly the "restriction" you claim to be unaware of, and frankly I don't see how it could be much clearer. You should really familiarize yourself with such basic guidelines as "sign talk page posts with four tildes" before you accuse people who signed up two months after you (and whose contributions outnumber yours by several orders of magnitude, not that it really matters) of lacking "sufficient experience" with Wikipedia. I don't mean this to sound combative, I just want like it when people behave responsibly, follow policy, and don't use arbitrary rationalizations to ignore editors who do something they disagree with. 04:41, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
Anon, thanks for your comments. I thought it would be just a waste of time to reply to careersnet, he/she is obviously a spammer, check past edits, also has a spam user name. LDHan 18:07, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

Ignore this poster!

Careersnet isn't a he, she's a she, in particular she is Ms. Stead of, a "life coach" from and Paul Tronson's partner. Here is a direct quote from her website (I assume since she posted this article herself, she won't mind its being quoted here): "Nearer to home, Paul Tronson, a Master Bookbinder of Wootton Wawen, Stratford Upon Avon, Warwickshire and his partner, Margaret Stead, CEO of and a self proclaimed 'Dream Architect®' have just completed the ultimate in 'Wishes' books for you to write in - and they call it 'The Guardian Angel'. Margaret and Paul have been using their version of this formula successfully for years. "In many ways we create our own reality with our expectations. Many of my clients have six or seven figure dream jobs, in dream environments following our work."

Perhaps they are creating their own reality of Paul Tronson being the best bookbinder in the world by writing this all over the place. At any rate this is a biased, self serving comment that should be regarded as such. TheWatcher 20:37, 6 June 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kentuckienne (talkcontribs)


Please do merge Library binding into this article; it's brief and will fit in quite nicely. Cheers, Her Pegship 03:51, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Re verso/recto: Okay, the recto page faces left, but it's on the right-hand side and that's why it's called a "recto" (Latin: right). The description here seems needlessly obtuse.

Library binding is best kept as a link from bookbinding. It is a specific subset of binding, where leaf attachment is of primary importance (usually separated into double fan adhesive, oversewn, Smythe sewn, or retain original sewing). It implies a hardcover binding, usually covered in buckram or c-cloth (for smaller bindings). It also implies a series of one-off bindings produced in a factory setting, as opposed to hand binding (non-factory) or trade binding (where multiples of identical bindings are produced). Library Binding needs to be fleshed out, but then so does the bookbinding article. There's more information out there on Bookbinding than can be said in one page. (Nosey 02:58, 31 July 2006 (UTC))

Library binding might deserve its own page, but as it stands no one has edited it since 5/06 (the merge proposal), and nothing of substance has been added in close to eighteen months. I support the merger. Jlittlet 23:15, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

links to digital bookbinding books[edit]

There is someone out there deleting links to legitimate free for all books on bookbinding and allied trades published on the internet. These links are not spam and are totally justified. The irony is that the editor is obviously not versed in the trade of bookbinding, but only has the vanity to pretend knowledge of it. Will the editors of wikipedia contain this mad person? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Bibliopegist (talkcontribs)

replied at userpage. --Quiddity 02:51, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
Did you scan these books yourself? They look interesting, but that isn't the only criterion that applies here. Notinasnaid 06:19, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I scanned the books myself, after of course buying them and making sure they are copyright free.

"They look interesting" - what would you know, are you an expert in the field? One of the book is totally out of print as it was published in very limited quantity and never reprinted and to boot, it's on a topic of which information is scarce : Gilding. Now I have read the constraints in posting to wikipedia and I have followed the rules, that your opinion on the quality of the books I offer in links are not meeting a certain criterion that would apply here is preposterous and your policing is at best "flying by the seat of your pants", at worse, malicious and reprehensible.

To top my argument, I would invite you to really visit my web site at and look hard for any links to a price list or any phrase solliciting business, any promotion asking visitors to contact me for business. The fact is that I am not looking for more clients, I have enough to keep me busy long after I am gone.

In the meantime, I will continue scanning books and posting them on my web site and if wikipedia is not interested in my contribution, so be it. I do not need the link to boost my site, is is first page on Yahoo and Google when you keyword bookbinding. What do they know that you don't?

