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Bookbindings in the British Library - basic literature on bookbindings

A wide range of fine and historic bindings can be found in the British Library, both in discrete specialist collections and dispersed individually throughout the Library.

The standard bibliography on bookbindings is Bibliographie zur Geschichte der Einbandkunst by F.A. Schmidt-Künsemüller (Wiesbaden, 1987); a copy can be found on the open shelves in the Rare Books & Music Reading Room at shelfmark: RAR686.3009. Although in German, its coverage is not confined to the German-speaking world. For material published after 1985, consult annual bibliographies such as the Annual Bibliography of the History of the Printed Book and Libraries (The Hague, 1973- ) (shelfmark: RAR002.05).

Periodicals which feature articles about bookbindings include:

  • The Book Collector (London) (shelfmark: RAR381.45).
  • The British Library Journal (London) (shelfmark: RAR027.541).
  • The British Museum Quarterly (London) (shelfmark: RAR069.0942 small).
  • Gutenberg-Jahrbuch (Mainz) (shelfmark: RAR686.209).
  • The Library (formerly Transactions of the Bibliographical Society) (London) (shelfmark: RAR010 small).
  • The New Bookbinder (London) (shelfmark: P.443/552).
  • Proceedings and papers of the Bibliographical Society of America (New York) (shelfmark: RAR010 small).

Glossaries include:

  • Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books : A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, by MT Roberts and D Etherington (Washington, 1982) (shelfmark: RAR686.302). This is also available electronically as Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books via the internet.

Technical books include:

  • A History of English Craft Bookbinding Technique, by BC Middleton (London, 1996) (shelfmark: RAR686.302).
  • Early Bookbinding Manuals : An Annotated List of Technical Accounts of Bookbinding to 1840, by G Pollard and E Potter (Oxford, 1984) (shelfmark: RAR686.302).
  • The Archaeology of Medieval Bookbinding, by JA Szirmai (Aldershot, 1999) (shelfmark: 667.u.163).