Bindery Through the Ages: A Look at the Long History of Bookbinding

Author: Jessica Schott
Major: History
Approved: Spring 2020
Status: In progress

This project will look at the cultural significance and history of bookbinding, then create a way to educate the public through a Public History display. Until the introduction of commercial bookbinding, bookbinding was an important trade, and, with the birth of commercial bookbinding, now is largely unrecognized for its history. For thousands of years, bookbinding was done manually and was a long and complicated process, and many cultures had their own form of it, as well. To help document the long history of bookbinding, this project will first compile research on this history and cultural significance of bookbinding both as a trade and an element of material culture from roughly the medieval period to the end of the colonial period. This research will then be presented in an exhibit or similar form of display to provide others a chance to learn the history and importance of book binding. If possible, materials from the college’s archives will be used.