Tag Archives: Bookbindings

Book History Colloquium | Who made this book? Bookwork in the Global Supply Chain

18 April 2019 | 6pm | Room 523 Butler Library

Most any author can tell you who published their book, but how many know where it was printed? Or by whom?

This talk explores the nature of contemporary bookmaking amid the realities of a global supply chain, an increasingly casualized labor market, and digital workflows that effortlessly move digital files around the world. Continue reading

New exhibition | Persian Bookbinding

flowered wallpaper background

Following the introduction of lacquer-painting in the 15th century, bookbindings became a rejuvenated site for creative expression in Iran.

‘In the School of Wisdom’ presents over thirty examples, representing the diversity of the art as it developed from the late Safavid to Qajar eras and contextualizing it within a changing landscape of libraries and book culture.

Rare book as artifact


This intriguing object was found on our shelves recently by Tabrizia Jones, our rare book processor. Forty-six issues, dating between 1808 and 1853, of the Neuer Bauernkalendar, an Austrian farmer's almanac, were stitched into a canvas wrapper.



Each issue is 32 pages, and is mostly devoted to the hand-colored illustrated calendar showing the saints' days & prognosticating the weather, and a shorter list giving phases of the moon. It's pretty wonderful; lively and information-rich.

Being a city girl, I don't understand why the farmer owner carefully kept the issues from year to year, eventually stitching them into this rough canvas bundle. But I am grateful to whomever it is who preserved this vibrant piece of home book-making for the hundred years between the middle of the 19th century and 1960, when it was given to Special Collections by a regular donor, Harry G. Friedman (1881-1965; PhD, 1908).

Dr. Friedman's Economics thesis was on the taxation of corporations in Massachusetts. From his Wall Street address, he donated a wide variety of items starting in 1952, including Hebrew and Arabic manuscripts, cuneiform tablets, prints, early printed books, many hand-written documents, and at least one curious binding.