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Course & Subject Guides

History of Books and Printing @ Archives & Special Collections: Book Collecting & Design

This guide provides an overview of books located at Special Collections on the history of books and printing.

Book Collecting and Design

Collecting rare books has been a pleasure and hobby for much of the twentieth century. You can say that this department owes its existence to the pleasure and collection of rare books. This aspect of the history of books encompasses volumes on how to collect, maintain, and organize rare books. The collection also includes bibliographies of old and rare books that can be used as ways to identify and select books for a collection.

A great spur for collecting old books is that of book design. Throughout the centuries of bookmaking, design has been a crucial aspect of why rare and old books are so desirable. Many hobbyists and book collectors covet books for their intricate designs as much as for their rarity or age. The collection has a great deal of books that describe techniques of book design and desirable design aspects of books.

For examples of old and rare books that may be collected and are outlined in books about book collecting, look no further than the rare books in Special Collections. Additionally, for interesting selections of book design, the Leuba collection in Special Collections includes fine examples of well-illustrated and designed books.

Examples from the Collection