I'm afraid you have not followed the guidelines, however. See Wikipedia:External links#Links normally to be avoided item 3. Notinasnaid 18:12, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

About signatures[edit]

I thought that when you make 32 pages from one signature, you have to cut the signature first, BEFORE you bind the pages to the spine, otherwise they will not open.--Luke Elms 15:59, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

If you plow the edges, all of the folds of the signature (except the spine, of course) will be cut from the text block allowing the pages to open.--Objix (talk) 03:50, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

Turtleback bindings[edit]

I'm not sure whether Bookbinding or Library Bindings is the appropriate place, but I have come across a type of binding called "turtleback" that isn't included herein and I'm curious as to what this is. Would someone with knowledge in this area be willing to add information on this to one or the other of these articles? 00:50, 10 December 2006 (UTC)


"The preparation of the "foundations" of the book could mean the difference between a beautiful work of art and a useless stack of paper and leather."

What does that even mean? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk)


The entire section "Modern commercial binding" was is a copy of [1] and possibly needs to be rewritten. Moreover the whole article seems a bit ambiguous and not well defined. For instance, many of the binding styles seem identical. I intend to help fix these issues, however I don't have a broad knowledge of bookbinding so I won't be able to do much. Kelden 22:45, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Upon closer inspection, it appears that [2] is a copy of THIS page. Kelden 23:19, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Does the signature have printing on both sides?[edit]

This sentence doesn't say whether the signature has printing on both sides.

  • A signature is a large sheet printed with several pages, intended to form four or more leaves in the finished book.

Also, large is vague. As is this sentence.

  • Paper sizes could vary considerably ...

What are typical dimensions? --Jtir 11:31, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

I was specifically trying to determine from this article whether this image of the title page of the Malleus Maleficarum is a full page or a detail.
The bibrec says the book is "15 cm. (8vo)".[3] This article does not say whether the typical dimensions given for an octavo are width and height or height and width. That should be made clear. --Jtir 11:51, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Forms of Binding[edit]

The list of "forms of binding" in the History section seems somewhat capricious (both very broad and very specific binding types listed), and might better be broken up into categories that binders/conservators commonly use. In a roughly chronological order within each major type of binding, it would be something like:

 Western Bindings:
   Non-adhesive & other early codices
   Recessed Cord
   Non-traditional structures
 Islamic and Near Eastern Bindings:
   (probably more in this section; I'm not especially familiar with Islamic bindings)
 Asian Bindings:

Generally, "calf-binding" and "wooden board" aren't terms used in the field - or, rather, they describe a component of a binding, but not a specific binding style. For instance, the first five types of Western bindings above could all be made with wooden boards, but didn't necessarily require them.

The "futureofthebook" webpage from which the original list comes uses Gary Frost's Iowa model set as its categories. The Iowa models are used to illustrate very broad categories that aren't necessarily productive for further exposition, and there's a lot of overlap/confusion to them. Note that the Iowa libraries themselves aren't consistent with the categories they use (Bookbinding Models).

--Ratbasket 12:16, 16 July 2007 (UTC)


On continental Europe, the general convention is to print titles bottom-to-top on the spine. Again in the warmer countries the books were stored face up in the old system. However, with exceptions in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands, - (the humid countries) where titles are written top-to-bottom. , and in Spain, where styles vary among publishers.

What?! - Gus (T, C) 2007-07-17 15:56Z 15:56, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. Not sure where some of the info in this article comes from - I'm trying to update the article to wikipedia writing standards, and to be more representative of current practice/knowledge in the field. Ratbasket 11:58, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

External links[edit]

Seems like the external links section is the fastest-growing part of this article - is it becoming a link dump? Ratbasket 12:41, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Just a reminder, in case anyone is inclined to mass-delete: If they are good references, then summarize an aspect and use them as sources. --Quiddity 16:21, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
I removed numerous links after visiting each page. I removed those linking to bookbinding how-to's and related terminology and kept those that seemed to demonstrate somewhat of a relationship to the topic. Supertouch (talk) 17:13, 25 October 2009 (UTC)


The brief section about hardcover books that are termed here as "articles" needs to be redone. First of all, most hardcover books that I see today are of this type. If you pick up a recently made hardcover book, and examine the binding, you will see that it is actually a glue bound book, effectively a paperback book placed in a hardcover. Second, I disagree that such books "fall apart easily". Most people I know aren't even aware that what they assumed was a standard hardcover book is actually glued until I show them the spine. Futher, modern glues don't "fall apart", and have effective lifetimes in decades.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk)

