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The Art of Books

One of our Facebook Fans requested we highlight our Publishers' Bindings Online collection. This collection is a partnership between us and The University of Alabama, University Libraries. The collection contains decorative bindings, along with a comprehensive glossary and guide to the elements of these objects. This collection hopes to bring greater awareness to the cultural and historical significance of books.

The collection brings together 5,000 decorative bindings from two collections in one place. This project increases the awareness of the general public about the importance of publishers' bindings as reflections of historical events, art movements, and the evolution of commercial binderies.This resource will encourage people to look at their own books, and to gain an understanding of design movements and trends both within the United States as well as in Europe.

The book shown on the left is The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The book dates back to 1899, and the binding is signed by Margaret Armstrong. The book is covered with white checkerboard grain cloth with gold, red, orange and green stamping on the front and spine. The endpapers are printed with brown goblet, pipe and pitcher pattern.

This collection has lots of interesting information for anyone who loves Civil War history.

The book on the right is a book of poems by Emily Dickinson. The book is bound with Half white leather with black and tan floral printed paper sides. It also has gold stamping on front and back. The endpapers are printed with black floral pattern.

For those interested in books or material culture this is a great collection for you. But for those who may find a book at grandma's house with beautiful binding, take a look at this collection, you may learn something about that book.


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