Rare Book School
Preliminary Reading List
- Roberts, Matt T. [and] Don Etherington. Bookbinding and the conservation of books; a dictionary of descriptive terminology. Washington, 1982.
- Jane Greenfield. ABC of bookbinding; a unique glossary with over 700 illustrations for collectors and librarians. New Castle, Carlton, 2002.
- 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.
The best and most comprehensive book in English; the text is also accessible on an Internet-site, which is regularly added to and corrected and therefore more useful than the book: http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/don/toc/toc1.html
Less extensive in its approach as Roberts/Etherington and with drawings instead of photographs but because of those sometimes more clear
Important American thesaurus, unfortunately without explanation, and gradually a bit out of date – see also the site of the RBMS: http://www.rbms.info/committees/bibliographic_standards/controlled_vocabularies/index.shtml
There is no recent literature in English on the ways in which bindings can be described. The student is advised to study binding descriptions in as many of the following books as possible and to compare them to each other. The authors are all experts in the field, but they have chosen a different approach and different length of the description.
- Paul Needham. Twelve centuries of bookbinding: 400-1600. NY: Pierpont Morgan Library, 1979. Catalog of a celebrated exhibition, and a broad survey of the whole field.
- E. Ph. Goldschmidt. Gothic & Renaissance bookbindings, exemplified and illustrated from the author's collection. 2 vols. London: Ernest Benn, 1928, rep Nieuwkoop, 1967.
- Dorothy Miner. The History of Bookbinding 525-1950 AD (Exh. Walters Art Gallery). Baltimore, 1957.
- Mirjam M. Foot. The Henry Davis gift: a collection of bookbindings. Vol II: A Catalogue of North-European Bindings. London, 1983.
- Howard M. Nixon. Sixteenth-century gold-tooled bookbindings in the Pierpont Morgan Library. New York, 1981.
- Marianne Tidcombe. The bookbindings of T.J. Cobden-Sanderson, a study of his work 1884-1893 ... London, 1984.
- Marianne Tidcombe. The Doves Bindery. London, New Castle, 1991.
- Jan Storm van Leeuwen. Dutch decorated bookbinding in the eighteenth century. ‘t Goy-Houten, 2006. 3 vols. in 4 bindings. Vol III. Read pp. 1-2, study pp. 629-635, 813-825.
- Frederick A. Bearman, Nati Krivatsy, J. Franklin Mowery. Fine and historic bookbindings from the Folger Shakespeare Library. Washington, 1992.
- Mirjam M. Foot, Bookbinders at work; their roles and methods. London, New Castle 2006. Very useful and important book for those who want to understand the way the historian looks at the craft and uses the terms.
The student is advised to have a thorough look at these sites as examples of different approaches and to observe what is being described and what isn’t. The student will be asked to give a commentary during the course on her/his findings and the relevance as to the sort of description needed for the collection they have to describe.
- British Library Database of Bookbindings [compiled by Philippa Marks; over 6000 bindings]
- Publishers’ Bindings Online 1815-1930
- Bound to please – University of Miami
- British bookbindings, 16th – 19th century; University of Glasgow Special Collections
- Civica Bibliotheca Bergamo [by Federico Macchi; in Italian]
- Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense [by Federico Macchi; also in English]
- Einbanddatenbank AEB
(terminology hand tools)
- German Publishers Bookbindings 1811 – 1925, Fall 2002 - Winter 2003; Georgetown Univesity, Howard W. Gunlocke Rare Book and Special Collections Room
- Judging a Book by Its Cover; Gold-Stamped Publishers' Bindings of the 19th Century. An exhibit held Nov. 14, 1997 - Feb. 27, 1998 in Kempner Gallery, Columbia University.
- Hand bookbindings from Special Collections in the Princeton University Library
- Bookbindings on incunables in American Library Collections: A Selection [by Scott Husby] (formerly conservator at Princeton)