Historical Book Arts Collection

The Special Collections Division is the Libraries' main repository for material on the art and history of the book which includes examples of printing, type design and founding, illustration, handmade paper, and historic book bindings as well as modern artists' books. The Historical Book Arts Database is primarily a teaching tool. It features a sampling of materials held in the Special Collections Division focusing on the history of the book and medieval manuscripts from the 11th to the 19th century. The digital collection is comprised of images of binding, printing, papermaking and illustration examples and techniques. Also included are examples from our medieval manuscript collection, 11th to the 14th century. A database of examples of modern artists' books is in process.

Binding
Binding
15th to 19th century bindings in vellum, alum-tawed pigskin, leather, paper and cloth. Examples of sewing structures, spine linings, headbands, endsheets, stamped and tooled decoration, insect and environmental damage.
Printing
Printing
15th to 19th century printing examples of printers marks and colophons, typefaces, owners bookplates and decorative elements, such as, head and tail pieces and initials.
Paper
Paper
15th to 19th century examples of papermaking techniques and materials and examples of damage and repair.
Illustrations
Illustrations
15th to 19th century examples of intaglio, relief and planographic processes including woodcuts, wood engravings, engravings, aquatints, etchings, and lithographs.
Medieval Manuscripts
Medieval Manuscripts
11th to 14th century manuscript fragments that include details of parchment, calligraphy, and decorative elements, such as, illumination, initials, marginalia, and line fillers.
Decorated Paper
Decorated Paper
18th and 19th century samples of marbled papers in different patterns such as dutch, shell and spot. Also includes some samples of printed papers.
RESOURCES
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