2011-12-06

From Grolier binding to book object

The history of book bindings in pictures


Blind-tooled binding: Top edge

The art of binding books reaches far back into time. The National Library of Sweden has a large collection of bindings from the Middle Ages to the present. The bindings are collected in what’s known as the Treasure room in the Library’s underground stacks

Systematic description

Anders Zitting and Linda Sörenson, who work in the Library’s Preservation Unit, have put together a selection of the bindings from the collections. The selections were made to provide a representative picture of both the ages and the techniques. Each binding has a systematic description according to the model used by the Library.

High picture quality

A total of 50 bindings have been selected. Each binding is shown through ten or so pictures that show various details and elements of the bindings. The pictures were taken by photographer István Borbás, who has worked at the Library. István put a lot of effort into bringing out the qualities of the different bindings in good style.

On Flickr

The collection consists of over 600 pictures and can be found on the Library’s Flickr channel. To attract the interest of as large a group as possible, comment texts in English have been provided.


Book obkect (Spine). Published with permission by the artist.

Contact person: Håkan Färje, e-mail: firstname.lastname@kb.se

Related information

Book bindings on Flickr

National Library