The British Library holds one of the world's leading collections of
fine and historic bindings. Numbering in their thousands, the bindings are included in
discrete specialist collections and dispersed individually throughout the
The database is a work in progress and some records are incomplete.
Amendments will be incorporated and additions made whenever possible.
At present, coverage includes selected bindings on western European
printed books. The Library hopes to widen the scope of the database to include
bindings it holds from other parts of the world and bindings from other
institutions. It is hoped that structural details will be recorded in the
future, if further resources are forthcoming.
Not all significant bindings have been included. Images have only
been provided where condition and suitability for digitisation allow. Spines of
bookbindings have not normally been digitised. Technical bookbinding terms have
been kept to a minimum to accommodate the non specialist. See
About the records for further information.
The bindings are available for reference in the
Rare Books & Music Reading Room. All users of the Library's reading
rooms must have a reader's pass.
We are most grateful to Mr Federico Macchi, Dr Jan Storm van
Leeuwen and Dr Konrad von Rabenau for their extensive contributions to the
'Binders' and 'Notes' fields.
The text and images (except where otherwise stated) appearing on
the British Library's Database of Bookbindings pages are
Copyright© The British Library. If you would like to order any of the
images on this website as photographic prints or in digital form, contact
British Library Images Online or
British Library Reproductions.
The British Library is grateful to all copyright owners who have
given permission to reproduce images on the database. We have used our best
endeavours to obtain permission where necessary and will of course correct any
errors or omissions.