Big news in the small world of photo book collecting: Jeff Ladd, who wrote Part IV of our series on Great Photo Books You Can Buy New and who writes the excellent photobook review blog 5B4, has announced a labor of love that he's been working on for months and thinking about for much longer: Errata Editions.
A number of years ago, responding to the ever-escalating market for collectible vinyl LPs, several vendors started producing lovingly-made reissues of great classics. Expensive at $30 or so each, they still cost only a fraction of what vintage originals cost—and in many cases were more practical, since they were better made and adding wear to them wasn't such a dire issue.
Errata Editions' "Books on Books" series hopes to do something similar for genuinely rare and generally unobtainable photobooks, conveying the substance of the originals and the feel of an ownership experience. I urge you to read about the project on 5B4; Jeff and his business partners, Valerie Sonnenthal and Ed Grazda, are taking a very interesting approach, not creating facsimiles but in essence creating new books that have as their illustrations every page of the original books, "so the viewer can see not only all of the photographs, but the page layout, typography and all aspects that make up the original including all of the written texts."
The first four titles are Eugene Atget, Photographe de Paris; Walker Evans, American Photographs (1938 edition); Sophie Ristelhueber, Fait; and Chris Killip, In Flagrante. The books will be distributed by DAP through ordinary bookstore channels starting in early 2009. Pricing is expected to be $40 per volume.
A noble project and a fine prospect, sez me. Jeff will be blogging from on press in China starting Monday. I'll post links.