Improvement through citations[edit]

The article "sounds" authoritative, reading as if it were transcribed or paraphrased from a definitive source. It could stand citations, at least section-specific, to specific places in sources. I think it's better to paraphrase than to have unattributed quotes or long excerpts, even if attributed. DCDuring 16:28, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Troubles with large scrolls[edit]

The opening paragraphs suggest that scrolls that were large needed special equipment in order to read without damaging. I think it needs to be expanded and stated a little more explicitly. neffk (talk) 22:32, 28 November 2007 (UTC)


I have a refugee section from the article on adhesive. It didn't fit in well there. the text follows. Should it be included? -- (talk) 20:49, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

BEGIN refugee section

Polyurethane-based adhesives in the bookbinding industry[edit]

On the way to a new and better glue for bookbinders, a new adhesive system was introduced in 1985. The base for this system is polyether or polyester, with polyurethane (PUR) being used as prepolymer. Its special features are coagulation at room temperature and reaction to moisture.

Developmental history[edit]

1st Generation (Introduced at Drupa, 1988) - Low starting solidity - High viscosity - Drying time of more than 3 days

2nd Generation (Introduced at Drupa, 1996) - Low starting solidity - High viscosity - Drying time of less than 3 days

3rd Generation (Introduced at Drupa, 2000) - Good starting solidity - Low viscosity - Drying time between 6 and 16 hours

4th Generation (Current as at 2007) - Good starting solidity - Very low viscosity - Drying time is just a few seconds due to Dual-Core-Systems


Without moisture in the glue, papers with the wrong grain direction can be processed without problems, as can printed and supercalandered paper. It is the most economical glue with an application thickness of only 0.01 mm in theory; however, in practice it is not possible to apply less than 0.03 mm. PUR glue is very weatherproof and is stable at temperatures from -40°C to +100°C. [1]

END refugee section

To me, this section on a specific type of adhesive is WAY too detailed for a general article on bookbinding. At most here, I would expect to see a section on adhesives in general (animal glues, synthetics(?) like PVA, pastes, etc). Also the "Developmental History" of this adhesive only goes back to 1988, books have been bound in codex form for a couple of thousand years.
Just my two cents. --Objix (talk) 04:02, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

Book Printing Process[edit]

Hi all. I've included Template:Book Publishing Process. I'd welcome input.

Creating that template also involved the creation of two more Wikipedia pages, Book folding and Book trimming. I'd personally like to see more information on these topics, either as subsections of this article (in which case, redirect to the appropriate part of this article), or in the articles I've created.

-- TimNelson (talk) 01:08, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Direction of print on the spine[edit]

The article claims that titles are printed on spines top-to-bottom in the US and UK, but bottom-to-top in Continental Europe. The latter is indeed true of books published in French and German, but Dutch language books usually have the title printed on them in the English fashion, and I imagine that in other European language areas conventions vary, as well. (One Dutch paperback publisher stubbornly printed the titles the French way back in the 70s, but I have the impression they have since changed their minds, since I haven't seen it done on any but older paperbacks. It's annoying, though, and leads people to file those books upside-down...)

Besides, it might be worth mentioning that for any language using the Latin script or some slight variation of it, you sometimes find thick books, with wide spines, that have titles printed horizontally on the spine, and other information such as the publisher is often printed horizontally even if the title is not. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:54, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Well, I didn't like the ostensible reason given for the "European" (German/French) way for the titling. The US/Commonwealth/Scandinavian way has a legitimate reason -- if you lie the book flat on a table with the front cover on the top (as if you're about to read it), you'll see the text on the spine read normally from left-to-right. It makes sense. But the "advantage" given in the Wikipedia text for the European method appears bogus -- "so you can read the title merely by tilting your head to the left in the bookstore" -- because you can read the title the other way just by tilting your head to the right. There's no benefit of tilting your head one way or the other. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:29, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

I agree that calling the bottom to top spine titling "convenient" is absurd. The direction you have to tilt your head to read a spine is fairly insignificant. Bottom to top reading does have the property that if you are reading a shelf left to right that you will be walking backwards. The only real inconvenience involved in spine titling is when the two methods are mixed on one shelf. That's enough to give you a headache. Temblast (talk) 14:07, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Mentioning anything about "convenience" without providing any reliable source would be original research anyway. --Saddhiyama (talk) 15:00, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Corrected false information regarding MFA programs[edit]

