This is a previous exhibition, but if you are interested in viewing one of the objects you can make an appointment (email email@example.com). Exhibitions in the library rotate once or twice a year. Have a look at our current exhibitions to see what's on at the moment.
It is not just the bindings of particularly old or expensive books that can tell us something about the history and development of this practice, and for this reason a number of books from open shelves have been included in the exhibition. At the same time, several gems of our collection, such as our 17th-century Qur’an manuscript, one of our two 16th-century Venetian Missals, and an early 16th-century publication by the famous Aldine Press, are also on display.
The exhibition is by no means exhaustive. Rather than presenting a detailed history of book bindings, it is conceived more as an overview of the range of ways in which a book can be bound, exemplified by a range of bindings representative of the history and variety of this aspect of book history. The displays cover the different materials used in bookbinding, elements of binding such as clasps and ties, and a number of techniques employed to decorate the finished product. The woodcut from Denis Diderot’s Encyclopédie, also on display, illustrates the range of tasks undertaken in a bookbinder’s workshop.
By Martyna Grzesiak
Books on display, in order of appearance
The Book of Common Prayer (Oxford: Oxford University Press, [1850-1900]). Briggs Room [=BR] 264.03 20 [Al-Qurʹān al-majīd]. BR 297.5 1; The eight books of Caius Iulius Caesar: conteyning his martiall exployts in the realme of Gallia… (London: Thomas East, 1590). BR 973.132 3; William of Tyre, The history of Godefrey of Boloyne and of the conquest of Iherusalem (Hammersmith: Kelmscott Press, 1893). BR 23.29 1F; Thomas Noon Talfourd, Dramatic Works (London: Edward Moxon, 1852). Gallery Floor 822.69 6; A direction for the English traviller, by which he shal be inabled to coast about all England and Wales ([London]: Jenner, 1843). BR 912.42 17; Lucian of Samosata, Œuvres de Lucien: traduction nouvelle, in 6 vols (Paris: Moutard, 1781-1787), v.3. BR 888.72 3; Arabian Nights, in 3 vols (Edinburgh: Donaldson, 1870), v.1. LS 892.73 1; William Hayley, Triumphs of Temper: a poem (London: Cadell and Davies, 1803). LS 821.59 59; Lucretius (Venice: In aedibus Aldi, et Andreae Soceri, MDXV). BR 871.1 7; Christoph Hendreich, Carthago sive Carthaginensium respublica (Francofurti ad Oderam: Andreas Becmanus, 1664). BR 937.73 1; Antoine Matharel, Ad Franc. Hotomani Franco-galliam Antonii Matharelli, Reginae Matris à rebus procurandis primarij responsio (Lutetia [Paris]: Fédéric Morel, 1575). BR 320.1 90; Missale Romanum, ex decreto sacrosancti Concilii Tridentini restitutum (Venice: Haeredes Melchioris Sessae, MDLXXXV). BR 264.025 5 F; John Ruskin, Val d’Arno: ten lectures on the Tuscan art… (Orpington: George Allen, 1882). Locked Stacks 823.91 16; Book of Common Prayer (London: Sold by John Otridge et al., 1816). BR 264.03 15; Charlotte M. Yonge, The Cunning Woman’s Grandson: A Tale of Cheddar a Hundred Years Ago (London: National Society’s Depository; New York: T/ Whittaker, 1889). Gallery Floor 823.99 338; George Herbert, The Temple (London: Nonesuch Press, 1927). BR 821.32 14F; Recueil de planches, sur les sciences, les arts libéraux, et les arts méchaniques: avec leur explication…, in 11 vols (Paris: Briasson, 1762-1772), vol. 8. Locked Cupboard West 034 25; Massimo d’Azeglio, Niccolò de’ Lapi, ovvero, i Palleschi e i Piagnoni (Paris: Baudri, 1841). Gallery Floor 853.73 2; Thomas Babington Macaulay, The works of Lord Macaulay, complete, in 8 vols (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1866), v.4. Gallery Floor 823.84 11; Guillaume Budé, Summaire ou Epitome du livre De asse (Paris: Galliot, 1522). BR 332.4 16; William Wallen, The history and antiquities of the round church at Little Maplestead, Essex (London: John Weale, 1836). BR 942.67 4; Suetonius, Caius Suetonius Tranquillus: cum annotationibus diversorum (Amsterdam: Danel Elzevir, 1671). BR 937.17 5; Antoine Furètiere, Le roman bourgeois: ouvrage comique (Amsterdam: Gerard Kuyper, 1704). BR 843.47 1; Burchard Waldis, Esopus (Leipzig: Brockhaus, 1882). Gallery Floor 833.41 1; Ernest Renan, Études d'histoire religieuse (Paris: Lévy, 1880). Gallery Floor, 847.63 1; Carlo Goldoni, Commedie (Paris: Naudry, 1855). Gallery Floor, 852.6 GOL 1855; Basil Montagu, Selections from the works of Taylor, Hooker, Barrow, South, Latimer, Brown Milton and Bacon (London: Pickering, 1829). Gallery Floor, 823.08 11; Sebastian Brant, Das Narrenschiff (Lepzig: Brockhaus, 1972). Gallery Floor 833.36 1; Alain René Le Sage, Histoire de Gil Blas de Santillane, in 4 vols (Paris: 1878, Lemerre), vol. 3. Gallery Floor 843.51 14; Charles Augustin Saunte-Beuve, Nouveaux lundis, in 10 vols (Paris: Lévy, 1870). Gallery Floor 847.64 23; Dante, Il canzoniere, in 3 vols (Florence: Barberà, 1894), vol. 1. Gallery Floor 851.1 DAN 1894 v.1; Jacques Bénigne Bossuet, Discours sur l’histoire universelle (Paris: Plon, 1875), vol. 3. Gallery Floor 847.38 19; Giuseppe Giacosa, Una partita a schacchi e il trionfo d’amore (Turin: Casanova, 1883).
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