Rare Book School

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B-50. Advanced Seminar in the History of Bookbinding

Jan Storm van Leeuwen

This course is aimed at librarians, (rare book) catalogers, curators, conservators, collectors, and book dealers who preferably have already taken at least one RBS binding course. The class will deal with selected topics in the history of binding from the sixteenth century to the nineteenth century. In 2015 the topics covered will include: some French collectors and their bindings, English Restoration bindings, Thomas Gosden, bespoke and publishers' bindings from gaudy period (c.1850), prize bindings and the different ways in which bindings can and should be studied. Part of the course will be dedicated to the description of bindings. There will also be several PowerPoint presentations, It will be a hands-on course, as much as possible, using originals from the collections of Rare Book School in the first place and of UVA Special Collections Library in the second. The students are requested to give a 10-minute presentation of a bookbinding subject of their choice, like a special theme they are interested in, or on or more bindings they want to know more about.

In their personal statements, students are invited to describe particular interests in bookbinding history and topics that they would like to see addressed in this or future sessions of the course.

Course Resources

Course History


The course title changes from "Seminar in the History of Bookbinding" to its current title.


Jan Storm van Leeuwen teaches this course for the first time.