The article claims that the School of the Museum of Fine Arts has a specialized masters program for bookmaking. This is not true. The school in fact is based on having no specialty at all. You do not specialize in that college. They do have bookmaking classes, but they are not a 'program' or a 'specialty' in the traditional sense. The amount offered especially would fall short of this mark. (talk) 06:56, 2 April 2008 (UTC)


Bookbinders don't speak Latin (any more), so do they say sixteen-mo rather than sextodecimo?-- (talk) 01:57, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

This bookbinder sat through three years of Latin in high school (and feels lucky to have escaped with his life) but in the five years I've worked restoring old books I've never had to say the word in question. We use folio, quarto, octavo or any-other-o to to indicate the approximate size of a book, not how many times the paper was folded to make a signature (which is of no interest to us as the sheet has been folded and trimmed for several hundred years). We do, on rare occasion, refer to small books as being duodecimos so, if push came to shove, we might come up with the word sextodecimo (but we'd probably just call it 'that really small book'). --Blake the bookbinder (talk) 18:12, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

"cardboard article"[edit]

"A cardboard article looks like a hardbound book at first sight, but it is really a paperback with hard covers. It is not as durable as a real hardbound; often the binding will fall apart after a little use. Many books that are sold as hardcover are actually of this type. The Modern Library series is an example. This type of document is usually bound with thermal adhesive glue using a perfect binding machine."

This is someones opinion. First of all, this article is very lean on perfect binding in general. Although paperbacks were considered fragile, polyurethane glues have changed that completely, and this type of glue remains flexible indefinitely.

I agree that it is proper that people know the truth, which is that there are actually few hardbound books being produced today. The vast majority are faux hardbound, that is to say perfect bound "cores" with cardboard casing. However, there is nothing to say that this is inferior to sewn hardbacks (which are often cardboard as well). In fact, they may hold up better. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:47, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

Article incomplete - need more info[edit]

Seeing as how Wikipedia is typically the first stop for info, it seems this article is lacking in what to look out for when attempting to find a book rebinder. What I mean is this - ppl who are looking to get old books reconstructed/rebound will often stop at Wikipedia, but the article is lacking in information concerning what to watch out for when trying to locate a book rebinder.

An example - it seems that many book binders find it abhorrent to 'resize' the pages of an old book, cutting the pages to fit the new binding, and I've seen sites that warn to stay away from such binders

I'm sure there are other things that ppl with old books would like to know, such as is resizing normal? What questions should a person ask a rebinder when they're searching for one? What practices are frowned upon in rebinding and what a person can do to make sure a rebinder won't mangle their books (resizing being one topic)

Can anyone please add in a section like this? I've several old book myself but am paranoid about sending them to an unknown book binder, not knowing what to ask them or look out for

Thanks, Xmacro (talk) 16:57, 16 November 2008 (UTC)


I'm very pleased with the list of commercial binding styles, but there isn't much information about automation - while most of them obviously lend themselves to being done by machine, what kinds of sewings are mechanized and what aren't? I haven't been able to find this information elsewhere. -- (talk) 08:09, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Aspects of history[edit]

For several centuries several pages were printed on one sheet which was than folded and bound, so that the pages had to be "cut" before most of them could be read. This practice lasted well into the 19th century and possibly later. It would be good to have something said on it. MWLittleGuy (talk) 09:46, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

If you are knowledgable on the subject (which it sounds like you are) you are more than welcome to add this information yourself, just remember to use citations. --Saddhiyama (talk) 09:55, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Cost of the Different Binding Methods[edit]

I think it would be nice to include information in this article regarding the relative cost of the different methods of binding. For instance, is spiral binding (the one I'm particluarly interested to learn about) more or less expensive, in general, than other ways of binding?

I am also curious to find out if you can do a sprial binding and yet be able to show the spine so people can see the title of the book when put on the shelf.

