"To Dorothy Shepherd, who in addition to her textile expertise, planted the seed for the need to use a computer; to Marja Bloem, who led me down the garden path of the computer; and to Jessica and Nelly, who may one day reap the harvest ...."
Although we have had not much direct personal contact with other libraries, librarians or bibliographers, as most of the books catalogued here are in our possession and we are rather hermetic, we have nevertheless greatly benefitted from their work from afar, both in time and space, which we have read with the same excitement that other people reserve for novels, poetry or the latest film. This is also the case for bookseller's and auction catalogues which sometimes contain surprising, exciting and unusual information.
In general, however, we have been constantly inspired over the years by the scope and determination of the monumental lifetime bibliographic work of K.A.C. Creswell on Islamic art and architecture, as well as by John Ferguson's detailed scholarly bibliographic studies on early books of secrets, both especially remarkable as they both laboured in the pre-computer era of the pencil and file card.
More close to home, we would like to thank the staff at the Rijksmuseum Bibliotheek in Amsterdam for their courteous help in providing access to their catalogue documentation as well as copies of important books in their library. Also, the Universiteitsbibliotheek at the Universiteit van Amsterdam, for access to their bibliographic documentation. We should also point out the surprisingly important textile book holdings at the Bibliothèque Publique d'Information at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, especially its open access shelves and its opening hours to ten at night, which allowed us to research at odd hours when in Paris over the years.
In keeping with the spirit of the late-twentieth and early twenty-first century, we would like to express our thanks to the (often anonymous) people who have prepared and maintain the numerous internet online library catalogues, especially at the Library of Congress, National Art Library at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the New York Public Library, to whom we turned to from time to time for verifications of names, dates and editions.
For more personal aspects of this work, we would like to thank Alan Kennedy in Paris for his assistance on some Japanese and Chinese titles as well as access to his private library; Mary Slusser for her help on the documentation concerning the work of Dorothy Shepherd, and last but certainly not least, my companion Marja Bloem, for her ideas, opinions, translation and proofreading assistance as well as her patience throughout the many years of preparation of this work.
The preparation of this work has become a sort of personal obsession over the years, as it has evolved from a catalogue of a private library of textile books into a more systematic bibliography attempting to document the diversity of the literature of textiles, and to provide access to it as directly as possible. It is hoped that this effort is worthy of some of the important material it attempts to catalogue, but its only real value will be its usefulness to the reader; whether this proves to be the case remains to be seen. In any case, any and all errors are mine.
Seth Siegelaub, Amsterdam, April 1997 - September 2009