Rare Book School

RBS Home | Course Schedule | Admissions | myRBS | Support RBS | Contact RBS | Previous Years

Rare Book School
Preliminary Reading List

B-50. Advanced Seminar in the History of Bookbinding

Jan Storm van Leeuwen

Preliminary Advices

Please read—or at least look carefully at—as many as possible of the following books before coming to Charlottesville.


  1. Foot, Mirjam J. "Bookbinding Research, Pitfalls, Possibilities and Needs", in Eloquent witnesses: bookbindings and their history […]. (Ed. Mirjam M. Foot). London, New Castle: 2004, pp. 13-29.
  2. Foot, Mirjam J. "Bookbinding and the History of Books", in Studies in the history of bookbinding. Aldershot, Brookfield: 1993, pp. 2-14.
  3. Foot, Mirjam J. "Bookbinding patronage in England", in Studies in the history of bookbinding. Aldershot: 1993. pp. 300-323.
  4. Goldschmidt, E. Ph. Gothic & Renaissance bookbindings, exemplified and illustrated from the author's collection. 2 vols. London: 1928 (repr. Nieuwkoop, 1967). pp. 116-126.
  5. Storm van Leeuwen, Jan. Dutch decorated bookbinding in the eighteenth century. Houten, 2006. Vol. I, chapter 1, pp. 1-138. Vol. III, pp. 629-635, 813-825.


  1. Roberts, Matt T. [and] Don Etherington. Bookbinding and the conservation of books: a dictionary of descriptive terminology. Washington: 1982. See also http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/don/toc/toc1.html
  2. Binding terms: a thesaurus for use in rare book and special collections cataloguing. Prepared by the Committee of the Rare Book and Manuscript Section. Chicago: 1988. See also http://www.rbms.info/committees/bibliographic_standards/controlled_vocabularies/index.shtml

Examples of description

  1. Bearman, Frederick A., Nati Krivatsy, J. Franklin Mowery. Fine and historic bookbindings from the Folger Shakespeare Library. Washington: 1992.
  2. Foot, Mirjam J. The Henry Davis gift: a collection of bookbindings. Vol II, III. London: 1983-2010.
  3. Nixon, Howard M. Sixteenth-century gold-tooled bookbindings in the Pierpont Morgan Library. New York: 1981.
  4. Storm van Leeuwen, Jan. Dutch decorated bookbinding in the eighteenth century. ‘t Goy-Houten: 2006. 3 vols. in 4 bindings. Vol III.
  5. Tidcombe, Marianne. The bookbindings of T.J. Cobden-Sanderson, a study of his work 1884-1893 ... London: 1984.

Some subjects

  1. Bookbindings from the library of Jean Grolier; a loan exhibition, 23 sept. – 31 oct. 1965. {By Howard M. Nixon]. London: 1965.
  2. Hobson, Anthony. Humanists and bookbinders: the origins and diffusion of the humanistic bookbinding 1459-1559… Cambridge, New York, etc: 1989.
  3. Lafitte, Marie-Pierre and Fabienne Lebars. Reliures royales de la Renaissance ; la librairie de Fontainebleau, 1544-1570. Paris: 1999.
  4. de Conhout, Isabelle. "Madame de Pompadour als Bibliophile" in Madame de Pompadour und die Künste. (Herausg. Xavier Salmon, Johann Geord Prinz von Hohenzollern). München: 2002. (French edition Madame de Pompadour et les arts. Paris 2002).
  5. Nixon, Howard M. English Restoration Bookbindings: Samuel Mearne and his contemporaries. (Exh. British Museum). London: 1974. pp. 10-48.
  6. Nixon, Howard M. and Mirjam M. Foot. The history of decorated bookbinding in England. Oxford: 1992.
  7. C. Coppens, “The Prize is the Proof; four Centuries of Prize Books”, in Eloquent Witnesses; Bookbindings and their History […]. (Ed. Mirjam M. Foot), London, New Castle: 2004, pp. 53-105.
  8. Storm van Leeuwen, Jan. Dutch decorated bookbinding in the eighteenth century. ‘t Goy-Houten: 2006. 3 vols. in 4 bindings. Vol I, pp.  30-31.

Publishers' bindings

  1. Allen, Sue and Charles Gullans. Decorated cloth in America ; Publishers’ Bindings 1840-1910. [Los Angeles]: 1994.
  2. Barber, Giles. "L’évolution de la couverture imprimée", in : La bibliographie matérielle, prés. par Roger Laufer. Paris: 1983. pp. 63-74.
  3. Barber, Giles. "Continental paper wrappers and publisher’s bindings in the eighteenth century", in: The Book Collector 24 (1975), pp. 37-49.
  4. Bennett, Stuart. Trade Bookbinding in the British Isles 1660-1800. New Castle, London: 2004.
  5. Malavielle, Sophie. Reliures et cartonnages d’éditeur en France au XIXe siëcle (1815-1865). Paris: 1985.
  6. McLean, Rauri. Victorian publisher’s book-bindings in cloth and leather. London: 1974.
  7. McLean, Rauri. Victorian publisher’s book-bindings in paper. London: 1983.
  8. Pearson, David. English bookbinding styles 1450-1800. London, New Castle: 2005.
  9. Storm van Leeuwen, Jan. "Some observations on Dutch publisher’s bindings up till 1800",
    In Bookbinding & other bibliophily; essays in honour of Anthony Hobson. (Ed. Dennis Rhodes). Verona: 1994. pp. 287-319.