Digital Library of the Week: Historical Book Arts

If you haven’t already heard, the University Libraries’ Special Collections exhibition, Cabinets of Curiosities, opens this week in the Office of the President in Hamilton Hall. Featuring some of the rare and more unusual books and ephemera in our collection, I wanted to share with you a wonderful digital collection on the history of the book.

an example of decorative leather binding
an example of decorative leather binding

The Historical Book Arts digital collection from the University of Washington is an excellent site for learning all about books and their history. Using items in their Special Collections, the digital collection includes examples of books and manuscripts from the 11th to 19th centuries. Images of bindings, printing techniques, and decorative paper provide illustration for the different skills and materials needed to create a book – a time consuming and technically difficult process!

To learn more about book arts, search the UArts Libraries’ catalog by subject for bookbinding, book design, or artists’ books. We also have a terrific subject guide on book arts. Stop by the exhibition to view some wonderful gems within our collection and then stop by the libraries to see the whole collection for yourself!

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