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Max J. Adjarian collection
MS 324  
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This collection contains book binding tools and supplies, press equipment, and some business documents collected and used by Max J. Adjarian, a Master Bookbinder and restorer.
Max J. Adjarian was a Master Bookbinder specializing in conservation, preservation, and restoration of rare books, manuscripts, codices, incunabula, and gilding during a well-travelled career spanning more than 50 years. He was born in 1929 in Paris, France, where he spent his early years and survived the Great Depression and Nazi occupation during WWII. After the war, he served as a paratrooper in French colonial North Africa in 1948. Max applied to and was selected for a highly competitive position at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF), in 1949 after his military service was completed, where he was trained as a Master Bookbinder. He spent several years working at the BNF as a restorer of rare books before venturing off to spend the rest of his life working as an independent bookbinder, contracting and consulting with a wide range of institutions and private individuals. Max was invited to work with the Board of Trustees at Cornell University Library to restore the rare books in their collections as well as advise on acquisitions, conservation, and preservation. He spent four years at Cornell before being invited to Kansas University in 1955 by their chancellor, Dr. Franklin Murphy, to restore and conserve their rare books, codices, maps, and manuscripts. In 1960, Dr. Murphy was appointed the chancellor of UCLA and quickly invited Max to accompany him to California. In addition to working extensively with UCLA, Max would work with a number of other academic institutions, locally, across the country, and internationally. His clients included the University of Southern California, The Huntington Library, Boston Historical Society, Emory University, and many more. Mr. Adjarian's artistic legacy spanned the restoration of various bibliophilic treasures: the Gutenberg Bible; Audubon's Book of American Birds; the 1495/1619 editions of Aristotle's Opera Omnia [by Venetian typographer Aldus Manutius]; Aldine rare books printed between 1495-1550 [from UCLA's Ahmanson-Murphy Aldine Collection]; creating slipcases to preserve first edition Victorian fiction from the UCLA Michael T. Sadleir Collection; plus notable restoration projects for the William Andrews Clarke Memorial Library; the UCLA Dr. Louise M. Darling Biomedical, and Dr. Elmer Belt Vinciana Collections. Adjarian was also sought out for his expertise to work on privately held items and collections. Max relocated to Tucson, AZ in the mid-1990s where he continued operating his bindery and completing client projects until his death in 2002.
63.27 linear feet (49 boxes and 20 items)
Copyright Unknown: Some materials in these collections may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction, and/or commercial use, of some materials may be restricted by gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing agreement(s), and/or trademark rights. Distribution or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. To the extent other restrictions apply, permission for distribution or reproduction from the applicable rights holder is also required. Responsibility for obtaining permissions, and for any use rests exclusively with the user.
This collection is open for research.