Hand Bookbindings : Plain and Simple to Grand and Glorious

on display in the Firestone Library

The craft and art of binding books by hand was vividly chronicled in an exhibition at Princeton University’s Firestone Library. Entitled "Hand Bookbindings: Plain and Simple to Grand and Glorious," the exhibition ran from November 10, 2002 through April 20, 2003 in the Library’s main gallery. While conventional wisdom holds that books cannot be judged by their covers, visitors had a chance to do just that from the most humble of volumes to the most luxurious; from the monastic manuscripts of the twelfth century to the special editions of the twentieth.

Now that the exhibition has run its course, it has been turned into an online display of over two hundred bindings. They are divided thematically into twenty-six categories, listed above.