The British Library Guide to Bookbinding: History and Techniques
Since the development of the codex book form in the first century AD, bookbindings have played a crucial role not only in protecting and preserving the texts which they contain, but also in the history of the book as an artefact. The artistic style, materials and techniques used in creating a bookbinding can offer fascinating insights into a whole range of historical and cultural issues, from the dating and placing of the material it contains, to the social standing of the book's owner. Historic bindings can provide evidence of trade routes, the spread of ideas and the significance of texts. They can also reflect contemporary taste and the availability of materials and technology at a given time.
In The British Library Guide to Bookbinding, P.J.M. Marks introduces the history of the craft bookbinding trade in the west from the introduction of the codex to the twentieth century, explains how bookbindings are structured and made, and gives an overview of the development of decorative techniques and artistic styles.
With over 75 colour and black-and-white illustrations, and a useful brief glossary of bookbinding terms, The British Library Guide to Bookbinding: History and Techniques is one of a series of titles providing accessible and lively introductions to the practical aspects of the history of books and how they are made.