Joechu (talk) 14:45, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

Introduction of paper[edit]

The claims made for the Arabs under the "Introdution of Paper" lack sufficient support and appear to be not correct. For example, one can see the leather wrap around flap on the Nag Hammadi codices, which invalidate the claims made in the article atrributing that to the Arabs - you can loook up the Nag Hammadi Wikipedia article and see an example. Many of the advances attributed to Arabs of their paper books had previously existed on papyrus books, but apparently were not used on parchment books because of the different properties of parchment. The Arabs neither invented the Codex nor paper, and they just happened by the accident of history to be the first people to be making books in a codex format to acquire paper.

The quote included is unnecessary - the Muslims were neither the only ones to produce beautiful illuminated books, nor the first. The illuminate manuscripts of medieval Europe are as beautiful, and are older. Arabs did not obtain the secret for paper making from the Chinese until 751 CE, which is after manuscripts such as the Lindisfarne Gospel (715 AD), as fine as any Islamic manuscript, were made. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:54, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

It looks like most of your concerns have been addressed. It's possible the Arabs accidental beneficiaries of being at the intersection of papermaking and construction of codexs but we'd need to find a reliable source that states this. --Marc Kupper|talk 21:21, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Loose bound[edit]

The article does not indicate which types of binding are considered "loose bound". I've found hints that several of these bindings are used on documents which are considered "loose bound", but haven't found an authoritative definition yet. -- SEWilco (talk) 21:56, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

Merge book cover here?[edit]

The article is a bit useless, but I don't think I'll pursue. If anyone wants to propose it, please let me know. Johnbod (talk) 21:53, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

Thermal binding?[edit]

Well, I don't know anything about book binding, but I'm trying to de-orphan Unibond. Unibond make "thermal binding machines" and I wondered if this needs mentioning in the "Methods of hardcover binding" section. Thanks, Marasmusine (talk) 18:10, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

It's more a softcover method. Johnbod (talk) 01:09, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

Saddle stitch[edit]

I got redirected here when I searched for Saddle stitch, but there isn't a single mention of the term "saddle stitch" or even staples on the whole page! CüRlyTüRkeyTalkContribs 07:55, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

From the editing history of the redirect, it originally redirected to Saddle stitch stapler which does contain some information on the subject, but that it was changed to this page in June 2010. --Saddhiyama (talk) 08:38, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm not familiar enough with bookbinding. Would it be better to have something on saddle stitching here, or would it be a better idea to change the redirect back to Saddle stitch stapler? CüRlyTüRkeyTalkContribs 09:01, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
A merge of Saddle stitch stapler with this article could be a possible solution. --Saddhiyama (talk) 09:15, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

British Library collaboration[edit]


I've recently started work as the Wikipedian in Residence at the British Library; this is a full-time position working within the BL and aiming to help support collaboration between the institutional community and the Wikimedia community. I've been looking at topics where a) the BL has a lot to offer the community, and b) there's a strong desire to work with editors.

I've just been meeting with the curator here responsible for bookbindings; compared to some other subjects, this is relatively underrepresented on Wikipedia (and the internet in general), and she's very keen to help improve our coverage. I'm currently looking at getting a "priority list" of key topics together, and identifying where the significant gaps in our content are. There are at most a hundred articles on binding, many of which are stubs - and some fairly important topics, such as Islamic bookcover, are missing entirely, so there's plenty of opportunity for editors to find interesting work!

The BL has had good experiences working with Wikipedians in the past, and can offer various kinds of support - images of example bindings from the collection, advice on selecting sources (and help in tracking down articles etc.), and expert review of articles. If anyone is interested, please do get in touch to discuss what I can do to help you! Andrew Gray (talk) 14:15, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Possible redirect[edit]

Should Book arts redirect to this page or should it be its own article? I'm unsure and am curious about what others think. kristephanieTALK 05:26, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

Ideally its own article I think. Johnbod (talk) 09:26, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

Perfect binding - cardboard article - Modern Library[edit]

What in the world is meant by saying that a cardboard article is a paperback but has hard covers (or more or less that's what is said). To the lay person, a paperback is a book with a soft, paper cover. I searched through the article for some contravening technical definition but found none. So, I'm confused.

I might be quite wrong, but my memory of my Modern Library books was that they had sewn binding that was not attached to the cover spine. if this is correct,then the reference to ML in the perfect biding section is out of place. Could some-one with access to ML books check (my are in storage at the moment)? Maybe ML changed their binding, which could cause confusion: I purchased mine in the sixties. (talk) 10:23, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^