Rare Book School

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On Exhibition

Bound to Please: American Cloth Bookbindings, 1830-1910

A Rare Book School Exhibition Curated by Vincent Golden

The Rotunda Dome Room
University of Virginia
13 November 2006 - 1 May 2007

The RBS exhibition, “Bound to Please: American Cloth Bookbindings: 1830-1910,” explores the chronological development of cloth binding styles in the United States. The books on display in the Dome Room of UVa's Rotunda have been drawn from RBS's study collection of about 5,000 cloth bindings (now housed in Alderman Library's McGregor Room).

The 300 books in the exhibition have been arranged and described by decades, an organizational scheme that does not always account for binding styles and features popular over long periods of time. This being said, enough information is provided in the exhibition labels, decade by decade, to enable viewers to ace the test they encounter in the final case of the exhibition: a dozen unidentified bindings they are invited to date to the proper decade. Come try your hand at it, if you're in the neighborhood!

Click here to view the exhibition brochure.